Here are five top lessons learned from the Chargers' 20-19 win over the Tennessee Titans, presented by Select Physical Therapy.
1. Defend Every Inch – If a team expects to hit pay dirt against the Bolts, they know by now it won't be easy. They better bring their A game. The final two minutes on Sunday proved that once again as the Titans had six total snaps inside the three-yard line. They needed to get in once for the touchdown and another time for the two-point conversion. The Chargers kept them out of the end zone five out of six snaps (83.3 percent). After the game, Head Coach Anthony Lynn explained how impressive the Bolts' mentality is when it matters most:
"Our defense, they bend but they never break. Even when they got in on the touchdown, I didn't think they would convert. Once again, you got an interception down there in the red zone, tight read. They protect every inch."
2. Timely Takeaways – The Chargers escaped with the victory by the skin of their teeth – one single point. Thus, Denzel Perryman's interception at the end of the first half with the Titans driving proved pivotal. With 39 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Marcus Mariota took the snap at the Chargers' 10-yard line and fired quickly to his left. Melvin Ingram read the play perfectly, getting his hand on the ball to pop it into the air. It fell into the waiting arms of Perryman at the four-yard line as the latest in a number of clutch interceptions this year in the red zone. The Bolts already have three picks in the end zone and two others inside the four-yard line this season. Just how impressive was the pick? Well, it's the first red zone interception thrown in Mariota's career. Perryman was unaware of that fact, but summed up how it's indicative of the defense's play to date:
"It felt good to me. It was a big play, I forgot what time was on the clock. I was just worried about getting a stop and King Mel (Melvin Ingram) did a great job tipping the ball. I remember being in coverage, I was looking to my right, I just heard the sound of the ball being hit and I turned my head and it was basically just coming down, so got my mindset to go secure the ball."
3. Big Play Bolts – A hallmark of the Chargers' offense has been controlling the clock with lengthy possessions. Sunday proved to be the exact opposite. The Bolts got on the board early with a 75-yard touchdown strike to Tyrell Williams on their first snap of the game. They also cashed in on their opening drive of the second half when Philip Rivers found Mike Williams for a 55-yard touchdown. In the process, Rivers became only the third quarterback this year with at least two touchdown passes over 50 yards (Patrick Mahomes and Ryan Fitzpatrick). However, as a result, the offense had their fewest snaps in quite some time, running only 44 plays. A part of that was the Titans' mission as they executed a safe, conservative game plan on offense to help keep the ball out of Rivers' hands. Number 17 discussed the team's offensive performance after the game while at the podium:
"We were efficient in a lot of ways, but we just didn't have a ton of snaps. A couple third downs I would have liked, obviously, for us to convert there to keep the drives going, but you look up in the first half, we had 16 snaps or 15 snaps. How many did we end up with, (44)? That's a small number of plays. Smaller than we're used to. But having the big plays were huge, starting the game off the way we did, and we were efficient. It wasn't our best day all the way around (but) was good enough."
4. Tyrell's Encore – One week following a dynamic outing against the Browns, Tyrell Williams had quite the encore with a near identical performance. Williams caught three passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Browns, and on Sunday, carved up the Titans for exactly 118 yards again on four receptions and one TD. Add it all up and the fourth-year wideout has caught seven passes his past two games for 136 yards and three touchdowns. Williams is known as one of the more humble players in the game, and true to form, despite his big performance he stressed what this game meant to the team as a whole:
"It's huge. The position that we were in, we were 2 and 2 in the first quarter, and now we're on a four- game win streak. We're just rolling, especially getting the bonding, being around each other for this long (road trip), I think it's big for us…"
5. London Love – The Chargers made quite the impression in front of 84,000 fans at Wembley with their explosive touchdowns and dramatic defensive stand. As is the case for every game in London, all 32 teams were represented in the stands. However, the wide array of Chargers' uniforms was truly impressive. The usual suspects could be seen in Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Keenan Allen and so on. However, a number of Chargers legends were also represented including relatively recent stars like LaDainian Tomlinson, Junior Seau and Stan Humphries as well as older icons like Lance Alworth, Dan Fouts and Charlie Joiner. This trip across the pond marked the second of Rivers' career, and he spent a good amount of time following the victory discussing the experience:
"I really enjoyed the short three days we were here. The people here in England, people in London have been great. Enjoyed some of the conversation with some of the fans, the different events and the atmosphere today was unbelievable. I mean, it really was. I remember it being good 10 years ago, but I didn't remember it being this good. It was awesome, and obviously football fans in general, but it seemed like a pro-Charger crowd, and it was awesome. I mean, the stadium itself, how big, and then like you said, over 80,000 strong, and they got to see a heck of a game. They got to see a great game. Hopefully they enjoyed it as much as we did. We appreciated all the hospitality for sure and enjoyed coming back here a decade later for me. I enjoyed it."
Five Tips on Foot Support - Selecting the Right Shoe Insert
Foot, ankle, knee and even back pain may be attributed to the way our foot is hitting the ground. Unsure if additional shoe support is what you need?
- Get fitted professionally, though this does not mean spending big bucks on custom orthotics. Orthotics come in all shapes and sizes just as our feet do, so it pays to get feedback from someone with experience, like a physical therapist.
- What your feet/body require can change over time and per activity. Just because you needed maximal arch support while marathon training a year ago does not mean that you will need the same level of support for walking around the office. Your foot strength, hip strength, shoe type and activity will mediate the support level. Be willing to change.
- Your arch height/shape is often genetic but your ability to control your arch and stabilize without an orthotic is not. Just because you were "born with flat feet" does not mean you are destined for a lifetime of foot pain and orthotics purchases. Ask a physical therapist what you can do to avoid foot pain.
- Orthotics are a bridge to function, though you may not need them forever. They are great to compensate for weak or tired arches, but if you can strengthen your feet and legs you may be able to ditch those orthotics for good.
- Hip stability and strength are key for arch mobility and function. Work your core and glutes to gain better control over your arches. To strengthen your glutes, practice standing on one leg and try single-leg and double-leg squats to see what effect they have on your arches. Get advice from your physical therapist on more exercises and proper form to effect change.
For more information on orthotics and/or foot pain, or to request a complimentary consultation with Select Physical Therapy, please visit selectphysicaltherapy.com today!