The Chargers were able to come away with a narrow 19-16 victory this week on Monday Night Football over the Broncos. This was no offensive showcase like we are used to seeing from Justin Herbert. However, Los Angeles was able to make up for the lack of offense in the other two phases of the game.
Here are the Week Six Players of the Week for the Chargers on Monday Night Football:
Offensive Player of the Week: Austin Ekeler
Ekeler’s performance on Monday Night Football was not like we’ve seen over the last two weeks. However, he did rush the ball for 36 yards, and hauled in 10 catches on 16 targets for 47 yards. The running back also bull dozed a 304-pound DJ Jones backwards for six yards, to score the teams only touchdown on the day.
Los Angeles Chragers Austin Ekeler carried by offensive line for a touchdown 😤#BoltUp pic.twitter.com/S1WkQo6vjz
— Sideline the Agenda (@SidelineAgenda) October 18, 2022
This was a stout Denver defense that the Chargers offense had to face in week six. Top five in almost every defensive stat, they have been the sole reason that the Broncos continue to stay in games this season. Ekeler was a key component in helping this offense play well enough to give their defense the opportunity to close this game out.
Defensive Player of the Week: Drue Tranquill
Drue Tranquill was all over the field during the Monday Night Football matchup. He did his part on defense and was able to affect the outcome of the game in both pass rush and run defense. Tranquill totaled eight tackles, two sacks, and two tackles for loss. The linebacker was constantly in the backfield, also hitting the Quarterback another three times.
The Chargers were playing team defense in the second half after allowing Russell Wilson to torch them early in the game. Tranquill’s two sacks came in the fourth quarter, both being huge third down stops. The first one, at 9:04, forced the Broncos to kick the field goal to go up 16-13. His second sack, at 2:31 in the fourth quarter, was a momentum shifter, forcing the Bronco’s to punt the ball with little time left. Without this sack, there is a chance the Bolts do not make it to overtime.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Dustin Hopkins
Honorable Mention: Ja’Sir Taylor and Deane Leonard
MUFFED PUNT. CHARGERS RECOVER 🔥#BoltUp | #Broncos | #BroncosCountry
— Boolin Sports (@BoolinSports) October 18, 2022
A play the completely shifted the momentum of overtime. The Charger’s punted the ball from their own 20-yard line with 4:58 left in the game. Ja’Sir Taylor picked up a block directly in front of the return man and forced the two Broncos players to collide. This caused a muffed punt, with a Deane Leonard recovery that put the Chargers at first and goal on the Bronco’s 28-yard line.
Dustin Hopkins was questionable coming into the Monday Night Football matchup. After missing last weeks game in Cleveland with a quad injury, no one knew what to expect from the veteran kicker. Hopkins connected on all four of his field goals while battling through the same injury on every play.
You could see the anguish in Hopkin’s eyes after every kick. Each time he drove the ball through the uprights, he fell to the ground in pain while trying to watch and see if he gave his kick enough. However, he was able to put his pain aside, and do what he needed to do to win the game. Hopkin’s longest field goal of the night was the game winner in overtime, coming from 39 -yards out.
There is no question that this wasn’t the prettiest win Charger’s fans could hope for after a close victory over Cleveland. However, the Charger’s are missing huge contributors on both sides of the ball, to include All-Pro Center Corey Linsley, Wide Receiver Keenan Allen, and All Pro Edge Rusher Joey Bosa. Battling a top-flight defense, the Charger’s continue to win games improving to a three-game win streak, and tying themselves for first place with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Check out the takeaways from the Monday Night Football showdown: Victory at Home: Chargers Escape 19-16 in OT
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