The Chargers do what they do

Gerald Bentley
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Sunday, November 19, 2023

The push for the playoffs is on

In the early games today the push for the playoffs in on. The Afternoon featured some close divisional games, a few surprising finishes and a pair of beat downs. The most notable game was the Los Angeles Chargers doing what they do, lose a close game.

The Chargers traveled to Green Bay to take on the Packers and left with some Cheese Curds and a 4-6 record as the Packers win 23-20 to move to 4-6 as well. For the Packers it's a promising record in a rebuild year, for the Chargers it's a disaster for a team with a top-tier Quarterback and multiple top 100 players in the league on the field. 

Of note, Defensive End Joey Bosa was carted off the field in obvious pain with a foot injury making the loss even bigger in the scope of the season as they are on the outside looking in to the Playoffs and continue a concerning run of close losses. 

In the close divisional games, the Cleveland Browns hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers after losing QB Deshaun Watson for the year with a Shoulder Fracture. In a match up of offensively challenged teams the Browns held the Homefield and won the rivalry game 13-10.  

Continuing the trend of below average QB play this year in the league Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw for 165 yards and an INT while Kenny Pickett was worse with 15-28 passing for only 106 yards. A combined total of well under 300 yards passing in the game. 

The Chicago Bears welcomed back Justin Fields and travelled to Ford Field in Detroit to take on the Lions. Despite an explosive day on the ground for Fields with 109 yards rushing and a TD pass to DJ Moore the Bears fell on the road 31-26. The Lions won despite 3 INTS from Jared Goff to go along with 2 TD passes.  A balanced Lions passing game hit 7 different recievers for 236 yards and a pair of TD's led by Amon-Ra St. Brown with 77 yards and a TD catch. 

The win moves the Lions to a commanding lead in the NFC North with an 8-2 record. 

As for the surprising games, the first was a close matchup between the Miami Dolphins and the visiting Las Vegas Raiders with the Dolphins winning 20-13. The Raiders playing with an extra intensity since changing coaches from Josh McDaniels to Antonio Pierce we're in the game till a late interception of rookie QB Aidan O'Connell by Jaylen Ramsey sealed the game. 

O'Connell finished with 271 yards passing and a TD pass but tossed 3 INTs in the losing effort.  For the Dolphins Tyreek Hill continued to put up the numbers with 10 catches for 146 yards and a TD. 

In a divisional match up for one day there was offense in New York as the Giants visited the Washington Commanders and came away with a 31-19 win. The Men in Blue moved to 3-8 in a lost season so far and the Commanders in what seems to be the start of a rebuild fall to 4-7. 

Giants third-string QB Tommy DeVito in easily the best game by a NY QB this year went 18 of 26 for 246 yards and 3 TDs. Meanwhile Sam Howell took a step back with 3 costly INTs and 4 sacks. 

The Houston Texans welcomed the Arizona Cardinals to the Dome and continued their breakout season behind rookie QB CJ Stroud with a 21-16 win to go to 6-4 on the season. 

Stroud joins Joe Burrow as the only two rookie QBs in history to have 300 yards passing in three consecutive games.  It also is the fist time the Texans have won three in a row since 2018.

Then the beatdowns, the Dallas Cowboys kept the Carolina Panthers losing with a workman like 33-10 win over the host Panthers. 

The Cowboys Cornerback DaRon Bland tied a record with his 4th Pick 6 of the year running back a Bryce Young INT 30 yards in the 4th quarter. He is now in a 4-way tie for the most in a single season. 

Young continues to struggle throwing for only 123 yards and getting sacked 7 times in the losing effort. 

Finally the Jacksonville Jaguars put 34 points up against the Tennesse Titans to win by 20 points 34-14.  Calvin Ridley pulled in a pair of TDs from Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars put up 128 yards on the ground. 

For the Titans the run first attack behind Derrick Henry seems to be in the past as King Henry put up a pedestrian 38 yards on 10 carries, made worse when you take away the long carry of 16 yards. The Titans passing attack which totalled 158 yards was worse than that when you realize that 92 yards came on 2 passes.  Meaning they had 66 yards on the remaining 11 passes, that won't win often and it didn't today.