Week nine for the NFL gave us some great matchups. Some of which were circled long ago when the schedule came out. Once again, a California dream was to see the Chargers get over the hump this season and make it back to the Super Bowl. After all, they have their new franchise QB who continues to impress. What could stop them now? The San Francisco 49ers took it to the Chargers and set them back to the reality that they just aren’t going to win it all this year.
I am sorry for your loss, Los Angeles Chargers, but your season is over!
If anyone ever signs with the Chargers, they better not skip the thirty-minute meeting with the Aflac representative to make sure the players are covered for when they get injured and can’t work. Much like every MCU project post-Avengers: Endgame, the hype, and promise of every iteration of the Chargers fail to live up to expectations. And, like Marvel, they have half their roster disappear in what feels like the snap of a finger, and this season is no different. The Chargers entered 2022 with some potential to make noise and disrupt the AFC West and now, they’ve been crushed by injuries. It is hard to tell what hurts more, to be a Chargers fan or a Chargers player.
The 49ers came into the intrastate Sunday Night Football matchup ready to get some momentum coming out of the bye, with star players like Deebo Samuel returning from injuries. Meanwhile, the Chargers entered this matchup missing week one starting wide receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, and week one starting tackles Rashawn Slater and Trey Pipkins. Despite their injuries, the Chargers jumped out to a 13-3 lead, but the Niners kicked Regardless of that, Los Angeles jumped out to a 13-3 lead in the second quarter, but the 49ers responded with a one-yard touchdown on a Jimmy Garoppolo quarterback sneak. Shocking to me, Jimmy G survived the fall forward without injury or chipping any of his perfectly-whitened teeth.
As luck would have it, a Dre Greenlaw helmet-to-helmet hit knocked Justin Herbert out for the final minutes of the second quarter. The officials ejected Greenlaw, and Chase Daniels came in and did his best to get the Chargers three points, as Cameron Dicker hit a field goal to send it to 16-10 at halftime.
In the second half, the San Francisco defense shut out the Chargers and earned the win (and the game ball). Despite Justin Herbert returning in the second half, and 49ers making miscues on offense and special teams that gifted Los Angeles great field position on multiple drives, the injury to Gerald Everett proved too much to overcome, as Herbert threw to Tre’ McKitty, Josh Palmer, and DeAndre Carter to hold the lead. As the game closed out, the Chargers were against the figurative wall, and the 49ers stood. L.A. had to convert a fourth-and-three inside their own ten to keep the ball and keep the game going, but San Francisco stopped L.A., got the ball back, and ultimately kicked a field goal to extend their lead from 19-16 to 22-16. Then, Justin Herbert got the ball back with his back against the wall and threw a game-sealing interception to 2022 breakout safety Talanoa Hufanga (aided by Charles Omenihu).
The 49ers’ defense keeps the Chargers on lockdown all game long, holding the L.A. rush attack, led by stud running back Austin Ekeler, to just 51 yards on the day. They only mustered twelve first downs and one trip to the red zone all game long
All day, San Francisco had the Chargers on lockdown. The LA running attack was nothing special with 51 yards on the day. They could only muster twelve first downs and one trip to the red zone all game. Any way you look at it, the 49ers had L.A.’s number, and now the Chargers are sitting two games back of the Chiefs for the AFC West. For them to make it to climb that summit would take a meltdown of epic proportions by the Chiefs, and it would also need the Chargers to not Charger everywhere at every given opportunity.
So here we are again, taking preseason expectations for the Chargers and continually adjusting our expectations down until we hope that they can sneak into the playoffs. Oh, if they were healthy, if only they were healthy, things would be better. Yeah, and if Marvel hadn’t taken out Iron Man and Captain America in one fell swoop, things would be better, too.