If there’s anything we’ve learned about these Chargers through the first two games of the season, it’s that they certainly have a flair for the dramatic. Sunday’s game against the visiting Texans was no different, as the ball was once again in Philip Rivers‘ hands with the game on the line. The Chargers simply ran out of time Sunday, again finding themselves on the losing end of a very winnable game – their second consecutive loss – and falling to 1-2 on the season.
The Chargers led for the majority of Sunday’s game, making the loss all that more difficult to swallow. The Philip Rivers-Keenan Allen connection was nothing short of spectacular – and unstoppable – combining for 13 receptions to the tune of 183 yards and two touchdowns. Rivers again exceeded the 300-yard mark and was 31/46 passing for the game, but to put it mildly – there really wasn’t much else.
Noticeably absent from todays game was any semblance of a Charger’s ground game. Running backs Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson combined for just 62 yards on 14 carries. Ekeler, so proficient in the first two games both on the ground and in the air, really never put his imprint on the game. He was, however, still a nice safety valve for Rivers, catching 7 balls on the day for 45 yards.
The difference in the game, one might argue, was the inability of the Chargers to contain the elusive Deshaun Watson, or at a very minimum limit his “big play” making ability. While the Chargers were able to continually get pressure on Watson, in part because of a patchwork Texans offensive line, he still managed to beat them for three touchdowns and 351 passing yards on the day. In one instance, he avoided a surefire sack and dumped it off to Jordan Akins who galloped 53 yards for a touchdown (his second of the day) midway through the 4th quarter. The Chargers never really recovered, as that one play seemingly took all the air out of the stadium.
Next up for the Chargers is the Miami Dolphins, otherwise known as the perfect panacea for today’s absent run game and a Los Angeles defense still looking to find its identity. This matchup also should afford Rivers the opportunity to spread the wealth amongst Allen and his full complement of receivers. The Dolphins (0-3), through three games, have been outscored 133-16.
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