LA Chargers Crush Hapless Dolphins 30-10
Face Winless Broncos this Sunday
October 3, 2019
The first quarter of the 2019 NFL season is complete, and the Los Angeles Chargers look like a team that can use some help. The Chargers are 2-2 after a 30-10 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in Miami. The short-handed Chargers were able to easily defeat the hapless Dolphins with a group of backups but that will not hold up throughout the season. The 0-4 Dolphins are arguably the worst team in the NFL.
The Chargers were without Hunter Henry and Virgil Green, their top two tight ends, due to injuries. The team's No.3 tight end, Sean Culkin, was lost during the game due to an Achilles injury. He is done for the season.
Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin, two of the three top wide receivers on the roster, were out with injuries. Running back Justin Jackson, left tackle Russell Okung and running back Melvin Gordon were out as well. Gordon, back after ending his holdout, will be available next week.
What the Chargers did have was quarterback Philip Rivers. The future hall-of-famer completed 24 of 30 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns. His first touchdown pass was to backup running back Troymaine Pope for 13 yards to give the Chargers a 10-7 lead. The other touchdown was an 18-yard pass to running back Austin Ekeler, giving the Chargers a 17-10 halftime lead.
Field goal kicker Mike Badgley missed his fourth straight game with a groin injury, but punter Ty Long again stepped in and connected on kicks of 44,45 and 51 yards. Fortunately, Long did not have to attempt a punt the entire day. The Chargers were able to control time of possession 37:36 to 22:24. In the third quarter, the Chargers had a 16 play, 66-yard drive that consumed 10 1/2-minutes and ended in a field goal.
Offensively, despite the many injuries, the Chargers played well. Philip Rivers was pleased, stating: "It's good to win. It took a lot of guys contributing. Obviously, we have a lot of injuries. A lot of guys down, a lot of guys stepped up, other guys went down during the game and we were able to overcome it all and win the game." Ekeler also had a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to add to the final margin of victory for the Chargers.
Defensively, the Chargers held the Dolphins to 233 total yards, had five sacks and one interception. Cornerback Desmond King led the sack fest with 2.5 sacks. Dolphin quarterback Josh Rosen, who starred at St. John Bosco high school and UCLA, threw an early touchdown pass of 34 yards to wide receiver DeVante Parker to give the Dolphins a 7-3 lead, their first lead of the season.
The Chargers injury woes on defense continued with the loss of defensive end Melvin Ingram early in the game to a hamstring pull. Ingram is expected to be out for at least two weeks. The defense has already loss cornerback Trevor Williams for the season, star safety Derwin James for eight weeks to a fractured foot and defensive back Adrian Phillips for several weeks due to a broken arm. Linebacker Uchenna Nwosu left the game to an undisclosed injury.
The positive for the Chargers is that this was a much-needed victory. Due to the injuries and the need to get things going, the Chargers used some players that would not normally play. The playing experience should be invaluable later in the season. But the Chargers could use help at cornerback. With Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the AFC West, it is critically important to have quality cornerbacks on the roster.
Which brings the conversation to the rumored trade talks with the Jacksonville Jaguars regarding disgruntled cornerback Jalen Ramsey. An elite cornerback, Ramsey would give the Chargers another difference maker on defense. Ramsey is demanding a trade out of Jacksonville.
The Chargers would seem to be a good fit. His former Jaguar head coach is Charger defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and he is a close friend with his former college teammate James. Both played together at Florida State.
The Chargers will be moving into the new stadium at Hollywood Park next year and they will need a little momentum. They will need stars, because this is Southern California. The other important thing is, the Chargers do not want to see Ramsey get traded to the Oakland Raiders or Denver Broncos or the Chiefs. They do not want to face Ramsey twice a year in division play.
The Chargers return home this week to play their division rival, the Broncos. The Broncos are struggling with a record of 0-4, but they have been very competitive and are overdue for a win. The game will start at 1:05 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Chargers homefield of in Carson.