The Los Angeles Chargers got their first win of the preseason on Saturday night with a 21-19 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
Offense: Philip Rivers – Despite only playing for two series, number 17 had a day. Rivers went 6-for-6 for 85 yards and a perfect passer rating. He set the tone early on with a 45-yard pass to Travis Benjamin on third down.
Defense: Melvin Ingram – The one-two punch of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa came to play on Saturday at the Coliseum. Jared Goff drove the Rams down deep in Chargers territory. In the red zone on third down, Goff stepped back to throw, but Bosa came around his right for a strip-sack QB. Ingram turned on the jets, picked the ball up and ran it back 76 yards for the touchdown. Ingram's score put the Chargers up 14-0.
Unsung Hero: Austin Ekeler – The rookie running back deserves praise for an impressive game as he carried the rock seven times for 37 yards, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He got just enough on 3rd-and-9 late in the game to give the Bolts a first down and a victory.
Stat of the Game:
As noted above, Philip Rivers was on fire during his two drives, completing all six passes for 85 yards, one TD and a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
Play of the Game:
On 3rd-and-7 from the Bolts' eight-yard line, Joey Bosa came like a bat out of hell around the corner with a hit on Jared Goff. The ball popped loose, and Melvin Ingram scooped it up before racing 76 yards to pay dirt.
Facing a 2nd-and-goal off a Rams turnover, Rivers handed off to Melvin Gordon, who plowed his way over the right side for the touchdown. His TD made it 21-0, giving the Chargers a large enough lead the Rams couldn't overcome.
It Was Over When:
With 1:40 left in the game and the Chargers offense at their own 44, the unit just needed to move the ball nine yards to walk out of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with a win. They did just that as rookie running back Austin Ekeler carried the ball just past the sticks. The clock continued to run , and two plays later, the Bolts walked out victorious.
"A much better start than last week. The first unit got off to a good start on offense and defense. I thought the first half (we) played efficient football. *Took care of the ball and execution was good. (We) still have a ways to go with the reserves. We need to move the ball a little better (and) catch the ball. The penalties almost killed us." – Head Coach Anthony Lynn*
"I never like to overreact either way, good or bad. Obviously, we've had some good drives but we have a long way to go. A lot of room to improve. But it's been a positive training camp and preseason so far." – QB Philip Rivers
"It felt good. (It was) a chance to get my feet wet and move around and make some plays. Coach always talks about (turnovers) coming in bunches. Melvin got a turnover earlier in the game and I got another one. It was good to be out there." –* CB Jason Verrett*
"We'll watch this film and evaluate it; pull out the good and the bad. We'll watch film on Denver (and) stay in shape; mentally and physically and we'll be ready." – *S Jahleel Addae *
Odds and Ends
Keenan Allen caught all five passes thrown his way for 45 yards.
Jason Verrett had an interception in his first game action in nearly a calendar year.
Austin Ekeler led the Bolts with 37 rushing yards on seven carries. Meanwhile, Melvin Gordon averaged 4.5 ypc as he gained 36 yards on eight carries.
Trevor Williams, Jahleel Addae and Jatavis Brown all tied for the team lead with five tackles.
Melvin Ingram, Matt Slauson, Jatavis Brown and Kellen Clemens served as tonight's captains.