The Los Angeles Rams emerged victoriously against the Chargers in the “Battle for LA”. Led by Jared Goff’s 300+ yard passing game and Todd Gurley’s 100+ yard rushing game, the Rams cruised to a 35-23 victory.
The Chargers were led by a strong Philip Rivers effort but ultimately came up short. In the postgame, Rivers credited the Rams for being a real contender and despite the loss, knowing that the Chargers are a strong team to potentially be a playoff contender.
WR Keenan Allen
Allen had an okay game with three catches for 44 yards on seven targets. Allen also lost a fumble. Despite both starting CBs for the Rams exiting the game (get well soon Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters), Allen’s wide receiver mate Mike Williams benefited more than he did. Allen did manage to connect on a long third down conversion before halftime, setting up a 21-13 Chargers deficit.
RB Melvin Gordon
Gordon had a strong game with 80 yards rushing (and a touchdown). However, he was limited in the passing game with only two catches for four yards on four targets. Gordon had a great hurdle at the expense of Lamarcus Joyner but still flashed excellent vision and burst in the contest. Ultimately, Todd Gurley bested Gordon on the field and the stat book but Gordon proved to be a strong running back.
When Lamarcus Joyner tried to tackle him, Melvin Gordon hit the Y button pic.twitter.com/wZ0qYZN08z— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 23, 2018
QB Philip Rivers
Rivers actually had the higher QBR (albeit barely) over Jared Goff in the contest. Rivers finished the game on 18/30 passing for 226 yards and two touchdowns. Rivers also even held for the extra point attempt.
Much respect to Philip Rivers, in his 15th season, at 36 years old, for still holding PATs pic.twitter.com/V5nYWzW4bD— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 23, 2018
Rivers also had a couple of nice long touchdown throws to second year pro, WR Mike Williams. Ultimately, the seasoned vet still came up short against the Rams.
CB Casey Hayward
The former Pro Bowler seemed to struggle at times, including getting called for an illegal contact penalty that put the Rams in great field position.
Casey Hayward just celebrated a 5 yards illegal contact penalty...called on himself for an automatic Rams 1st down, which prevented a big Brandin Cooks gain— cookieboy17 (@cookieboy1794) September 23, 2018
That's gotta be a first in NFL history a player celebrating his own penalty
Hayward also gave up a long pass play to WR Brandin Cooks that was initially ruled a touchdown but was overturned and downed at the half yard line. Ultimately, Hayward finished the game with five tackles (not usually a good sign for CBs). The Rams passed for 354 yards so Hayward likely wasn’t too happy. Hayward was very complimentary of Rams QB Jared Goff, who faced criticism this week for being a “system QB”.
Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward on Rams QB Jared Goff: "He’s the engine that makes it go."— Ryan Kartje (@Ryan_Kartje) September 24, 2018
EDGE Melvin Ingram
The Rams made a conscious effort to block Melvin Ingram very well and they did. Ingram finished the game with one tackle (it was for loss) and one QB hit. Ingram faced constant double teams but did also flash his abilities throughout the game.
Ingram very much misses his EDGE-mate, Joey Bosa.
Melvin Ingram gets hit by 3 people any time it is a pass play.... Wait till we get Joey— Bolt Beat (@BB_Chargers) September 23, 2018
Although Gurley had a very strong game, Ingram did have a very nice play against Rams RT Rob Havenstein here, tackling Gurley for a big loss.