The Los Angeles Chargers are peaking at the right time. As the regular season begins to wind down, the Bolts find themselves in first-place of the AFC West (tied with the Kansas City Chiefs,) winners of four straight and above .500 for the first time in 2017.
Playoffs…here we come? All of a sudden, that seems like a very realistic scenario.
The Chargers beat the Washington Redskins 30-13 Sunday at StubHub Center. They did so on the shoulders of two dynamic performances by quarterback Philip Rivers and wide-receiver Keenan Allen. Allen caught six passes for 111 yards, racking up his fourth straight game with over 100 yards receiving. Rivers remained razor sharp and collected his third straight 300-yard passing game. Rivers finished the game 18-of-31 for 319 yards and two touchdowns.
For the first time this season, Los Angeles scored on its opening drive. Kicker Travis Coons made a 33-yard field goal to put the Chargers up 3-0.
After forcing a Redskins punt, Los Angeles went on a 10-play, 92-yard drive that ended with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to tight end Hunter Henry.
On the first play of Washington’s next possession, Chargers cornerback Trevor Williams deflected a Kirk Cousins pass that fell into the arms of linebacker Kyle Emanuel for an interception. Six plays later, Coons converted from 21 yards out to give the Chargers a 13-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Redskins cut the lead to 13-6 when Cousins found tight end Vernon Davis for a 26-yard touchdown.
In response to Washington’s nine-play scoring drive, the Bolts decided to put six on the board using only one play. Rivers found wide receiver Tyrell Williams for a 75-yard touchdown pass on the Bolts’ first play of the second quarter. The 11-second drive increased the Chargers lead to 20-6. It was Williams’ second 75-yard touchdown of the season.
Later in the quarter, Coons made his third field goal of the half — this time from 36 yards out — and the Chargers took a 23-6 advantage into halftime.
The Chargers used a bit of creativity in successfully executing a flea-flicker that ended with a 51-yard catch from Rivers to Allen. One play later, running back Melvin Gordon scored from one-yard out to give the Chargers a 30-6 lead after another Coons extra point.
-Tyrell Williams finished the game with four catches for 132 yards and a touchdown.
-Hunter Henry snagged four balls for 50 yards and a touchdown.
-Melvin Gordon had 78 rushing yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
-After missing his first field-goal attempt as a Charger last Sunday, Travis Coons has converted on his last seven.
-Keenan Allen now has a single-season career-high in yards and receptions.
-Los Angeles is now 5-1 this season when scoring first.
-Despite continuing wildfires, the game took place in Carson, CA as scheduled.
In a battle for AFC West Supremacy, The Chargers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15 at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 5:25 p.m. Pacific.
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Content Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Chargers. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC.