Around the AFC West, Week 1: Denver Broncos are embarrassing
By Ellen Mathis
Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers hosted the Andrew Luck-less Indianapolis Colts on Sunday and oh boy did this game get crazy. The Chargers were looking to continue to build on their great season last year and look to be in a good position. While running back Melvin Gordon continued his holdout, the only real question was whether Austin Ekeler would be able to fill his shoes. For the Colts, this was starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s chance to prove he was worth the contract extension and show he is their QB1.
Ekeler really stole the show in this matchup, boasting a career-best 154 yards from scrimmage with three touchdowns, Ekeler showed that maybe Gordon isn’t worth quite as much money as he thinks he is. Quarterback Philip Rivers looked to be exactly what everyone thought he would be: a great quarterback (who I believe whines a bit much). He went 25 of 34 for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Rivers one big “error” came on an incredibly athletic interception from Malik Hooker: a one-handed snag in the end zone that forced the game into overtime. The Chargers won the toss and drove down the field to end the game on that drive with a 7-yard touchdown run from Ekeler. The Colts will be regretting this one for a while because they had opportunities to put it away. Kicker Adam Vinateiri missed two field goals and an extra point. Is age catching up to him or were the ghosts of Chargers’ kickers past coming to haunt him? We may never know.
Either way, they had a shot and missed out. The Chargers were lucky to come out with a win and start the season 1-0.
The Chargers had one significant injury to wide receiver Mike Williams. He injured his knee in the fourth quarter and did not return. While he did not return to the game, he told reporters he was fine and walked out of the locker room with fellow wide receiver Keenan Allen. No official word on his status, but it doesn’t appear to be serious at this point.
Next week, the Chargers travel to Detroit to take on the Lions. The Lions are coming off a tie with the Kyler Murray-led Arizona Cardinals.
One noteworthy player that the Chargers will need to account for is rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson, who broke the NFL record for receiving yards from a rookie tight end in their NFL debut. Hockenson will be a handful – especially with the injury to star safety Derwin James. However, if the Chargers can contain him, which I believe they will, they should come out of Detroit with a win. I anticipate another win for the Chargers. Game time is 12:00 p.m.