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Quick Observations from the 45-10 Win Over the Cardinals

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The Los Angeles Chargers improved to 8-3 on the season with a 45-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals. 

Game Balls

Offense: Philip Rivers – Rivers is having a season for the ages in year 15, and his performance against Arizona once again reinforced that notion. He completed 25 straight passes tying the league record for most consecutive completions. He got to sit for much of the final quarter, but finished the game 28-of-29 for 259 yards and three touchdowns.

Defense: Joey Bosa – Sunday’s game was Bosa’s second of the season and he made his presence felt. His two sacks in the win gave him the fourth-most multi-sack games (seven) in the NFL since entering the league in 2016. Additionally, he finished with five total tackles, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits.

Unsung Hero: Austin Ekeler – Ekeler made an impact on Sunday both on the ground and through the air for the Bolts. With a two-yard scoring run to close the third quarter, he became the first undrafted Charger in team history to post a rushing and receiving score in each of his first two seasons. On the ground, he had five carries for 35 yards and the score. Though the air, he had team highs in targets (11) and receptions (10) for 68 yards.

Stat of the Game:

Philip Rivers completed 25 straight passes tying the NFL record for the most consecutive completions.

Play of the Game:

Down 10-0 early in the second quarter, the Bolts faced a 3rd-and-goal from the nine. Philip Rivers stood tall in the pocket, lobbing a pass into the back corner of the end zone where Mike Williams jumped high to pluck it out of the air. The wideout took a hard hit and crashed down to the turf, yet he hung onto the rock, cutting the Cardinals lead to three.

Turning Point:

After the Chargers scored to get to 14-10, Josh Rosen and the Cardinals offense came back out on the field. On the first play, Rosen stepped back and threw a pass intended for Christian Kirk; however, Derwin James was in perfect position to pick the ball off. Three plays later on 1st-and-20 after an offensive holding penalty, Rivers tossed a deep ball to Sean Culkin, who made a leaping grab good for 24 yards. On the next play, Melvin Gordon took a handoff and rushed up the middle for his second touchdown of the game. At the time, the Bolts scored 21 unanswered and kept their foot on the gas the rest of the way.

It Was Over When:

By the time Rivers hit Williams for number 81’s second score of the game, the team was up 28-10 at the end of the second quarter. The Chargers were in complete control for the last three quarters of the game; continuing to score on offense while pressuring defensively. They scored twice in the third quarter and kicked a field goal in the fourth to bring the final score to 45-10. The 45 unanswered points were the most by the team since recording 45-straight in 1969 over the Buffalo Bills.

Bolt Quotebook

“It says a lot that we started 10-0 and came back and just kind of took control and dominated the rest of the game. I think we were getting a little comfortable with ourselves last week. These wins don’t come easy, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing against. I think it’s about staying humble, knowing where we were a few years ago and keeping that same hunger. And as Phil said, stay a little salty.” – DE Joey Bosa

“(Rivers) had total confidence. He told us before the game he was going to ball out, and that’s what he did. He wanted to come back after last week and (have a) bounce back week and I think we did a great job of that.” – WR Keenan Allen

“It’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish and I feel like we did a great job on the rest of the third downs on the game, getting the offense the ball and getting sacks. This is my second game with Joey (Bosa), but it’s feeling real. There were plays to be made and we’re always making plays. One of us is going to make a play. We’ve got a great team.” – S Derwin James

Odds and Ends

The Chargers outgained the Cardinals 414 to 149 in total yardage. They had a 178 to 62 advantage on the ground, while holding a 236 to 87 edge through the air.

Melvin Gordon eclipsed 1,200 scrimmage yards on the season, extending his streak to three seasons with 1,200 yards from scrimmage and at least 10 total touchdowns, making it the longest active streak in the NFL.

Derwin James and Jatavis Brown each paced the defense with seven total tackles. James’ interception made him the first defensive rookie since 2012 to register multiple interceptions and at least 3.5 sacks.

Joey Bosa now has the fourth-most multi-sack games (seven) in the NFL since entering the league in 2016.

By nailing all six extra points, Michael Badgley set a team mark for the most points scored by a kicker (39) through the first five games of his career without a missed field goal. After his field goal in the fourth quarter, he passed George Blair for the most points by a Chargers kicker through five career games (42).

Isaac Rochell served as today’s honorary captain.

Inactives for the Chargers included Trevor Williams, Jeff Richards, Chris Landrum, Cole Toner, Trent Scott, Forrest Lamp and Brandon Mebane.

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