The Los Angeles Chargers are moving on to the AFC Divisional Round after beating the Baltimore Ravens, 23-17.
Offense: Mike Williams – Williams may have only had two receptions in Sunday’s win, but both went for first downs. His longest, a 28-yard reception, came on second down and took the ball to the Ravens’ 15. Five plays later, Melvin Gordon rushed in for the Chargers’ only TD of the day. But then, the offense opted to go for two, and akin to what we saw in Kansas City, Philip Rivers found a wide-open Mike Williams in the corner of the end zone for a successful conversion.
Defense: Adrian Phillips – Phillips capped off an exciting week in which he was named a first-team All-Pro for his play on special teams with a dominant defensive performance. AP had a key fumble recovery and interception – both which led to points for the team. In the process, he became the first Charger in postseason history with an interception and a fumble recovery in the same game. It was the first time that any player did so in the postseason since Atlanta CB Robert Alford in Super Bowl LI against New England.
Special Teams: Michael Badgley – Usually we’ll call this Unsung Hero, but you couldn’t deny the performance Badgley had on Sunday. After all, the Money Badger not only recorded the second-longest field goal in team postseason annals, but he finished the game with five made field goals and 15 points, setting a team record for the most single-game makes and points scored in Chargers postseason history.
Stat of the Game:
Michael Badgley’s 15 points brought him past Nate Kaeding (five points in 2004 AFC Wild Card vs. New York Jets) for the most points by a Chargers rookie kicker in a single postseason game.
Play of the Game & It Was Over When:
Baltimore got the ball back with just under a minute to play needing a touchdown to win the game. Facing a 2nd-and-10 with 28-seconds left, Lamar Jackson stepped back, and Uchenna Nwosu came in with his hand for the strip-sack on the QB. As the batted ball rolled backwards, Melvin Ingram pounced on it to give possession to the offense and allow the team to walk out of M&T Bank Stadium with a win.
Towards the end of the third quarter, Melvin Gordon rushed up the middle and appeared to get into the end zone as the play was ruled a touchdown. However, as all scoring plays are reviewed, this one was looked at and reversed. On the next play, Gordon was in for the TD and coupled with a successful two-point conversion attempt, the Bolts increased their lead, 20-3. Although they ended up eventually getting another field goal, the touchdown was huge as it was their sole one of the entire afternoon and contributed to their win.
“This is a tough place to play. I feel like the first time we played them, we played their game. Today, I think we played our game. Our defense was outstanding. We held that team under 100 yards rushing. I don’t think anyone’s played that team the way our defense played them today. I was really impressed with the way our defense stepped up, especially playing the little guys inside and not playing with our linebackers.” – Head Coach Anthony Lynn
“You live for those moments. It wasn’t nervousness at all. It was just like, ‘It’s on us.’ We’ve been in this situation before and why not end it” – S Adrian Phillips
“We knew that it was a great defense. We knew that they were going to throw a lot of different things at us. They were just trying to get off the field, so I mean, I feel like that play was a big momentum drive for us. We needed a play like that.” – WR Mike Williams
Odds and Ends
The Chargers outgained the Ravens in total yardage, 243-229. Baltimore held a one-yard advantage on the ground (90-89), while the Bolts held a 154-139 edge through the air.
Antonio Gates posted 35 yards on four catches, bringing him to 490 career postseason receiving yards to pass Russ Francis (474) and Jason Witten (486) for the 10th-most by a tight end in NFL postseason history. Gates also reached 46 career postseason catches, passing Witten for No. 8 among tight ends in postseason annals.
Melvin Ingram paced the defense with seven solo tackles. Jahleel Addae had seven total tackles as well. Additionally, Ingram had two sacks, two QB hits, two tackles for loss, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. The sacks were Ingram’s first of his postseason career and gave him the most sacks by a Chargers defender in a postseason game since Raylee Johnson had two sacks in Super Bowl XXIX against San Francisco.
With Uchenna Nwosu’s sack at the end of the game, the team had seven on the day, tying the most sacks by a Chargers defense in a postseason game in franchise history. Additional contributions came from: Ingram (2.0), Justin Jones (1.0), Desmond King (1.0), Joey Bosa (1.0) and Isaac Rochell (1.0).
Mike Pouncey and Rayshawn Jenkins served as today’s honorary captains.
Inactives for the Chargers included Troymaine Pope, Forrest Lamp, Jatavis Brown, Cole Toner, Dylan Cantrell, Anthony Lanier and Brandon Mebane.
Browse through the top game action photos as the Bolts take on the Baltimore Ravens during Wild Card weekend.