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Defense Delivers in the Clutch

It was exactly one week ago that the Chargers defense took the field, needing one stop to put the ball back into the hands of Philip Rivers.

Instead, the Philadelphia Eagles milked the remaining six-plus minutes off the clock by churning out first downs.

This time, the Bolts wouldn't be denied.

Facing a similar situation Sunday down two with 2:58 to play, the Chargers not only stopped the Giants in the tracks, but made a play to put the offense in position to get the road victory.   On 3rd-and-7 from the New York 23, Melvin Ingram chased Eli Manning down, forced the strip sack and then somehow came up with the ball as it bounced around.

Rivers and company took over at the 11-yard line, and three plays later, Melvin Gordon caught the game-winning 10-yard touchdown.

"It's phenomenal when the defense can help set things up for the offense," said Melvin Gordon. "We know how explosive we could be. We just need the opportunities and they definitely gave us those opportunities today. I'm proud of how the defense played. When we needed them to step up and make a play, they did that. So hat's off to those guys. We definitely couldn't have done it without those guys today."

However, the defense wasn't done with their fourth-quarter heroics.  In addition to the big stop while trailing, the unit sealed the win when Tre Boston picked off Manning on 4th-and-10 with 0:49 seconds remaining.

"It's a team effort, and a lot of things went on for all of us, but to close it out is what we pride ourselves on," said Boston.  "Being a great defense and closing out games.  Trying to keep it close for our offense to be in it, and our offense did a great job scoring when we needed them.  Not only did they do that, but when they took care of us, we made sure we took care of them.  So to come out with this win is a testament to this whole team finally being able to hop on the same page and fire on all cylinders.  We've talked about finishing, and we got this rugged win.  We'll take it every day of the week."

While the big stops in the final minutes will get most of the attention, the truth is the Bolts came through in the clutch repeatedly throughout the afternoon.  It began in the third quarter, when Joey Bosa had a pair of sacks to force the Giants to punt.  It was part of a pattern on third down as the defense held New York to just 5-of-15 efficiency (33-percent).

"Credit to our D for hanging in all game and then making a big play there late," said Philip Rivers.

Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram led the charge, with each player getting to the quarterback twice.  Ingram now has a league-leading 7.5 QB sacks, while Bosa isn't far behind with 4.5. Expectations were high for each player leading into this season, and they've met them by becoming the most fearsome pass rush duo in the NFL.

"I thought they played outstanding," Head Coach Anthony Lynn said. "I think they're in great conditioning shape, and that's just a credit to their work ethic. That team went up-tempo all day, and it's hard to get pressure on the quarterback when the team is at the line of scrimmage. Those guys found a way to get it done."

"Can't really say enough (about Ingram)," added Bosa. "It's just great playing with him. To be able to run some plays with him and have him come up with the sack is just almost as good of a feeling as getting one yourself. To come out both with two this game was huge for us."

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