The Los Angeles Chargers return from the bye next week looking to make a push for the postseason. At the same time, several historic milestones are within reach.
Joey Bosa/Melvin Ingram – With 8.5 sacks each, Bosa and Ingram have already combined for 17 during the first half of the season. That puts them on pace for 34, which would rank as the second-most ever by a pair of teammates. There is a distinct possibility that Bosa and Ingram can end this season as the top pass-rushing duo in NFL history. Here’s a closer look at the top five since sacks became an official stat in 1982:
Most Combined Sacks by a Pair of Teammates:
39.0 (Minnesota, 1989): Chris Doleman – 21.0, Keith Millard – 18.0
33.0 (Philadelphia, 1992): Clyde Simmons – 19.0, Reggie White – 14.0
32.5 (NY Giants, 1986): Lawrence Taylor – 20.5, Leonard Marshall – 12.0
32.5 (Minnesota, 1989): Chris Doleman – 21.0, Al Noga – 11.5
31.0 (Miami, 2000): Trace Armstrong – 16.5, Jason Taylor – 14.0
Furthermore, Bosa and Ingram have a chance to lead the league in sacks as their 8.5 are two shy of the current leader (Demarcus Lawrence). Should one of them lead the NFL, he would become just the second Charger to do so, joining Shawne Merriman (17 in 2006). Meanwhile, both players could become the team’s single-season sack king as Gary Johnson currently has the mark with 17.5 in 1980 (unofficial).
*Melvin Gordon – *The third-year running back has been an end zone magnet, currently tied with Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley for the most touchdowns in the NFL (eight). Gordon’s been equally effective on the ground and through the air, scoring four TDs each way. Should he lead the league in touchdowns, he’d become only the third player in Chargers history to do so. Gordon would join prestigious company in Hall of Famer Lance Alworth, who did it three times (1964-66), and LaDainian Tomlinson, who set an NFL record with 31 in 2006.
*Keenan Allen – *KA13 has totaled 40 catches on the season, which puts him on pace for 80 on the year. Should he continue on that pace, he’d finish 20 shy of the franchise mark set by LaDainian Tomlinson in 2003. He’d also be 10 short of the most by a Chargers wide receiver, as Tony Martin caught 90 in 1995. However, Allen is more than capable of reaching both marks. In fact, he caught 67 over an eight-game span to begin 2015. A similar showing would move him past LT to become the team’s single-season reception king.
*Philip Rivers – *Number 17 seemingly climbs the record books each week, and sure enough, there are a number of milestones within reach over the final eight games of the season. Rivers is likely to pass Warren Moon in career completions when the Bolts take the field in Jacksonville, as he’s only four away from tying the Hall of Famer. The quarterback is also 139 completions shy of tying John Elway for seventh on the all-time list, which he’s on pace to do after completing 173 over the first half of the year. Meanwhile, Rivers is on track to pass Moon and move into eighth in NFL passing yards, needing to throw for 1,464 yards in the final eight games to tie him. In addition, Rivers continues to march up the career passing touchdowns list. He is currently three shy of Eli Manning for seventh, and the two figure to jockey up and down that list throughout their careers. At the same time, Rivers is only 15 away from tying Fran Tarkenton (342), who is currently ranked sixth in NFL history.
*Antonio Gates – *The legendary tight end also continues to climb the record books. He’ll look to extend his all-time TD record for the position after setting it this year with his 112th catch in the end zone. Meanwhile, the Rivers-to-Gates combo is currently tied with Steve Young-to-Jerry Rice for the second most prolific duo in history with 85 touchdowns. One more will give the pair second place all on their own, trailing only Peyton Manning-to-Marvin Harrison (112). Finally, Gates needs 12 more catches to tie Torry Holt for the 20th-most receptions in NFL history (920).