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Winners And Losers From The Chargers Week 10 Loss To The Vikings

The Chargers took a tough loss in week 10 at the hands of the Vikings in a close game. The inconsistencies of the offense continue to be a problem. Outside of the game two weeks ago against the Eagles, they have continually shot themselves in the foot. 

This week though, they were not fortunate enough to come ahead at the end of the game. The Vikings had a banged-up defense this week, so you would have thought the Chargers would be in for an explosive day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually go well when Justin Herbert isn’t at his best, and that was this week.

The Vikings’ offense seemed like they just did whatever they wanted, by running the ball 33 times against the league’s worst run defense. This allowed the Vikings to pick the Chargers secondary apart with play-action and saw Justin Jefferson run all over the defense. It was a close game, so it really came down to a handful of plays that defined the entire game. Herbert threw a bad interception, Mike Williams‘ third-down drop, and a couple of big sacks were enough to hold the Chargers off. Let’s take a look at the Chargers’ week 10 winners and losers in their loss to the Vikings.  

Winners

Kyzir White

White struggled early on in the season and has been on an upward trajectory since then. He was all over the field on Sunday against the Vikings and even led the defense in snaps. He had nine tackles to go with four assists. While he gave up the short touchdown, it was more of a play that he couldn’t do anything about. It was just a throw to an incredibly tight window, and it wasn’t even really his assignment. It was good to see him hold his own in coverage and watch him become a valuable part of the defense over the last few weeks. 

Keenan Allen

Allen had another productive week against the Vikings, proving why he’s one of the best receivers in the AFC. He was a consistent outlet for Herbert, who was under duress a lot of this game. Even in tough games, guys who are stars make their presence felt. It felt like despite the fact that the Chargers had a hard time moving the ball, anytime there was a bright spot it was Allen’s number being dialed up. He doubled the next guy down with eight catches, for 98 yards. He didn’t score or have an electric day, but he did what needed to be done by a consummate pro. He was available short, down the middle, and even in screenplays. Without Allen’s presence this week, the Chargers could not have moved the ball at all. He was the best offensive player this week. 

Dustin Hopkins

Looking back at the decision by the Washington Football Team, it is hilarious to me that I am writing Hopkins as a winner this week. It wasn’t necessarily that he was missing lots of field goals in Washington, but rather that he was missing the extra points – obviously not at the same scale as Tristan Vizcaino. He missed another one in Philadelphia two weeks ago. The Chargers have struggled to find consistency at the kicker position for years, and I doubt that Hopkins is the long-term solution but on Sunday when the game was close, and they couldn’t afford any mistakes, the kicking game came through for them. Hopkins was calm and collected throughout the day and didn’t miss any of his kicks. 

Losers

Run Defense

The run defense continues to be a problem, but not necessarily in the way that we are used to seeing every week. Normally teams are gashing the Chargers for huge holes and big running days. While the Vikings didn’t have a ton of explosive plays on the ground, they were absolutely able to control the clock by pounding the football. They ran the ball thirty-three times, and Dalvin Cook had 94 yards and a touchdown. They weren’t catching anyone off guard with their run game, but it was so effective over and over that the play-action was wide open all game. It basically allowed Kirk Cousins to do whatever he wanted on the day, finishing with 300 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Chargers are improving in this regard, especially since Justin Jones returned, and that needs to continue as they get healthier. 

Tevaughn Campbell

Campbell really struggled to make an impact in week 10. Yes the matchup with Jefferson was a tough one on paper, but Campbell has been a solid depth piece for the Chargers and has made plays against some of the other premium passing offense the Chargers had faced. Jefferson proved to be too much for him on a consistent basis. Jefferson converted big third downs, dominated in the middle of the field, and even taunted Allen on the sidelines. Campbell wasn’t the guy who let 100% of those yards go, but he did account for a whopping 127 yards given up out of Cousins’ 294 on the day. It was simply a mismatch.

Mike Williams

Williams has been noticeably absent since week five, and it’s absolutely showing its effects on the offense. This may have something to do with a knee injury, but Coach Staley has said consistently said it’s a non-factor. If that’s the case, then the Chargers coaching staff needs to work a lot harder to keep Williams in the game plan. His big-play ability was what led the Chargers to have big performances in the first couple of weeks on offense. Without his ability to stretch the field, the whole offense is impacted, leading to the run game being shut down. Which has meant that their offense has relied heavily on Allen in the short passing game. It doesn’t work for the Chargers, they need to at least start taking shots down the field whether they work or not. Without it, the rest of the skill players aren’t allowed to work the middle of the field in the same manner. Williams either needs to get healthy or start demanding the ball. The offense is clearly not the same without him. 

Top Shots: Bolts Host Vikings in Week 10

Saahil Malik

Author Saahil Malik

I have lived through many walks of life, and through my different experiences, my love of sports has only deepened each passing year. Whether it was as a child at USC football games, or watching high school football in Texas, sports are the infinite divide of humanity. The line in the sand in which people’s race, sexuality, religion, and economic status are no longer distinguishing factors; rather just background story. The ultimate culmination of respect and abilities come together to make fair and sweat earned play, a place where people come together. I have always loved sports, and I fear, as someone who has seen the ups and downs of being a sports fan, I always will be a sports fan. Football truly is family.

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