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Chargers News: 5 Takeaways From Statement Win Over New York

Looking at my five takeaways from the Chargers Monday night victory over the New York Jets.

After coming off another dominating victory this past Monday night against the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Chargers are now .500 again with a 4-4 record at the midway point of the NFL season. 

The Chargerswon 27-6 in a game that featured dominance at all three levels of football.

The Chargers will have a tough stretch of games for the rest of Nov. as they will host both the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens at home while traveling to Lambeau Field to play the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 19.

With a tough stretch ahead, the Chargers are finally starting to heat up, and are finally learning how to close out games and becoming the team that could make a deep playoff run like I expected them to at the beginning of the season.

Following Monday night's win, I decided to list down my main five takeaways. 

Brandon Staley's defense is finally starting to believe in themselves

In Monday night's game, the Chargers held the Jets to just six points as they scored two field goals in the second and third quarter. 

While I know, the Jets offense isn't as great as we expected it to at the beginning of the year as they are without Aaron Rodgers and now have Zach Wilson commanding the offense, the LA defense played lights out Monday night as they held the Jets offense to just 200 passing yards and 26 rushing yards while sacking Wilson eight times. Khalil Mack and Tuli Tulipulotu both had two sacks each and Joey Bosa led the team with 2.5 sacks, sharing one with fellow defensive end, Morgan Fox who came out earlier this week and stated the goal for the defense this week was to contain Zach Wilson.

Followed by the success of the D-line, turnovers were another area the Chargers defense dominated at as they forced a total of four fumbles, three of which came from Zach Wilson, while another came from wide receiver Garret Wilson which turned into a Los Angeles fumble recovery.

Austin Ekeler is going to be alright

After dealing with a nagging ankle injury this season, Chargers running back Austin Ekeler had his second-best performance of the year.

After tallying just 45 yards on 15 attempts against the Bears last week, Ekeler carried the ball 14 times and ran for 47 yards while averaging 3.4 yards per carry and scoring two touchdowns for the Chargers.

If Ekeler can remain healthy for the rest of the year, the team will be able to take a breather as they are currently thin at the receiver position due to injuries and the fact that the defense has seemed almost fatigued at the end of games which I believe has played a large part in why they've struggled to close out games.

With a healthy Ekeler running the ball and killing time on the clock, the defense will benefit tremendously as they will be able to spend less time off the field and more time catching their breath. The offense will also be able to benefit from Ekeler's success in running the ball as Herbert won't have to pass as much and can rely on him to be the workhorse they need in the second half of the year.

Moving forward, I would expect Ekeler to see at least 15-20 attempts in the run game for LA and emerge as a large part of the team's identity from here on out.

A thin receiving core won't affect Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen's chemistry

The Chargers receiving core continues to remain thin as they are without Mike Williams and Joshua Palmer who are both on the IR. Williams will miss the rest of the year after tearing his ACL in Week 3 against the Vikings. Palmer will miss at least the next three games after being placed on the Chargers IR two days before the game.

However, even with an injury-depleted receiving core, Keenan Allen and Herbert will be alright.

Allen spent most of his night matching up against 2022 Defensive Rookie of The Year, Sauce Gardener, and had himself a night as he caught eight out of nine balls against the Jets for 77 yards while having an all-time reception that will likely put him in consideration for the NFL's catch of the year.

Derius Davis is becoming an elite return man

After needing a spark to get this team going early, rookie wide receiver Derius Davis was that spark for LA. 

After a promising start from the defense that forced a Jets three and out, the Jets were forced to punt with 13 minutes left in the first quarter and Davis made them pay for it as he scored the first touchdown of the night on an 87-yard return.

Davis went on to return two more punts for the Chargers that night and totaled 104 yards. 

Coming out of TCU as a fourth-round pick at the NFL draft, Davis was regarded as one of the faster players in the combine as he ran his 40-yard dash at 4.36 seconds.

In 2021, Davis was a threat on special teams for the Horned Frogs as he averaged 29.6 yards per kick return and 10.2 yards per punt return. In 2020, he led the Big 12 yards in average yards per punt return (14.5) while ranking fifth nationally.

The offensive line won't perform this bad again

After being sacked five times, Herbert is now tied for 10th place among sacked quarterbacks in the NFL.

Herbert has been sacked 20 times this season and is now tied with Josh Dobbs who played most of the year with the Cardinals after playing in just one game with the Vikings this past Sunday.

This year, the Chargers have done a great job in protecting Herbert as he has gone on to have a great year where he has thrown for 2,026 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions.

To give credit where it's due, as I mentioned earlier, the Jets have one of the best defenses in all of football, and is a big reason that the team has a 4-4 record.

Coming into this game, Herbert had only been sacked 15 times and was one of the least sacked QB's in the league. LA's offensive line has done a great job this year and while they will be playing against a great Baltimore defense in a few weeks, I would expect to see Herbert remain one of the least sacked QB's in the league at the end of the year.