We asked our panel of experts and insiders to select their choices for various awards for the 2017 season. We will reveal their answers over the coming days.
Next up, a look at what is the 2017 Chargers Play of the Year:
Ricky Henne – Melvin Ingram's Strip-Sack and Recovery vs. the Giants
Winless in Week 5 playing the New York Giants on the road, the Chargers trailed 22-20 with exactly four minutes remaining. Eli Manning dropped back to pass at his own 23-yard line when Melvin Ingram came in like a whirling dervish. Ingram spun Manning to the ground, dislodging the ball in the process. Not only that, he hustled to scoop up the rock at New York's 11. Three plays later, Philip Rivers hit Melvin Gordon for the touchdown, giving the Bolts their first victory of the year. You could give a strong argument that that single play turned the Chargers' season around.
Hayley Elwood – Keenan Allen's Right Place, Right Time TD vs. Raiders
To be honest, this was the hardest category to award a winner. With so many options, it was hard to choose. However, the sheer swing of emotions experienced on this play did it for me. In the Week 17 game against the Raiders, Melvin Gordon took a handoff from Rivers and scampered up the right side of the field. Then, Reggie Nelson came in to force a fumble on Gordon – number 28's first of the year. However, when all hope seemed lost, Keenan Allen, who was blocking on the play, ended up in the right place at the right time to corral the ball from the air. He then sprinted 27 yards to the end zone for the score. It was a heads up play that went from a football folly to the first score of the game.
Matt "Money" Smith – Melvin Ingram's Strip-Sack and Recovery vs. the Giants
Chargers trailing the NYG 22-20, 4:00 left in the fourth quarter. 3rd-and-7. Eli Manning drops back to pass and Melvin Ingram just plain wrecks him. Gets the strip sack, and even recovers the ball at the Giants' 11. Three plays later, because of that effort, the Chargers were up 27-22, and went on to win their first game of the year.
Nick Hardwick – Antonio Gates' 112th TD Reception vs. the Dolphins
It was an honor to witness so many of those touchdowns first-hand, and quite special to be a part of the radio call on the one that put him in the record books.
Chris Hayre – Melvin Ingram's Strip-Sack and Recovery vs. the Giants
The 0-4 Chargers were down 22-20 to the New York Giants with four minutes remaining in the game. On a pivotal 3rd-and-7, Ingram sacked Eli Manning, who fumbled. Ingram recovered the fumble he forced at New York's 11-yard line, and three plays later, Melvin Gordon caught the go-ahead touchdown. Instead of 0-5, the Chargers earned their first of nine wins on the season.