Sunday evening wasn’t quite as eventful as the Chargers were hoping for. Despite their 23-9 win over the Denver Broncos, their playoff seeding remained unchanged and they will walk into Baltimore next week for their first playoff appearance in five years. The reason for this is that the Oakland Raiders failed to conquer the Kansas City Chiefs which would have given the Chargers the division edge and a first-round bye. In fact, their game wasn’t even relatively close as the Chiefs rolled to a 32 point win. Regardless, the Chargers were still able to get a win and finished the regular season, 12-4.
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Performers of the Day
Mike Williams: As I predicted, Mike Williams came up big for the Chargers. Williams had 5 receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown on six targets. Incredible efficiency, Williams big body, and strong hands were mainly utilized for third and long situations. However, Williams was also to make a quick adjustment for a back shoulder throw from Philip Rivers which resulted in a three-yard touchdown late third quarter. Without Williams, the Chargers offense would have looked absolutely horrendous and probably wouldn’t have had a touchdown.
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Adrian Phillips: It’s easy to forget about Adrian Phillips with guys like Casey Hayward, Desmond King, and Derwin James suiting up every week. But Sunday afternoon, Phillips finished with 12 tackles (led the team) and two passes defended. Flying all over the field, Phillips and co. were able to disrupt Case Keenum and forced him into check-downs as Keenum averaged six yards per attempt. If Phillips is able to play like this throughout the playoffs, he could be looking at an increased role in Gus Bradley’s defense.
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Points of Concern
- Melvin Gordon: Although Gordon had 10 rushes for 42 yards which is solid efficiency, he also suffered a left ankle injury midway through the third quarter. If this is even a somewhat serious injury, there would be a lot of frustration surrounding the Chargers coaching staff considering (even in the third quarter) they knew the game had no meaning.
- Jahleel Addae: I, (along with many Chargers fans) have become increasingly annoyed with Addae’s play and how much he is on the field. And today didn’t help his case. Late in the third quarter, Jahleel Addae was able to pick off Case Keenum in the end zone while the Broncos were driving. But instead of accepting a touchback, Addae attempted to return the interception and ended up attempting a pitch to Desmond King mid-play. As you can imagine, King had no idea this was coming and the Broncos recovered the live ball. Had that been a playoff game, I probably would have pulled my hair out. Free safety will definitely be a point of concern in the offseason and I could even see Adrain Phillips taking on more snaps in Addae’s place.