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Which Unsung Charger Did Coach Lynn Give a Game Ball To?

Top photos from the Chargers' comeback road victory against the Giants. Browse through the best shots from the Week 5 matchup.

If asked to name a standout defensive player from the Chargers’ victory over the Giants, Melvin Ingram would likely be the first to come to mind.

After all, the AFC sacks leader with 7.5 got to Eli Manning twice, including a pivotal strip-sack and fumble recovery that led to the game-winning TD late in the fourth quarter. 

Joey Bosa would probably be next on the list, as number 99 tied his career-high with two sacks as well.  Another popular option would be Tre Boston, whose interception clinched the win with 49 seconds remaining.

While Head Coach Anthony Lynn sang those players’ praises during his Monday press conference, he also mentioned a certain defender who usually flies under the radar.  Lynn made sure to give him the recognition he deserves.

“Adrian Phillips, he had a heck of a game. He got a game ball.”

Fondly known simply as “AP” around Hoag Performance Center, the 25-year old safety saw a massive uptick in action.  He played a total of 36 snaps (eight, six, eight, 14) over the first month of the season.

Against the Giants, he played 53 defensive snaps as he was on the field 76-percent of the time.  By comparison, his previous high was 18 against the Eagles.

Phillips rewarded the Bolts with solid play, tying for the team lead with seven solo tackles vs. New York.  One of the hardest workers on the team, he was constantly yelling to teammates pre-snap, getting them aligned much of the afternoon.

So what led to the switch?

"(We went with) that package because they play so much sub, (and) Adrian is really good in a nickel and a dime package,” Lynn explained.  “Teams that play that type of offense, Adrian will be on the field more.”

That’s just fine according to fellow safety Jahleel Addae. One of the longest tenured Chargers on the defensive side of the ball, he felt the three-safety look boosted the unit’s performance.  It also allowed him to play to his own personal strengths.

“I love it,” he said.  “I love being up in that box, and I was able to do that a lot more today being around the action.  That’s my strength, and I think that showed today. I was able to do that a lot more with AP in (the game).”

While pleased with the safety play on Sunday, Addae is far from satisfied. He’s hopeful this is just the beginning.

“We’ve got to keep working,” he said.  “AP came in today and did a great job. Tre got an interception.  So we’ve got to just continue to work as a three-safety rotation.”

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