The Charger’s are a team who have been underperforming expectations this season. However, they are most notably, the most injured team in the NFL. They have also had to endure a limited, predictable playbook and poor decision making by the Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi. Unable to put a complete game together, the Chargers fell to the 49ers 22-16. Here are three Week 10 takeaways from the Sunday Night Football matchup in San Francisco.
Sunday Night Football Takeaways: The Run Defense Showed Flashes of Improvement
Coming into the Sunday Night Football game against the 49ers, the Charger’s were the worst team in the league in terms of yards per carry allowed, allowing 5.7 YPC. However, the 49ers were held to just 3.8 yards per carry in the game. The Charger’s defense was the biggest reason they remained in this game, a game that many did not believe the Charger’s had any business being in.
The Los Angeles defense was also able to create turnovers against this potent offense, whether it be turnover on downs, or takeaways. Out of the 49ers 11 offensive drives, they were held to a field goal, punt, or turnover on eight of them. They scored touchdowns, or kneeled the ball on the other three drives.
The Chargers defense showed flashes of being able to contend with what looks like on All Star Team, according to NFL content creator NFL Mike. However, they were unable to put a complete game together offensively, ultimately costing them the game.
Sunday Night Football Takeaways: Despite Injuries, Charger’s Remain Above .500
Injuries have plagued the Los Angeles Charger’s this season. Inarguably the most injured team in the NFL, the Chargers are a team that has received the most scrutiny in the media, and amongst fans. Los Angeles currently has 20 players on their injury report. To put this into perspective, of the eight players the Chargers have in the NFL’s Top 100 list this year, only two of them have played in every game this season. However, one of those two, Justin Herbert, has been battling a rib injury since week two.
The fact that the Charger’s have dealt with the injury bug more than any team, and they are still above .500 and only two games back from first place in the division is a feat of its own. Even defensive Captain Sebastian Jospeh-Day stated in a press conference “With the amount of injuries we have, and we are still winning? Most people would be saying “How”?
One thing Charger’s fans can grab onto is that this team is still finding ways to win football games while their star players sit on the sidelines. The team is expected to bring players like Mike Williams, Joey Bosa, and Keenan Allen back in the coming weeks. When the Charger’s are fully healthy, they are one of the most talented rosters in the league. If they can finish the season well enough to get a wild card spot, a roster of healthy, rested All-Pro athletes is sure to make a run in the post season.
@chargers Pass Pro grades Week 10:
Salyer- 81.7 / 3 Pressures
Feiler- 77.2 / 1 Pressure
Linsley- 81.9 / 0 Pressure
Johnson- 44.6 / 3 Pressures / 1 Sack
Sarell- 38.3 / 5 Pressures / 1 Sack
— David Oliver (@BoltMan173) November 14, 2022
Sunday Night Football Takeaways: The Kicker Position is a Bright Spot of the Team
To caveat the previous takeaway, the Charger’s have lost two kickers this season to injury. After an overtime victory that saw Dustin Hopkins make four of his four field goal attempts, the kicker was set to be sidelined for two to four weeks. Hopkins previously missed one game against the Cleveland Browns, where practice squad rookie Taylor Bertolet filled in going three for three on field goal kicks.
Bertolet filled in successfully for the Chargers through two games kicking two field goals and four extra poins, and making each of them. However, after week seven, the Texas A&M kicker sustained a quad injury, effectively putting him on the Injured Reserve list for the remainder of the season.
Cameron Dicker, who kicked a 23 yard field goal to give the Eagles a 20-17 victory against the Cardinals, was signed and elevated by the Chargers in week nine. Dicker is seven for seven on his career, with another game winner in Atlanta, and two made field goals against San Francisco. Dicker made his longest career field goal, 47 yards, against the 49ers on Sunday Night Football.
The Charger’s head into another primetime, Sunday Night Football, matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in week eleven. They open up the week as +7 underdogs at home, however, the Charger’s have only been underdogs twice this season, and have covered the spread on both occasions.
The game is set to kickoff at 8:20 EST in Sofi Stadium on November 20th. If the Chargers hope to gain any momentum within the division, beating the Chiefs has to be the first step. Los Angeles last faced Kansas City on Thursday Night Football in week two of the 2022 season and lost 27-24.
Related: Keys to a Chargers Victory Against the 49ers
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