Against the Atlanta Falcons, the Los Angeles Chargers came away with their fifth victory of the year. Los Angeles has dealt with several injuries this 2022, so maintaining its winning streak is truly an accomplishment.
LA overcame Atlanta in a close 20-17 game, largely due to their defense making significant plays. The absence of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams from the offense forced the Chargers to rely on their defense to carry the load.
Although they scored on offense a few times during the game’s crucial moments, it was their defense that secured the victory. Even though the offense was missing some key players, quarterback Justin Herbert was still able to put up a strong performance. 30 of his 43 passes were completed, totaling 245 yards, a score, and an interception.
Here are the top three players from the Chargers’ Week 9 victory over the Falcons.
3. Austin Ekeler
Austin Ekeler made some huge plays in a game where LA struggled to establish any offense. The great running back gained 47 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Additionally, he caught seven passes for 24 yards and another score.
Despite not gaining many yards during the game, he was able to score the only two touchdowns for the offense since he is an explosive back. Ekeler won’t look back on it as a career game, but he played a significant role in the Chargers’ triumph.
2. Khalil Mack
Against the Falcons, one of the Chargers’ offseason additions made a significant play. One of the best defensive players in the NFL, Khalil Mack, was able to take the ball away from Falcons wide receiver Drake London and return it for 43 yards.
Khalil Mack STOLE the ball from Drake London.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 6, 2022
Even though the rest of his game was fairly quiet, this play had a significant influence. On the verge of scoring additional points, the Falcons were in the red zone. It was crucial to get stops and cause turnovers in a defensive game.
This was perhaps the game’s most crucial play since it prevented Atlanta from going up, which would have been impossible for the Chargers to overcome given their offensive difficulties.
1. Joshua Palmer
With Allen and Williams gone, wide receiver Joshua Palmer significantly increased his performance. The 23-year-old had eight receptions and 106 receiving yards, which were both team highs. He was extensively relied upon by Herbert, and he delivered.
Palmer stepping up in this situation is crucial, but if he keeps playing well once Allen and Williams return, the impact may be even greater. The Chargers have a strong passing attack that is led by Herbert when their team is healthy. His passing attack will be more effective the more targets he has.
When their injured players return, the Chargers will be even more competitive. The Los Angeles Rams will play the San Francisco 49ers the next week on Sunday Night Football in an effort to move up to 6-3.