Here are five top lessons learned from the Chargers' 26-10 win over the Oakland Raiders, presented by Select Physical Therapy.
1. A Masterful Defensive Performance – It was obvious to anyone what a strong day it was for the Bolts' defense, but it might have been lost just how impressive it really was. Oakland's offense had been one of the top in the entire NFL in every major category, and the Chargers didn't just keep them in check, but held them _way_ under their season averages. Thus, you can understand why Head Coach Anthony Lynn was gushing over their performance after the game:
"I like that we got off the field on third downs. That's what I liked. That was a powerful offense. That team has been scoring a lot of yards this year — scoring a lot of points, and we got them off the field for the first half. They were zero percent on third downs in the first half."
2. Clean Game = Convincing Win – See what happens when you don't make self-inflicted mistakes? The Chargers entered the second quarter of the season with a 2-2 record, but they made things hard on themselves throughout their first four games with some self-inflicted mistakes. Against the Raiders, they played as clean a game as they have all year. There were no turnovers. No costly penalties to extend drives. No third-down miscues on offense or defense. It was an all-around complete team win, and one that earned effusive praise from Head Coach Anthony Lynn:
"That's a good team win. I thought all three phases were solid. When we don't give teams anything and we make teams go through it, I think we're a tough team to beat. That's what we expected…. This is one of (the cleanest games of the year). We could clean it up even a little bit more, but I like that fact that we didn't turn the football over and we got some turnovers."
3. This is Why They Call Him SupaMel – Did you notice Melvin Ingram on Sunday? Of course you did! The seventh-year edge rusher was all over the field, not only making his mark felt with sacks and pressures, but also with a game-changing interception in the end zone late in the third quarter. Ingram tied for the team lead with seven tackles while also recording two tackles for loss. Oh, and he also happened to take a snap on offense at the goal line. He was unable to punch it in, but it showed just how versatile and valuable the Pro Bowler is, as evidenced by what Adrian Phillips said about him after the game:
"Oh man, he's an athlete. That's what he does. He can play literally any position on the field. You see him in the middle of the field, you see him covering backs - he can do whatever. He adds so much versatility to our defense, and he's in that position because he can make those plays. If they want to run it up the back (or) the middle, he's going to smack them and make them feel (some pain). If they want to throw it, he's going to pick it off like he did today. Or he'll get the sack. He's just a baller."
4. One Little Spark – Sometimes all it takes is one little spark to ignite an offense, completely changing the course of the game. For the Bolts, it was a play that took place with 4:04 left in the first half. With the game tied at 3-3, Philip Rivers bobbled the snap from under shotgun, did a complete 360 and narrowly avoided disaster by quickly flinging it to Austin Ekeler in the flat. His goal was simply not to take a sack, or even worse, turn it over. He more than succeeded because once the ball got in Ekeler's hands, the running back wouldn't be denied as he defied the odds with an incredible 44-yard touchdown run. Number 30 weaved in and out of would-be tacklers, making them look silly as he took it to the house. The play galvanized the entire team for several reasons as Rivers credited it as a true game-changer:
"(That play changed the momentum) because we weren't really playing that great on offense. We were playing okay. First (drive), it was better. We didn't go three and out, finished with points, but we weren't playing great (after that). We had some third downs where we weren't great, and then (Ekeler's touchdown) kind of sparked the whole deal. At least it felt that way. Then we got another stop, then we got another big screen to Melvin and punched that one in. Then we felt in control the rest of the way."
5. Time to Stack – A division win is huge. Getting to a winning 3-2 record is huge. Stringing together consecutive wins is huge. However, all the momentum the Chargers have gained the past two weeks can be gone in a flash. The Bolts will rightly take 24 hours to celebrate the win, but then it's time to focus on a tough Cleveland team with a 2-2-1 record that very easily could be 5-0. This is not the typical Browns team from recent seasons as they boast a capable offense combined with one of the stingiest defenses in the league. Thus, L.A. knows they have their work cut out for them as they prepare to go on the road. So, while it was an impressive win vs. the Raiders, their sentiments moving forward was best summed up by Rivers:
"We're kind of in that spot now, where what are you going to do — can we string something together here through the bye and not to look ahead? It's all one at a time, can we string a couple together and get to 5-2 at the bye? I think if you had told us 5-2 — if you had told me, I don't know if I'd feel that way because you always want to win them all, but if you told me 5-2, I'd take it, before the season started. We're not there. We're 3-2 and we have a tough Cleveland team this week who only gave up 12 points I guess in 70 minutes of football. That's going to be a tough challenge at their place, and Tennessee, who I think gave up 12 or 13 today against Buffalo. So, we have two tough guys defensively, just to speak of their defenses, and both [away from home]. So, I'm not trying to get ahead of myself, but I think it's good to look at the big picture and see what we're trying to get done and find a way to make it happen."
Five Tips for Being Non-Weight-Bearing
Non-weight-bearing (NWB) is a restriction prescribed by physicians after a serious injury to an affected limb. This is done to help promote the healing process for injuries such as fractures, severe sprains or post-surgical restrictions. Crutches and knee scooters are common NWB devices.
- Mobilegs and In-Motion Pro Crutches – These devices provide ergonomic designs that emphasize comfort and stability when compared to standard crutches.
- Crutch Fitting – The top of the crutch should be 1.5 inches below your armpit and the hand grips should be positioned so that the elbow is flexed at about 30 degrees. You should not lean on the top part of the crutches as it may cause irritation and potential nerve damage.
- Crutch Usage – On stairs, place both crutches under one arm and hold the railing with the other arm. Carefully move up or down, one step at a time.
- The KneeRover – This scooter allows you to move freely on any terrain while accomplishing everyday activities. When fitting, make sure your effected knee is at 90 degrees while your body is upright. The handlebars should be at waist level while the hips stay even.
- NWB athletes should be referred to a physical therapist and/or athletic trainer for rehabilitation. Various exercises and techniques will be used to facilitate and expedite recovery. Once restrictions are lifted, progressive weight-bearing exercises can begin with the end goal of getting you back on the court or field.
For more information on NWB health tips, or to request a complimentary consultation with Select Physical Therapy, please visit **selectphysicaltherapy.com** today!