After Week 3’s demoralizing defeat against the Jaguars, the Bolts were in need of an inspiring performance to get their season back on track. The Chargers bounced back in convincing fashion as they posted their highest point total of the season (34) in their victory against the Houston Texans.
The Chargers went into Week 4’s contest against the Texans without several of their key players, most notably: Defensive End Joey Bosa (groin injury), Left Tackle Rashawn Slater (bicep injury), and Wide Receiver Keenan Allen (hamstring injury). Both Slater and Bosa suffered significant injuries in Week 3’s game and are projected to miss significant time, while Allen has the potential to suit up in Week 5.
Needless to say, the injuries the team has sustained and who the team has planned to fill in those key roles has been the focal point of all things Los Angeles Chargers over the past week.
An Electric First Half
The Bolts began the team on defense and managed to get off the field in just three plays as a result of an interception by Free Safety Nasir Adderley. This turnover felt like a breath of fresh air considering that the defense failed to force any against the Jaguars.
Star Quarterback Justin Herbert and the rest of the offense took advantage of this fantastic field position, scoring a touchdown on an 18-yard pass from Herbert to Tight End Gerald Everett. Although the score was only 7-0, it was apparent that the Chargers took a stranglehold over the momentum of this game.
Two drives later, the offense was incredibly balanced as they marched down the field with four passes, five rushes, and five separate skill players touching the football. The team managed to kick this drive off with a 10-yard rushing touchdown by Running Back Austin Ekeler, his first of the 2022. The Chargers were up 14-0.
On the offense’s next possession, the team continued to have their way with the Texans’ defense. In just three plays, the team managed to gain 73-yards and a touchdown. After a 3-yard run by RB Austin Ekeler, QB Justin Herbert and WR Mike Williams connected for a 50-yard reception. The very next play was a 20-yard rushing touchdown by Austin Ekeler, who seemed especially pleased to silence all of the recent criticism of his alleged regression from the 2021 season.
After failing to score on their first four drives, the Texans finally managed to put points on the board after rookie Running Back Dameon Pierce ran for a 75-yard touchdown on the opening play of the drive.
To follow the Texans’ initial scoring drive, the Chargers offense continued to roll. On the team’s first drive to follow up Pierce’s long touchdown run, Herbert led the offense down the field on a ten play drive that was capped off by a 23-yard field goal by Kicker Dustin Hopkins. The team’s next drive was a nine play drive, that ended with a 37-yard field goal by Hopkins, which ended the first half of game actions. The Chargers led 27-7 going into halftime.
Chargers Struggle In Second Half
After leading the Texans in the first half with a 27-7 lead, the Chargers failed to score four drives on offense in the second half of game action. While the Chargers’ offense was struggling to return to their first half form, the Texans’ offense finally started connecting on some big time plays that completely shifted the momentum of the game.
After punting on their first three drives and surrendering two touchdowns, the Chargers’ return man Wide Receiver Deandre Carter fumbled a kickoff return at the team’s 16 yard line, setting the Texans up for their first potential lead of the game. Fortunately, the Chargers’ defense held strong and only gave up a field goal. The Chargers lead had shrunk tremendously, as the score was now 27-24.
Chargers Hold Strong
With just under 8:30 left in the final quarter of the contest, QB Justin Herbert and the rest of the Chargers’ offense marched out on the field with the goal of putting this game away. As a fan, it was a nerve-racking, but incredibly exciting position to watch Herbert in.
This second half seemed like so many other Chargers’ games, where the team looks fantastic in spurts, but is unable to keep it together for a full 60 minutes of game action.
Justin Herbert was absolutely locked in, as he went 6/7 for 67-yards and a go-ahead touchdown pass to RB Austin Ekeler, who scored his third touchdown of the contest. With this score, the Chargers’ lead was extended to 34-24.
On the Texans’ following possession on offense, the Chargers defense forced two incompletions and sacked Quarterback Davis Mills for a 6-yard loss. With less than two minutes left in the contest and trailing by 10 points, the Texans decided to go for it on 4th and 16. With the hopes of a potential comeback QB Davis Mills passed the ball deep down the middle of the field, targeting Tight End OJ Howard, when Chargers Cornerback Bryce Callahan made a game-sealing interception with just 1:51 left in the final quarter. The Chargers went on to win 34-24.
This game was truly a tail of two halves, with the team looking unstoppable in the first half and struggling to produce in any capacity in the second half. Thankfully, when it seemed as though the team might’ve blown a 20 point lead, the team’s offense and defense collectively made plays to secure the victory on the road. The team’s efforts after giving up 17 unanswered points was inspiring to watch, considering this team has lost so many games in similar fashion in the past.
After two unfortunate losses, the Chargers are now 2-2, trailing the Kansas City Chiefs by just one game in the race for the AFC West Division title.
Week Five Prediction
The team now travels to Cleveland to face off against the Jacoby Brissett-led Browns, in what should be a competitive game. I project the Chargers to win this game in convincing fashion, with a final score of 27-17. This score would have the Chargers covering their 1-point road advantage and have the game hitting the under of 47 points.