Culver City Observer -

By Bill Seals
Sports Reporter 

Chargers on a Win Streak

LA Team Beat Seahawks 25-17

 

November 8, 2018

The NFL Draft is an imperfect process, and no one illustrates that more than Desmond King. The second-year cornerback out of Iowa was the Jim Thorpe winner as the top defensive back in the nation as a junior at Iowa. King was Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year at Iowa, a unanimous All-American and had 14 career interceptions at Iowa, returning three for touchdowns.

Despite his many accomplishments at Iowa, King lasted until the 5th round of the 2017 NFL draft, where the Los Angeles Chargers selected him. King was thought to be too small and not fast enough to make an impact in the NFL.

On Sunday at Seattle, King picked intercepted a pass from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown. That score turned out to be the difference as the Chargers held on to defeat the Seahawks 25-17.

The victory was the fifth in a row for the Chargers, who improved to 6-2 with the win. King was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for the pivotal interception. For King, it was the second Pick-6 interception of his career. Last season in a game at Dallas, King intercepted a pass and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown to seal a win on the road. King also returns punts and kickoffs for the Chargers and has four career sacks. He is just a playmaker.

There were other Chargers that contributed to the win at Seattle. Philip Rivers, starting in his 200th consecutive regular season game, continued to deliver big plays in the passing game, throwing for 228 yards and two touchdowns.

The first touchdown from Rivers was a 12-yard touchdown pass to Tyrell Williams and cut the Seahawks lead to 7-6. The extra point was no good. The second touchdown pass went to Mike Williams for 30 yards and a touchdown. That gave the Chargers a 19-7 lead in the second quarter.

In between the two touchdown passes from Rivers, there was a 34-yard touchdown run from Melvin Gordon. This run was setup by a 54-yard pass completion from Rivers to Keenan Allen. Rivers continues to perform at a high level in his 15th season in the NFL. He has thrown for 19 touchdown passes in eight games and has only three interceptions.

Rivers is blessed to have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL, but it is preparation and competitiveness that separates him from other quarterbacks. Seahawk linebacker Bobby Wagner noted, "He's a good quarterback. He's very, very smart and talks a lot of trash."

Gordon continues to have the best season of his career. Coming off a missed game in London with a hamstring injury, Gordon ran with a toughness that was not always evident before Charger Head Coach Anthony Lynn arrived. Lynn, a former running back in the NFL, has been happy with Gordon's more physical running style this season.

Lynn praised Gordon: "He ran hard. He ran real hard. That's the way he has been running, so he had a week off because of the hamstring. We had the bye week, so when he came back he had fresh legs and he looked like it today."

This is the type of team that Lynn has been trying to put together and it looks like it is succeeding. The Chargers have won 15 of their last 20 regular season games and over that period they are one of the top five teams in the NFL. Lynn added, "This is a real gritty football team. This team did not quit. We protected every inch."

"I'm proud of the guys today. We came here and played in a hostile environment and won on the road again. I was proud of the way they played and the way they came out and practiced all week. They were ready for this game."

After the game, on Monday morning, the Chargers waived kicker Caleb Sturgis. He was replaced by kicker Mike Badgley, who was promoted from the Chargers practice squad. Badgley played in two games this season when Sturgis was out with a quad injury and he made all three field goal attempts and all seven extra point attempts. Sturgis became the first kicker since 1979 to miss a field goal attempt and extra point attempt in three straight games.

The Chargers travel to Oakland this weekend to play their hated rivals, the Raiders. The Raiders are struggling at 1-7 and in last place in the AFC West.

 

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