The tables have definitely turned in the AFC West.
With their 19-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, the Los Angeles Chargers moved into a first-place tie in the Division.
Not bad for a team that started 0-4, huh?
While sporting their throwback royal blue uniforms, quarterback Philip Rivers and wide receiver Keenan Allen looked every bit as iconic as great Chargers of the past. Rivers finished 31-of-43 for 344 yards and a touchdown that moved him into seventh place all-time in passing touchdowns. Allen caught 10 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Most importantly, the Bolts have played their way back into the playoff hunt. They are also one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now.
Welcome to L.A., Travis Coons
With Nick Novak placed on IR, new Chargers kicker Travis Coons was about to be intruduced to the Bolts in true ‘trial by fire’ fashion. After missing a 38-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter, Coons made one from 21 yards out in the second quarter to put Los Angeles up 3-0.
Coons made a 40-yard field goal (his second) on the Chargers’ next offensive possession. However, the Browns quickly responded with a 28-yard touchdown from rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer to tight end David Njoku. Cleveland’s five-play, 65-yard drive included a 28-yard reception from wide receiver Josh Gordon, who played in his first NFL regular-season game since 2014.
Coons converted on a 22-yard field goal as time expired, his third of the quarter — to give the Chargers a 9-7 lead at halftime. Coons finished the day with four field goals and helped to make Chargers fans feel a bit less uneasy about the kicking game than they did yesterday.
Sealing the Deal
Once again, Keenan Allen continued to prove his place among the league’s most productive receivers. Los Angeles opened the second half with a 10-play, 78-yard drive that ended with a seven-yard touchdown reception by Allen. Allen compiled 33 catches for 436 yards and four touchdowns in his last three games.
The Browns drove deep into Chargers territory with under five minutes remaining in the game. On third-and-goal from the 15-yard line, defensive end Joey Bosa earned his 11.5 sack of 2017 on Kizer, who fumbled. Linebacker Denzel Perryman recovered and the Chargers took over from their own 20.
Tight end Hunter Henry had 81 yards on seven receptions.
Wide receiver Travis Benjamin caught four passes for 68 yards against his former team.
Running back Melvin Gordon ran for 77 yards on 19 carries.
Cornerback Casey Hayward was active for this game, despite the death of his brother earlier in the week
The Chargers will host the Washington Redskins in Week 14 at StubHub Center. Kickoff is on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 1:05 p.m. Pacific (CBS).
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Content Writer for Full Press Sports Coverage Sports Media. He covers the Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC