INGLEWOOD – Not much went right for the Sunday Charger, but at least they improved their defense during stumbling runs while Loss 27-24 Against the New England Patriots at SoFi Stadium.
The Chargers’ defense contained the Patriots to 141 rushing yards on 39 loads averaging 3.6 yards per stroke. The Chargers entered Week 8 with a league worst average of 162.5 rushing yards allowed per game.
The return of defensive tackle Justin Jones played a role in why the Charger improved against running. Jones has not played since the season opener win over Washington due to a calf injury.
“That’s not what we lost today,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said of the running defense. “I felt our running defense took an amazing step forward today. I thought we coped very well. I thought we were really physical. Getting Justin Jones back was important. I felt the way we played in defense today gave us a real chance to win.”
The Chargers’ defense got plenty of stops to keep the game close in the fourth quarter, but offensive struggles allowed the Patriots to quit. The Patriots scored 11 points from safety interceptions by Adrian Phillips against quarterback Justin Herbert.
Chargers safety, the Derwin James had 13 total tackles and a forced trip that was recovered by safety Nasir Adderley. But the Charger’s attack didn’t take help from the defense.
Jackson’s long run
Staley and back-to-back Austin Eckler challenged the other racers to step up this week.
Justin Jackson responded with a 75-yard sprint in the second quarter to prepare the Chargers’ second touchdown against the Patriots. This was the second longest race the Charger has run in the last decade. Former Charger running back Melvin Gordon had an 87-yard run in New England in 2017.
However, Jackson sustained a quad injury and finished with 79 yards on three gigs. As a team, the Chargers had a productive fast performance with 163 yards.
Eckler, who was suspected with a thigh injury before the game, had 64 yards in 11 carts with a quick touchdown and six catches for 60 yards. It was the fifth time this season that he topped 100 yards of a melee.
GUNNER مشاكل PROBLEMS
Returning Patriots Punt Gunner Olszewski had an outstanding performance against the Chargers for the second consecutive season.
Olszewski scored 80 yards in four return kicks on Sunday. Last season, Olszewski earned 145 yards in three shootouts during the Patriots’ 45-0 blast against the Charger.
“I saw them hit us decisively at that point,” Staley said of covering betting. “Gunner had 20 yards per comeback. We lost the vertical field position in that area. … We didn’t cover well enough today.”
The Charger was without two outside VIPs for most of the second half.
Asante Samuel Jr. was left with a concussion and Michael Davis was discharged with a hamstring injury. Tyfogen Campbell and Ryan Smith served as the outside quarterback.
“A lot of guys came in and did whatever they could to help when these guys fell,” James said.