The Chargers seek to extend their winning streak against the Lions
November 9, 2023
The Los Angeles Chargers used an 87-yard punt return from rookie Derrius Davis to propel the team to a convincing 27-6 win over the New York Jets on Monday Night in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey last Monday. The win improved the Chargers record to 4-4 for the season. The loss dropped the Jets to the same record, 4-4 for the season.
The Chargers defense held the Jets to six points, had eight sacks and caused three turnovers in giving the Chargers their second consecutive win and second consecutive dominant defensive performance. Linebacker Joey Bosa had 2.5 sacks, and linebackers Khalil Mack and Tuli Tuipulotu each had 2 sacks in the victory.
The Chargers shut down the Jets running game as well, holding the Jets to 64 yards rushing on 20 attempts, a 3.2 average per carry. Chargers head coach Brandon Staley was pleased with the performance of his defense.
"I thought we played for four quarters," Staley said. "I thought we competed. I thought we did the things that good defenses do. I thought we were physical tonight. We did a really good job against the run game. I thought we rushed the passer. We limited the explosions in the deep part of the field, and we were really good in the red zone. It was a team win."
The defensive effort was needed because the Jets defense spent the evening harassing quarterback Justin Herbert and completely shut down the Chargers rushing attack. Herbert was sacked five times and hit 13 times. The Chargers rushed for 84 yards on the ground on 21 carries, so the running game did not offer a lot of help.
Herbert was held to 136 yards passing, completing 16 of 30 passes thrown. Half of the passes were completed to wide receiver Keenan Allen, who went over 10,000 receiving yards in his career. Allen caught 8 passes for 77 yards. No one else caught more than two passes in the game.
With wide receiver Joshua Palmer on the injured reserve for at least the next three games with a knee injury, and wide receiver Mike Williams lost for the season with an ACL knee injury, the receiving group is thin. Allen has over 10,000 yards receiving in his career and no other wide receiver on the roster has anything close to that kind of receiving experience.
Wide receiver Jalen Guyton just returned from an ACL knee injury suffered last season. Guyton has 61 career reception for 1,023 yards, an average of 16.8 yards per reception and if he has fully recovered from his knee injury, he has the kind of speed that could help.
Rookie wide receiver Quentin Johnston, a first-round draft pick out of TCU, is a player that needs to step up for the Chargers at wide receiver. Johnston has 14 receptions for 9.1 yards per reception. He was drafted for his ability to make explosive plays and through eight games has not shown a lot.
The 87-yard punt from Davis got the Chargers to a quick 7-0 lead, a lead they never relinquished. The rookie Davis is a 4th round pick out of TCU and was a teammate of Johnston's. Davis had a 51-yard run against the Raiders and has shown the ability to make some explosive plays. Herbert needs Guyton, Johnston, and Davis to contribute.
The Chargers will take on the Detroit Lions this Sunday, November 12 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. The game will start at 1:05 PM PST and will be televised on CBS. The Lions are 6-2 and in first place in the NFC North. They opened the season with a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City. The Lions are favored in this game by the Las Vegas oddsmakers by 2.5 points, so the Chargers enter this home game as the underdog.
The Lions are ranked second in the NFL in total offensive yardage at 390.6 yards per game and are ranked fifth in the NFL in defensive yardage allowed per game at 296.9 yards per game. The Lions are the only team in the NFL in the top five of both categories. They are led on offense by quarterback Jared Goff, the former Ram quarterback, and the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Goff is a three-time pro bowl selection, including last season with the Lions.
The Lions roster is young and talented on both sides of the ball. The Chargers have done a good job of protecting the football this season and causing turnovers. The Chargers are tied with the Cincinnati Bengals for the NFL lead in turnover ratio with a +9 ratio. They are third in the NFL in sacks with 31. They will need to win the turnover battle with the Lions to win the game on Sunday.