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The Under the Radar Chargers Who Earned the Week's Game Balls


The guys doing the dirty work don't get the recognition they deserve, so Anthony Lynn made sure to right that wrong on Monday.

While their play is appreciated inside the locker room, the head coach began his press conference announcing he handed out game balls to those along the offensive and defensive lines.

"The offensive line, defensive line, they both got game balls," he said. "I thought they did a heck of a job."

That may be an understament.

With more rushing yards (246) than passing yards (215), three rushing touchdowns for Melvin Gordon and only one sack of Philip Rivers, Sunday was quite the day for the Bolts offense.

But those record-setting stats wouldn't be possible without the talented, focused players that make up the Chargers offensive line.

"The offensive line did a heck of a job," he said. "Anytime you rush for 250 – and we did some perimeter run game with the receivers and stuff as well – but for the most part, they did a heck of a job. They made it look easy, it really wasn't that easy. There were a lot of plays checked at the line of scrimmage, which changes their responsibility and they adjusted well and they executed well."

"It was about us coming out and executing our offense the way we know we can and the way we do in practice," explained Mike Pouncey. "It reflected on the way we played the game. We had a great week of practice last week and when our offense is clicking like that, it's hard to stop us."

Hard to stop is true.

For the first time since 2008, the Chargers totaled more than 240 rushing yards in one game, carrying the ball 36 times for 246 yards. That added up to a whopping 6.8 yards per carry. And while a lot of the praise for these numbers goes to the guys who make those carries and runs, they're quick to hand the praise back to their blockers.

"(The offensive line) is playing well as a group," Gordon remarked. "They understand the scheme and what's going on. That makes it a lot better for me. The harder we run, the harder they block. We're only getting better."

 All the puzzle pieces seemed to fall together for the team on Sunday, and the o-line was quick to credit Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt for an excellent game plan that allowed them to succeed..

"We have an incredible offensive coordinator and an offensive line coach who sets us up to have success," said Russell Okung. "We were doing an array of things, whether that was double teams up front or some pulling plays. Our offensive coordinator really called it this week. … It's a lot of film study and a lot of attention to detail. This week when the defense lined up a certain way, we knew we could check into certain looks and have success against them if we all did our jobs. We executed well, and today was a testament to that."

The game was being executed to perfection on the other side of the ball, too.

Before Sunday, the Cleveland Browns had the second-ranked offense in rushing yards. The Bolts quieted that run game down, keeping the three running backs to a total of 95 rushing yards, and sacking QB Baker Mayfield five times.

Stopping the run is something Lynn says the team is continuing to focus on, and the defense sure showed off that work during the game.

"You get what you emphasize," he said. "Defensive linemen in general, they want to sack the quarterback. They think they get paid for sacking the quarterback. Every now and then, we have to remind them we have to stop the run, and we remind them a lot."

After reviewing the film and taking time to process the game, Lynn continued to relay how proud he was of the unit's work against the Browns.

"I thought (the defensive line) did an outstanding job," he said. "They held that team under 100 yards rushing. They were one of the best teams in the league in rushing the football. They picked up some junk yards there at the end, but that team for the most part, we kept them in check."

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