Here are five top lessons learned from the Chargers' 25-17 win over the Seahawks, presented by Select Physical Therapy.
1. Who's Better Than the Bolts' Wideouts? – That's what Keenan Allen was asking after monster performance by the Chargers' wideouts. KA13 led the way with a vintage performance, catching six passes for 124 yards. Most of them came in pivotal situations, cementing his status as one of the league's clutchest players. Then there was the play of the Williams – Tyrell and Mike. Tyrell caught two passes on the day, with the first being a sensational back shoulder grab in the end zone in which he somehow managed to get a knee down before landing out of bounds on third down. Meanwhile, Mike had just one reception, but he too made it count. The second-year wideout hauled in a pass near the sideline, then pirouetted around the defender while somehow staying in bounds as he raced 30 yards to pay dirt. The Chargers have so many weapons on offense, and there is only one ball to go around, but it truly was a performance indicative of the unit's abilities. Thus, you can understand why Allen made the comment he did after the game:
"If we don't have the best group of receivers in the National Football League, who does?"
2. Credit the Coaches – The Seahawks opened the game with a lengthy 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard Jaron Brown touchdown. Seattle controlled the clock for over eight minutes on the drive, asserting their will over the Chargers with a punishing ground game. It was the type of drive that can set the tone for the rest of the game…but the Bolts refused to let that be the case. After regrouping on the sideline, the defense was a completely different unit the rest of the way. They bottled up the Seahawks' potent ground attack and battered Russell Wilson to the tune of four sacks. The players deserve a ton of credit for holding Seattle's offense in check, but they were quick to credit the coaches for making impressive in-game adjustments that made all the difference. Just ask Jahleel Addae:
"The defensive coaching staff made some adjustments, and we made some adjustments in our mind like we had to put our foot down. It wasn't the defense that we knew who we are. We came out and we stopped the run and we got after them. … This staff is special. Not only is the staff special, the players are special, and we believe in what they're teaching us. We go out there and we have faith in what they're teaching us, and we put it together and it's a smooth puzzle."
3. Welcome Back – Melvin Gordon returned with a vengeance from a one game absence due to a hamstring injury. There may not be a player in the league running harder or angrier than Gordon, who toted the rock 16 times for 113 yards and one touchdown, averaging 7.1 yards per carry. The offensive line did a tremendous job opening up holes for the bruising back, and number 28 did the rest, making defenders look silly with his refusal to go down. That was never more evident than his 34-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Basically, as Head Coach Anthony Lynn explained, Gordon was his usual self out there on the field:
"He ran hard. He ran real hard. That's the way he has been running, so he had a week off because of the hamstring. We had the bye week, so when he came back he had fresh legs and he looked like it today."
4. Way to Close It Out…But Close It Out Sooner – The Bolts truly do defend every inch. It really was déjà vu all over again as the Chargers found themselves defending the goal line in the final seconds of the game, needing a stop to secure the win. Once again, they came through with Jahleel Addae playing the role of Adrian Phillips this time as the safety providing the game-winning pass defensed. While it's worth celebrating the manner in which they defended the end zone, the team knows they shouldn't have been in that position to begin with. The Chargers had a 15-point lead in the final minutes of the game, and forced the Seahawks into four separate fourth downs. Each time, the home team moved the chains, meaning the game came down to the wire when it didn't have to. Thus, while Lynn was proud of the team's moxie, he also explained how they should have closed it out sooner:
"This is a real gritty football team. This team did not quit. We protected every inch. I'm proud of the guys today. We came here and played in a hostile environment and won on the road again. I was proud of the way they played and the way they came out and practiced all week. They were ready for this game. It didn't have to be that hard. There are some things that we have to correct. It was a win."
5. Time for a Change – Fully healthy after a quad injury cost him two games, Caleb Sturgis struggled against Seattle, missing a 42-yard field goal and a pair of extra points. Lynn noted after the game that the team would re-evaluate the situation in the coming hours. On Monday, the Bolts decided it was time for a change. The Chargers then released Sturgis early in the morning and re-signed Michael Badgley, who served as the team's kicker against the Browns and Titans. Badgley made all three field goal attempts and extra point tries, and as Isaac Rochell explained, the players have full confidence in the rookie:
"He's a good kicker. I think it's kind of self-explanatory when you have a kicker like Badge who hasn't missed since he's been in the NFL. I think that kind of speaks for himself. We definitely have confidence in him and at the end of the day, we just want to see it go through the uprights."
Five Tips for Addressing Body Tightness
- Physical therapists can help address mobility issues through manual therapy techniques, including joint mobilization and myofascial release. Physical therapists are trained to know when a joint feels restricted in a certain direction or when your muscles feel tight. Additionally, their in-depth knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics helps them address mobility limitations to optimize movement.
- Use a foam roller to achieve self-myofascial release when you are at home or work. Use a foam roller in a more static way, such as lying on it perpendicularly to achieve thoracic spine mobility, or in a more dynamic way, such as rolling out your iliotibial band (IT band), to improve glute activation or decrease low back pain/tension.
- Lacrosse balls come in handy for self-myofascial release. Use a lacrosse ball to alleviate trigger points in smaller muscles that require a more concentrated pressure, like your levator scapulae, rotator cuff, piriformis or hip flexor.
- Static and dynamic stretching are both key for proper muscle function and movement patterns. Doing so regularly over time can help our tissues adapt and accept different loads during our daily movements.
- Lastly, introducing load to a muscle can help mobilize the tissue. For example, lower weight and higher repetitions promote blood flow and thermodynamic responses allowing for more movement. Strengthening a muscle while it's lengthening under tension (eccentric loading) will not only improve tissue length but also strengthen the collagen that makes up our muscles and tendons.
For more information on reducing body tightness, or to request a complimentary consultation with Select Physical Therapy, please visit selectphysicaltherapy.com today!