That was the message evident from head coach Anthony Lynn’s presser on Monday, less than 24 hours after Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the Denver Broncos. Lynn’s focus was on how to get on the same page and reinforce consistency as his team heads into the Week 6 Sunday Night Football clash against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Any time we don’t win, we’re frustrated,” Lynn said. “We’re looking for answers, and I know we have what it (takes). It’s just a matter of getting on the right track and being consistent and doing it every single week.”
One of the reasons Denver’s defense was particularly effective in the game was due to the way in which they covered Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, who only had four receptions on six targets for 18 yards. Meanwhile, Denver’s run defense limited the Chargers to just 35 yards rushing.
“We gave (Allen) a lot of attention,” Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said. “Not every play, but we were tuned into where he was and how we were going to play him. It wasn’t just happenstance.”
When asked about Denver’s defense, quarterback Philip Rivers believes the team can learn from the ways that unit was able to execute successfully.
“I think we gained something,” Rivers said. “I have a great deal of respect for the defense and their coaches. Obviously, what Coach Fangio has done in his career and this league and what those players have done defensively in their careers, the combination of that is what defeated us. That will be valuable for us to take a look at. It’s going to be a combination of what they did to defend us and what we could do better.”
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Rivers would finish the day 32-of-48, with 211 yards passing and two interceptions coming away disappointed with his passing efficiency.
Meanwhile, Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay played a key role for Denver’s offense from the opening drive and finished with 147 total yards and one touchdown, while wide receiver Courtland Sutton’s 70-yard touchdown reception lengthened Denver’s lead to two scores, a lead that proved insurmountable for the Bolts.
“We got a lot of playmakers,” Lindsay said. “If it’s not me, then it’s [WR] Emmanuel Sanders. If it’s not Emmanuel Sanders, then it’s [WR] Courtland Sutton… At the end of the day, we just have to win games. Today was my day to get hot and help spark the team.”
The spark the Chargers needed came in the third quarter courtesy of Desmond King’s 68-yard punt return for a touchdown. It was the second punt return TD of King’s career and in the process, he became the eighth player in franchise history to record multiple punt return touchdowns.
But even after the special teams score, the Chargers couldn’t gain enough momentum offensively, something Coach Lynn says the team needs to address.
“I really thought after that, (we would) get the momentum back and start rolling,” Lynn said. “We just didn’t finish.”
Sunday’s game also marked the season debut of running back Melvin Gordon, who had the most rushing attempts of any Chargers RB in the game.
“Hopefully, the cobwebs are off after this game, and next game I can get rolling,” Gordon said.
Gordon finished the game with 31 yards rushing on 12 attempts.
Additionally, the Chargers didn’t allow a point in the second half, as the defensive line caused problems for Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco. Jerry Tillery recorded the first solo-sack of his career, while Joey Bosa and Uchenna Nwosu also recorded sacks with No. 42 stripping Flacco of the ball in the process that linebacker Jatavis Brown recovered.
“I thought Uchenna played really well,” Lynn said. “(He) was one of the bright spots I saw on the football field yesterday.”
Next week, the Chargers will be back in Carson to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Kickoff is at 5:20 p.m. PT.