Sometimes in the NFL, you get offensive shootouts that end in a 41-38 score line. Sometimes you get snooze fests that end with a final score of 6-0. The LA Chargers have played in both of these games this season as the Bolts defeated the New England Patriots 6-0 on Sunday afternoon.
The game was as ugly as the final score indicates. But at the end of the day, an ugly win is better than a pretty loss 100 times out of 100. With the win, the Chargers move to 5-7 on the season and the chances of making a miracle playoff run grow. It is going to take five more consecutive wins, but there is at least a chance.
It can be hard to pinpoint the story of a game in which not much happened. That is not the case in this game. The Chargers won this game because of the efforts of Khalil Mack, who continues to turn back the clock and play at an elite level.
Khalil Mack carries Chargers to win over Patriots
Khalil Mack picked up two sacks in the game to mark his third consecutive game with multiple sacks. Mack now has 15 sacks on the season, which leads the entire NFL. Let's not forget that Mack is 32 years old.
The veteran's impact was much deeper than the two sacks on the box score. Mack was consistently pressuring quarterback Bailey Zappe, especially on key downs. Multiple times the Patriots were driving and about to be in field goal range when the defensive line stepped up and stuck their feet firmly in the sand.
Mack's biggest play of the game came on the Patriots' last offensive play. With the Pats facing a fourth and a six, Mack generated enough pressure on Zappe to make him step up into the pocket, hesitate, and throw into traffic. The pass was broken up.
The replay on CBS after the commercial break showed that Hunter Henry broke inside and was wide open in the middle of the field. If Mack doesn't generate that pressure, Zappe connects with Henry 13 yards down the field and extends the drive.
It was an ugly day in the rain for the Chargers offense. Defensively, the Chargers succeeded against a subpar offense that was without its best running back after the first drive. Fans shouldn't take too much away from this game either way except for the fact that Mack played at an All-Pro level.