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A Defensive Performance for the Ages
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For the first time since 2014, the Chargers pitched a shutout. This one happened to come against a team who hadn’t been shut out since 1992, ending the second longest streak in NFL history at 394 games.
As Joey Bosa put it, Sunday’s shutout was the “cherry on top” of a domination performance.
“When they don’t score, we win,” Tre Boston explained in the locker room. “So to come out there and dominate on defense, it was a great feeling. It was something that this defense was waiting for.”
In their 21-0 win over the Denver Broncos, it would be an understatement to say the Bolts defense simply played well. The unit kept their foot on the gas the whole game forcing the Broncos to punt eight times and held them to 3-of-14 on third down and 0-for-2 on fourth down.
“That’s what we pride ourselves on,” Melvin Ingram said. “We don’t have ones and twos, we have ones and ones. No matter who we have on the field, we are going to get the job done.”
“It was a good game by the defense,” Head Coach Anthony Lynn explained postgame. “No doubt about it. What they did, when they stepped up and stopped the run, we knew (the Broncos) were going to try and run the football on us. With our stats and what we were giving up in the rush and what they were gaining, we stepped up. My guys worked on it all week. It was emphasized. They did their job.”
The Bolts held the Broncos to only 69 rushing yards on the day, the lowest total they’ve given up on the ground this season.
“The run defense got better,” Lynn added. “They got better and that’s what we try to do every single week, get better…. I love my two edge rushers (Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa). But today, what I liked about them is that they played the run better. Sometimes it’s hard to stop the run when you’re trying to sack the quarterback, and unselfishly, they played the run. They’re playing tighter techniques to stop the run and they’re doing it for the team.”
Additionally, the unit had three takeaways and five total sacks on the afternoon. Chris McCain and Joey Bosa each had a pair, while Melvin Ingram added another. Sunday marked the seventh time since Bosa’s debut that he and Ingram have taken down the quarterback in the same game.
“The Los Angeles Chargers were good the first week of the season,” Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian said. “They have been in close games all year. They are a good team and they will continue to win some more games. We knew that coming in.”
Most notably this time was how the defense showed resolve throughout not only the whole game, but from the first snap. Overall, the defense is playing with more confidence during the three-game winning streak. They’ve also forced seven takeaways over that span.
“If you look back at all the games we lost, they were very close games,” Bosa explained. “We competed in all of them. There were a lot of good teams what we played. We just had to keep with it, keep believing in ourselves. If we gave up, we easily could have three more losses added to it. So I think it says a lot about these guys and the chemistry of our team to be able to stay together and come up with these three wins.”
“We turned over a page,” added Ingram. “We started climbing a mountain. I think we are headed in the right direction.”