The Chargers entered Sunday’s game knowing wide receiver Keenan Allen was not going to play as he had been on the COVID roster since last Monday. They also decided not to play defender Derwin James on Sunday due to a hamstring injury.
Down from two superstars, the Chargers were going to ask a lot of their young players.
They are receivers Mike Williams, Jalen Guyton and Josh Palmer for offense. The defense needed Nasir Adderley and Trey Marshall.
When Williams is a constant factor in the offense, the Chargers win, it’s that simple, so they introduced it early on with a 15-yard reception on the first snap. In the second practice, Herbert faced a third and eight on the Giants 12-yard line, he found Palmer on a great outing and he would score his second touchdown of the season.
âIt was fun,â Palmer said. “It was a great game.”
Later the Chargers faced a third and four, Herbert found Williams on a drag track and turned it into a 25-yard gain. That would help set up a 27-yard Dustin Hopkins field goal to improve their 17-7 lead.
âI just felt like there had been a really good performance away from home today between Mike Jalen and Josh, we were able to broadcast the football and Justin was extremely precise,â the coach said- Chief Brandon Staley.
It was Guyton who would have the biggest game of the day. It happened towards the end of the second quarter when Herbert threw a 59-yard missile at him as the quarterback took a big hit. He came directly into his hands for the touchdown.
âIt’s a one-armed howitzer,â Guyton said.
It was Guyton’s third touchdown over 50 yards since last season, which is tied for second in the NFL during that span.
Staley was asked about his quarterback.
âIt makes things look really, really tough seem easy, and that’s a pretty good indicator that you wouldn’t want something to witness something rare,â Staley said.
As for defense, Adderley made six tackles on Sunday, but that’s what he and Marshall were able to do. They kept him without James.
The Giants have a trio of receivers that make their attack dangerous to Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. The Chargers secondary limited them to four catches for 42 yards, with Slayton catching fewer.
“Vato [CB Michael Davis] rose to the occasion, “said Staley.”[CB] Chris Harris [Jr.] came back and really gave us a boost today with his experience. Then CT [CB Tevaughn Campbell] play well.”
The secondary was synchronized in addition to a small 60-yard hiccup from Kyle Rudolph.
They must now turn their attention to Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.
The Chargers didn’t have Allen on Sunday, but will the team have him Thursday night?
âYeah, I think so, barring a setback,â Staley said.
The Chargers head coach also said the team decided to hold James back after arriving with hamstring pain on Saturday.
“I’m glad we were able to play the way we did without him today, and he did a hell of a job for us as a secondary coach,” said Staley.
He gave an update for James playing next Thursday.
âHoping for a good recovery here and hopefully we can get it back on Thursday night,â said Staley.
The only injury noticeable during the game was when running back Austin Ekeler injured his ankle in the third quarterback after being tackled by Dexter Lawrence. He lay down on the ground but was then able to walk away.
He went to the coach’s table to have his left ankle tied heavily. He tried to test it, but he never came back.
âAustin is doing fine,â Staley said. “He plays professional tailback so that stuff happens. He could have come back into the game. Just painful.”
All three players will be watched closely, not least because of their value to the team. It doesn’t help that they have a short week, but the team needs to be ready anyway.