The Shane Steichen era in Los Angeles began, and it began with a bang! The Chargers put together a tremedous offensive gameplan and punched the Packers right in the mouth. The defense was no slouch, as they stifled Aaron Rodgers and Co, but for my instant reaction I want to focus on the resurgance of the offense, and the play-calling put forth by Steichen.
The game plan seemed simple enough, give Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler the ball and establish the run. This would then open things up for Philip Rivers and the passing game. And it certainly worked.
Gordon rushed the ball 20 times for 80 yards and two touchdowns, and his counterpart Ekeler garnered 12 handoffs for 70 yards. This is a team that has been struggling to run the ball and had many fans hoping that Gordon was dealt at the trade deadline. Sometimes all it takes is the coaching staff believing in you and putting the ball in your hands.
Gordon and Ekeler also combined for seven receptions good enough for 52 yards.
Steichen may not have called a perfect game, and the Chargers still had their struggles in the red zone, but for his first time doing the job, he certainly called an efficient game. He was able to get Mike Williams involved in space as he finished with his first 100-yard receiving game on the season. Hunter Henry had another dominant performance, finishing with seven catches for 74 yards.
Overall, I am just excited to see Steichen take over this offense, and really implement his play-calling. We should hopefully begin to see what we thought this offense would be when the season started.
Congrats on the win coach!
The NFL is a weird beast. Any given Sunday is an oft-used cliche but there has never been a more true cliche in history. Green Bay has been on a roll as of late. Sure, they are dealing with their fair share of injuries but at this point in the season, who isn’t? A week ago, the Packers defeated a really good Kansas City Chiefs team who was without star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. They traveled to Los Angeles with a record of 7-1 with the only blemish being a seven point loss to the Eagles.
The Chargers have been on the ropes for what seems like all season. Everyone has sort of been waiting around for the big knockout blow to come. Perhaps many expected the TKO to come from Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Packers. However, while the offensive coordinator change appears to have been the right decision right now, the defense is where this win should be mostly credited.
Gus Bradley’s defense held Rodgers to a well below-average performance of 161 yards and a single touchdown that came late in the fourth quarter. A touchdown that a plethora of pundits consider “garbage points”. Rodgers was also sacked three times and the rushing game was essentially nonexistent only mustering 45 total yards. The defense led the way for a 26-11 victory.
The Chargers are now 4-5 and winners of their last two. They seem to be getting a second wind. The knockout blow may not come as easily now. The next two games are pivotal AFC West matchups which are sorely needed wins to improve the Bolts slim playoff hopes. It is simply astonishing how the NFL is so unpredictable at times and yet we still sit in front of our computers to try and do just that, predict. You know what though? We love it.