After blowing a huge lead in Week 1, much was made of this team for not finishing the game against the Chiefs. As the Bolts jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead once again. This time the lead would not be relinquished, as the Chargers seemed to be fired up in front of their home crowd completely, embarrassing a Jaguars’ team that looked to show a lot of promise last week against a good Packers’ squad.
The main story in this is Melvin Gordon. Ken must’ve learned from last week as he fed Gordon early and often late into the 4th quarter. This would be the main stay of the offense after the Bolts suffered another huge loss as Danny Woodhead went down with a knee injury (it’s being reported on Monday that Woodhead suffered a torn ACL and is out for the season, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport). With Gordon being fed, he didn’t disappoint, scoring a touchdown in his second straight game and racking up his first career 100-yard rushing game.
Defensively, the John Pagano’s unit played lights out. Don’t let the score fool you. This defense stepped up big time! The San Diego secondary blanketed the talented receiving corps of the Jags. Outside linebacker Melvin Ingram showed up big, sacking Blake Bortles twice. It appears as though the free-agent acquisition of Casey Hayward is already paying huge dividends, picking off Bortles two times and stopping what could’ve been a huge red zone opportunity for the Jags early. If one thing is for sure when this defense plays like this you can see why we were all excited for this team in the off-season.
MVPs of the game:
Philip Rivers– If you questioned how Philip would do without Keenan Allen, those questions were quickly put to rest, as Rivers was at his best as he usually is against the Jags. Rivers completed 17-24 for 220 passing yards and four touchdowns; just another day at the office for Rivers. The veteran signal caller once again proved this offense still relies on the arm of Rivers to get things done.
Travis Benjamin– I would be fool if i didn’t mention this man. He completely torched the jaguars secondary for six receptions for 115 and two scores. Getting Travis going with the loss of Keenan Allen was huge. With the way they showed cased him, this Chargers’ receiving corps looks to still be dangerous, even without Allen. I’m excited to see how they build on this going forward.
The whole back-end of Bolts’ Defense– I already pointed out how good Hayward was on Sunday. How about this unit as a whole? The secondary was flying to the ball, being really aggressive. The Jags looked like they were scared to throw to Verrett’s side for the vast majority of the game. Flowers was solid when he had to be; even Addae lead this team in tackles for the day before going down with a shoulder injury in the 4th.
Tyrell Williams– The youngster is looking like the second coming of Malcom Floyd. Williams had a fantastic day with three receptions for 63 yards and scoring a huge 44-yard touchdown, busting through multiple tackles to break into the endzone for his first TD of 2016. He could be so dangerous going forward, especially with Benjamin having a breakout game of his own.
Honorable mentions – Drew Kaser, Manti Teo, Matt Slauson, Antonio Gates and Darrell Stuckey
Bums of the game
Joey Bosa – Everyone who has read my prior pieces knows how high I am on Joey. Still, he has yet to see the practice field in pads yet. Should we think of this as a red-shirt year for Bosa? Uh, no. The Chargers are paying this kid too much money to not see him play a snap. Look for Bosa to start seeing game snaps when this team plays the Broncos in Week 6, if not sooner.
Isaiah Burse – I know the expectations on him weren’t suppose to be really high. The guy was a ghost in this game, though. Perhaps that’s because he was supposed to be mainly on kick returns and they only had three today. Even in garbage time Burse was nowhere to be found. It wouldn’t hurt to change things up and see him take snaps from fellow wide receiver Dontrelle Inman (who I’ve never been overly high on). With all the injuries to this offense, head coach Mike McCoy may want to limit Benjamin’s Involvement in special teams, possibly leading to more of Burse.
The seat still burns for McNorv
Like I’ve already said, this game was even worse for the Jaguars than the score let on, meaning we didn’t have to deal with the curious case of Mike McNorv. He rarely had to make any game-management decisions. The only exception I can think of was on the 4th-and-2 play in the first half near the goal line where Philip ran a hard count and drew the Jags offsides. If Rivers didn’t draw them of,f you know “Field goal Mike” would’ve struck again. He was bailed out by his veteran quarterback and the hardest decision he had was when to put Kellen Clemens in. Until he proves otherwise, McNorv and his goons will remain on notice all season.
In closing, overall this game being compared to last week is like day and night. This team did exactly what it should’ve done by beating the Jaguars. Hopefully this game is a template on how the Chargers will win games going forward. Any given Sunday, though.
Now we’re on to Indianapolis in Week 3!
**featured image credit to Chargers.com