Here are five top lessons learned from the Chargers' 29-28 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, presented by Select Physical Therapy.
1. No Quit in These Bolts – Never – and I mean never – count out these Chargers. This is as gritty a team there is in the NFL, proving time and time again they'll give it their all until the clock strikes zero. It was only two weeks ago that they stormed back from a 16-point deficit on Sunday Night Football for a thrilling primetime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. As emotional a victory as that was, they may have topped themselves Thursday night at Arrowhead Stadium. Down 14 points late in the fourth quarter, they authored the most thrilling comeback in the NFL this season, defying the odds by scoring 15 straight points to shock the Chiefs. Head Coach Anthony Lynn praised the team's resolve in his first comments following the game:
"Well I cannot say enough about the resilience of this football team. These guys play for four quarters every single Sunday or whatever they play. It was just good to see them finish the game the way they did. I had a lot of confidence in the players."
2. Mike Dub Leads Way to Big Dub – Mike Williams has been a big play machine for the Chargers all year long, and now the rest of the nation is aware following a monster outing against the Chiefs. Williams totaled three touchdowns on the day, and then put the cherry on top by catching the game-winning pass from Philip Rivers on a late two-point conversion. Simply put, Williams has firmly entrenched himself as one of the NFL's biggest playmakers. His 10 total touchdowns are the fourth-most among NFL wideouts. Even more impressive, he's the first Chargers wide receiver to post double digit TDs since Tony Martin in 1996. Thus, you can understand why Williams was top of mind following the win, with Philip Rivers best summing up how impressive he was on the big stage:
"There's never been any doubt in this locker room about Mike, but I think that the whole world knows now why he was picked No. 7. He's got (10) touchdowns and he pretty much, in his own way, (even though) all the receivers contributed, took over the football game. I mean, he scored on a reverse, he caught the other two touchdowns, he caught the two-point conversion, he caught big third down conversions (and) he was (gaining yards off) run after catch. (We) hadn't seen him do as much of that because he hadn't been in those situations.… Mike Williams (was) on fire."
3. Rookie Rushers Rock It – No Melvin Gordon. No Austin Ekeler. No problem. Minus their top two backs both nursing injuries, the Chargers turned the reins over to a pair of rookies – seventh-round pick Justin Jackson and undrafted free agent Detrez Newsome. With those two leading the way, the Bolts pounded the rock 24 times for 119 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. Justin Jackson shouldered most of the load, carrying it 16 times for 58 yards (3.6 ypc) and one touchdown. He also hauled in three passes for another 27 yards. Meanwhile, Newsome set career-highs across the board with six carries for 34 yards (5.7 ypc) and two receptions for 19 yards. Lynn explained how proud he was of the way those two players rose to the occasion:
"I thought they played well. They came in and they ran hard and ran it out. It was tough sleading earlier in the first half. In the second half, we made a couple of tweaks at halftime. I thought those guys ran well. No problem at all."
4. Clock Controlled – One of the top keys heading into the game was the need to control the clock. It was imperative to keep the league's number one offense on the sideline as much as possible. Mission accomplished. Rivers and company authored lengthy drives time and time again, and the Chargers held a 33:16 to 26:44 advantage in time of possession. As a result, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense had just 60 snaps as the Bolts became the only team this year to hold Kansas City to under 300 yards of total offense. After the game, Rivers noted how impressive an accomplishment that was for L.A.'s defense:
"Our defense is very opportunistic. At the right time, 'Hey this is it. We've got to have a stop right now or this thing is going to get out of hand.' We had a couple of those situations and (our defense) came up big. That offense wasn't on the field as much as they're used to being on the field, but they didn't have 300 yards of offense, so hats off to our defense."
5. Unsatisfied – A thrilling win to get to 11-3 and secure a playoff berth? Awesome. Even better? The Bolts are hungry for more. While ecstatic to make the postseason, the team explained this is only the first step. Their real goal the rest of the regular season is to win the AFC West crown. Doing so at this point would secure the number one overall seed and a first-round bye. The Chargers must win out and have the Chiefs lose at least one game against either the Seattle Seahawks or Oakland Raiders. Thus, while the team was an enthusiastic locker room after the game, as Antonio Gates explained, they still have work to do:
"I think we still can reach our short-term goals, which is to win the division, so that's always exciting. I think for the most part, a lot of guys don't understand how difficult it is to win a division in this league. I remember us having a stretch of us winning and then we had a stretch of not winning, so to be in a position with two games, three games left and we're obviously sitting at 11 wins, says a lot about our hard work and preparation as a team."
Five Tips on Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training – Who, What, When and Why?
- Over the past several years, BFR training has been growing in popularity for the treatment of people looking to optimize their recovery from injury and surgery.
- BFR training, also known as occlusion therapy, uses a pressure cuff to affect blood flow to/away from the extremity. The goal is to occlude venous return from the extremity while still allowing for continued arterial flow to the muscles during exercise. This results in the pooling of blood in the involved extremity and creates an environment in which the muscles feel as though they are being stressed at a higher level.
- Although the exact mechanism by which BFR training works is not fully understood, one of the theories it that the cuff causes the recruitment of larger fast twitch motor units as a result of the hypoxic state created by the cuff occlusion.
- Numerous studies have shown muscle hypertrophy and strength gains using BFR at resistance loads that are only 20 to 30 percent of one repetition max (1RM). Researchers have also shown that tissue damage that normally occurs with high-load resistance training is minimal when using BFR with a low-load program to gain strength.
- Patients who have atrophy as a result of injury or surgery are typically excellent candidates for BFR training. Individuals who have generalized weakness and cannot tolerate heavy loads needed for gaining muscle mass may also be good candidates as they work toward returning to full activity.
For more information on BFR training, or to request a complimentary consultation with Select Physical Therapy, please visit selectphysicaltherapy.com today!