The Los Angeles Chargers improved to 8-7 on the season with a 14-7 win over the New York Jets.
Offense: Antonio Gates – Given the absence of Hunter Henry, one player who needed to step up was Antonio Gates. Step up he did. While it seems weird to use that phrase with the future Hall of Famer's name, Gates finished the game with a season-high six receptions for 81 yards and one touchdown. It was a vintage performance..
Defense: Casey Hayward– The Pro Bowl cornerback continued to make plays on Sunday highlighted by a key one late in the game to helped seal the win for his team. Hayward's coverage on Robby Anderson forced an incomplete pass on fourth down, helping the team clinch their eighth win of the season. He later had a forced fumble and recovery when the Jets were trying some last-gasp laterals with no time left on the clock.
Unsung Hero: Keenan Allen – Allen has been on fire for much of the second half of the season, and his play in Sunday's game once again helped contribute to the win. Allen finished with five receptions for 63 yards. Oh, and he even inked his first career interception, by picking off Jets QB Bryce Petty at the end of the first half.
Stat of the Game:Midway through the first quarter, Philip Rivers found Antonio Gates for a nine-yard gain to move the sticks. In the process, he passed John Elway for the eighth-most career completions in NFL history.
*Play of the Game: *
With the loss of Hunter Henry for the season, Sean McGrath stepped up when his number was called. He did this in a huge way posting two receptions for 26 yards, including a 23 yard acrobatic snare on 1st-and-15 that took the ball to the Jets' two. Two plays later, Melvin Gordon ran it in for the team's second TD of the day.
Turning Point:The Jets got down to the Chargers' 17 with 3:11 to go in the game. Needing to convert seven yards on fourth down, Bryce Petty stepped back, but his deep pass to Robby Anderson fell incomplete with Hayward in tight coverage as the Bolts took over on downs.
*It Was Over When: *The Jets got the ball back with three seconds left in the game. The offense attempted a series of laterals until Casey Hayward forced a fumble on Elijah McGuire, which the cornerback then recovered.
"It will make for a lot more spirited week knowing we're alive." – QB Philip Rivers
"This is a resilient team…this is a group of guys who stays behind each other." – CB Trevor Williams
"This is what (Antonio Gates) does. I'm glad that he was put in position to show that he's still got it. We know that he's still got it, but obviously you have Hunter and young guys you want to get in there. But he's the GOAT. It's the reason that he is and he showed that today." – RB Melvin Gordon
Odds and Ends
The Chargers outgained the Jets in total yardage, 379-295. They held a 290-98 advantage through the air while the Jets had a 197-89 edge on the ground.
Melvin Gordon eclipsed 1,000 yards on the season for his first time in his career. His 1,012 yards mark the 20th time a Chargers rusher has posted a 1,000-yard season. Gordon became the first Bolts back with over 1,000 yards since Ryan Mathews in 2013.
Keenan Allen has the second most catches in a single season in team history, passing Kellen Winslow (88 in 1981 and '83), Winslow (89 in 1980), Winslow (89 in 1980), Antonio Gates (89 in 2005) and Tony Martin (90 in 1995).
Rivers went over 4,000 yards, becoming only the fourth QB to reach that mark in nine seasons.
Hayes Pullard paced the defense with eight total tackles.
Korey Toomer and Isaac Rochell each had a sack on the day while Jahleel Addae and Kyle Emanuel split one. It was Rochell's first career sack.
QB Kellen Clemens was named today's honorary captain.
Inactives for the Chargers included QB Cardale Jones, WR Geremy Davis, LB Denzel Perryman, LT Russell Okung, TE Sean Culkin, DT Corey Liuget and DE Jerry Attaochu.