Here are five top lessons learned from the Chargers' 38-14 win over the Cleveland Browns, presented by Select Physical Therapy.
1. One Beast of an Offensive Line – It's been a full decade since the Bolts had the type of day they had on the ground vs. the Browns. L.A. totaled over 240 yards rushing in a single game for the first time since 2008, and it was their first time passing the 200-yard mark since 2016. Overall, the Chargers toted the rock 36 times for 246 yards, good enough for a gaudy 6.8 yards per carry average. The number was far higher late in the third quarter as they averaged 9.1 yards per carry, but running the ball in obvious situations in the fourth quarter brought it down nearly three whole yards. While it was a remarkable performance on the ground, and the likes of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler will get the lion's share of props, they were quick to point out the true heroes were the men in the trenches. The offensive line asserted their will time and time again, and both backs couldn't have been more effusive in their praise:
"Shout out to the o-line and the receivers because when I was in the game, I wasn't touched I was 10 yards down the field! The o-line was incredible. They were on their game today, so props to them for being out there and showing out." – Austin Ekeler
"Hats off to everyone…. (The offensive line) is playing well as a group. 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." – Melvin Gordon
2. The All-Inspiring Melvin Gordon – While Gordon was quick to praise the blocking, the 10 other men doing the dirty work credited the bruising back for inspiring them with his play. It truly was an afternoon to remember for the Bolts' bell-cow. He posted three rushing touchdowns in a single game while toting the rock 18 times for 132 yards. That was good enough for a mind-blowing 7.3 yards per carry average. Head Coach Anthony Lynn has repeatedly stressed to reporters that Gordon inspires the team with the way he pounds the rock, and that was absolutely the case again on Sunday. Just ask Sean Culkin, who best summed up the entire offense's sentiments when it comes to blocking for number 28:
"It's awesome. Runs that should be three or four yards turn into seven or eight-yard gains. Being involved in the run game, we're just trying to hold those (blocks) as long as we can because knowing that if we do, we can assist an explosive playmaker…He's so dynamic. Between the power and speed, we know what he can do if we just stay with our blocks. It's fun to watch. Rarely do you see one guy tackle make the tackle."
3. Answering the Call – The defense was challenged heading into Sunday to tame a three-headed rushing attack that ranked among the best in the league. Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson and Nick Chubb spearheaded the NFL's second-ranked running game as the Browns averaged 144.6 yards per game. The Bolts held the trio to a meager 95 yards on the ground. There was a lot to like about the way the defense played, such as the team's five sacks on Baker Mayfield, two interceptions and the way they held the Browns to just 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) on third down and 1-of-3 (33.3 percent) on fourth down. However, Lynn made sure to give a special shout out to the way the team defended the run:
"At the end of the day, they didn't have 100 rushing, and against those three backs in that offensive line, that's outstanding by a rush defense. They did a heck of a job."
4. Badgley Delivers – Michael Badgley made his NFL debut, taking over for Caleb Sturgis who missed the game with a quad injury. The rookie delivered, making all five of his extra point attempts before making it a perfect six-for-six on the day by drilling a 44-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Lynn has made it well known that the team's kicking game must improve after several missed extra points and field goals early on this season. Thus, on a day when there was a lot to celebrate, he strode to the podium and offered his very first remarks:
"Well, we made all of our damn kicks – all the extra points, all the field goals, so that's improvement."
Of course, the natural follow up is to ask what the team's plan is going forward at the position. To that end, Lynn provided the following answer:
"We'll see. We'll see how Caleb feels next week. I think right now, we feel comfortable with Mike. He did a good job, so maybe we'll let Caleb heal another week and go with Mike. We'll see. Right now, we just go with the guy that's healthy. When they're both healthy, we'll figure it out."
5. Hats Off to Tyrell – Tyrell Williams has worked on it over and over again, day in and day out, nonstop for months on end. He simply had to get better at high pointing the ball and making the contested catch. Boy, did he ever do that vs. the Browns. The fourth-year wideout had all three of his catches come in a pivotal seven minute span in the second quarter. They resulted in 118 yards of offense and two touchdowns. All of his catches came in contested situations, especially the pair in the end zone. Most notable was his first score in which he fought off three defenders to somehow come down with the circus catch. He showed off his strong hands by wrestling the ball away from Damarious Randall, resulting in a simultaneous catch for the touchdown. Everyone in the locker room lauded Williams for his big-time catches, including Lynn, who was especially proud of the way the wideout delivered:
"I see him working at it every day outside my office out on the field – high-pointing balls, high-pointing balls. Today he went up and got a very important one, so there's improvement with him. That (first touchdown) is the one I'm talking about. That's something that one year ago, you wouldn't have seen from him. That's just this guy developing into a complete receiver, and he works at it. His work ethic is just as good as anybody's on this team. I'm not surprised to see him do it, but I'm glad he made the play."
Five Tips to Get Your Body through an Airplane Ride Safely
- Stay active on a plane. Walk up and down the aisle to move and stretch out your legs. This will help with blood circulation and preventing blood clots.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Wear loose fitting clothes and layers so that you can easily adjust to the varying temperatures on a flight. Also consider wearing compression socks to help with circulation and to minimize swelling in your feet.
- Drink water. It's important to stay hydrated on a flight and stay away from alcohol because it can dehydrate you.
- Bring a neck pillow. Having a comfortable neck pillow will make it easier to take a nap and it will prevent a stiff neck or having neck pain when you wake up.
- Bring sanitary wipes. Use wipes to clean the tray table and keep your hands clean. This will help minimize the risk of infection on a flight.
For more healthy tips, or to request a complimentary consultation with Select Physical Therapy to ease your pain, please visit selectphysicaltherapy.com today!