By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com

Well, it finally happened this week in the Chargers camp, after paying strict attention to their COVID19 protocols, the Los Angeles Chargers has experienced their first positive COVID 19 test. Needless to say, the team informed the players promptly and in addition to performing their contact tracing to identify which players may have also been infective. Once they identified the impacted player they both were placed on the Reserved COVID List for this week.

Not only were the COIVD 19 protocols reinforced with the players, but the Chargers players were also sent home early on Thursday enabling them to relax their minds and spend time with their families. It was also mentioned that the players specifically, Joey Bosa, used this day off to rest his body and get some work in… leading up a divisional matchup with the Denver Broncos.

For the first time since 2013, the Chargers are looking to win in two out of the past three seasons in Denver. Additionally, this division rivalry has been decided by one score in eight of the last ten matchups in the Mile High City. So both teams should be anticipating another close contest in their 121st regular-season matchup, though the Broncos hold a 52-67-1 advantage in this rivalry and swept the season series last year.

Having won 19 games when achieving a positive turnover margin, which is tied for the fourth-best in the NFL, as the Chargers look to win in Denver for the second time in three seasons. They are 19-2 since Anthony Lynn was named head coach in 2017, this supports the reason Coach Lynn frequently mentions the need to win the turnover battle in every game, regardless of the opponent.

Former Oregon Duck Justin Herbert recorded three-plus touchdown passes for the fourth consecutive game, joining Houston’s Deshaun Watson as the only rookie quarterbacks to achieve this. His fourth three-touchdown game streak not only ties an NFL rookie record, however it eclipses Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino record, who did this only 3 times. Additionally, Herbert’s 15 touchdown passes through his first six games in the NFL, it also ties Deshaun Watson and surpasses aforementioned Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.

His Center, as with the rest of the team I’m sure, smile with excitement when asked Herbert’s progression in the season stating, “He’s incredible back there. It’s awesome to see him continue to grow each week, just get better and better. Each week his level of play is just increasing and it awesome to see; he’s going to be a great player for a long time in this league.”

Accompanying Herbert’s record-breaking performance on Sunday, was the Chargers’ best rushing output since 2018. The Chargers running backs combined for 218 rushing yards, led by Northwestern graduate Justin Jackson’s day as he rushed for career highs in carries and yards, as he amassed 89 carries on 17 carries. Justin also complemented his rushing yards with a career-high 53 yards receiving. Recently signed free agent Troymaine Pope running back joined UCLA Rookie Running Back Joshua Kelley to gain an additional 99 yard on the ground.

This balance offensive attack led to a Chargers 24-3 lead. However, for the 4th time in said amount of weeks this season, the Chargers have relinquished a double-digit lead. This has become a major source of concern for Head Coach Anthony Lynn, because the offensive is playing well enough to win games yet the defense is not allowing them to close out games. Some are questioning if a change should be made on the defensive coaching staff, Lynn responded by saying, “what do you want to do; go hire new players, go hire new coaches’ right in the middle of the season? You can’t do that; this is what we have and we’ve got to figure this (expletive) out!”

When asked if he thought, this was a schematic or personnel issue Coach Lynn replied “we did not execute.” I followed that up with, then is that competence or commitment issue? In revelatory response or a moment of honesty he replied by saying it’s a “some of this is youth.” I was somewhat surprised to hear such an honest response.

Los Angeles Chargers Veteran Cornerback Casey Hayward was also asked if he thought there should be a replacement in the defensive coaching staff, and he expressed that Gus (Bradley Defensive Coordinator) was not the problem. I also asked him if he thought their issues on defense where a schematic or personnel issue, he sharply replied, “it’s a team thing! We have to find a way to finish as a team.”

Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley is supported by Anthony Lynn, hopefully, for Lynn, it’s not at the detriment of his job. Though the team has suffered some injuries to key players most notably Austin Ekeler and Derwin James, as they always seem to do. The historic play of Justin Herbert should have netted them more than 2 wins at this point in the season.

Kindly share your thoughts on how you see the recurring theme of the Chargers giving up big leads in the second half of games this season, by reaching out to me on Twitter @whatsgoodnsport, or forward any suggestions on what topics or angles you’d like to see discussed to info@whatsgoodinsports.com. Lastly, be sure to subscribe to our weekly “Voice of the Fans Podcast” which is available for you on most podcasting platforms; Apple and Google Podcasts including Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio. Thank you, as always, for making our voice your choice!