Below are three takeaways from the postgame press conferences from the Week 4 victory with Brandon Staley, Justin Herbert, Jared Cook, and Joey Bosa.
Belief Abounds on Fourth Down
A big headline from last week's win against Kansas City was the call to go for it on 4th-and-9 from head coach Brandon Staley. In Monday night's 28-14 win over the Las Vegas Raiders, the Chargers proved that they will continue to go for it on fourth down during critical moments in games.
In his postgame press conference, quarterback Justin Herbert talked about what it meant for his head coach to have that much trust in their offense.
"It's awesome that [Coach Staley] believes in us," Herbert said. "Because everyone in the huddle believes in each other, too. Whenever we get in one of those situations, we know that we've got the right play, we know that we've got the right guys, we just have to go out there and execute it. Jared [Cook] made some big plays on those fourth downs and without him, maybe we don't make those plays, but it was huge to see from him."
Trust from their head coach to 'get the job done' late in the game on third and fourth down was echoed by tight end Jared Cook as well.
"As soon as [Staley] gives us the ok, let's go for it, all our confidence is up," Cook said. "We have nothing but the utmost confidence in each other to be able to go out there and execute the play and get the job done. If our head coach has that confidence in us, our confidence level boosts even more. The fact that he has the trust in us to be able to go out there and do that it boosts our confidence up even more because that's a lot of trust."
Practice Makes Perfect in Red Area
The Chargers have been able to turn around their efficiency in the red zone the last two weeks by scoring eight out of the last ten times the team's been in the red area.
Herbert talked about what has led to the change down in the red zone.
"We know what we're doing, we just need to execute it," Herbert said. "All those drills, all those four minute and two-minute drills that we do during practice during the week, it shows up in game time. That's the toughest part of the week is practice and going through that grind and watching film and doing all that so that when you go out there on [gameday] you play free."
Cook who had himself a day on offense, scoring on one of those red zone trips, talked about how the team has changed the narrative of the Chargers' red zone story.
"I just think it's focus, attention detail," Cook said. "A lot of times, we were shooting ourselves in the foot, when we do get in the red zone sometimes we shoot ourselves in the foot and get moved back. It's just continue to focus on the details and get things right."
A Tale of Two Run Games
Two big keys for the Chargers winning the game were their ability to run the ball on offense and stop the Raiders rushing attack on defense. Austin Ekeler had an impressive night on the ground, rushing for 117 yards and a touchdown, a career high total for the running back which helped contribute to the team's 168 total rushing yards.
Staley talked about just how important the run game was for the Chargers on Monday night.
"What the run game did for us was give us balance," Staley said. "The physicality of the game showed up late in the game. We were able to possess the ball and certainly run it in at the end of the game. I'm pleased and there's a lot of work to do."
On the defensive side of the ball, the Chargers held the Raiders' trio of running backs to just 48 yards rushing. Staley talked about how his defensive group was able to stop Las Vegas.
"Our guys are coming together," he said. "We're finding that sweet spot within the game plan of getting these guys into comfort zones. Our guys were in comfort zones tonight and we executed that way. That was a big step for us tonight. I've talked about the discovery process, and we're unpacking a lot every week."
Joey Bosa, who recorded his 50th career sack on the night, knew the defense had to get pressure and get hats to the ball to stop the run.
"I thought we had a great week preparing," Bosa said. "We knew we were ready for this game, we obviously knew that they had the number one offense and they were gonna come here and try and run the ball but I think we had a great presence on the D-line…just a great team win today."
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