Turnovers have proved to be costly for Chargers all season
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Anthony Lynn hopes the Los Angeles Chargers have run the gamut when it comes to their turnover woes this season. Unfortunately for the third-year coach, there are still two games remaining this season.
The Chargers (5-9) are tied with Cincinnati for the league’s worst turnover differential (minus-16) after Sunday’s 39-10 loss to Minnesota. Their 39 giveaways are tied for third.
The seven turnovers against the Vikings are tied for the most in the league this season and it’s the first time in 21 years they have had at least seven in a game. The turnovers resulted in 20 points for Minnesota.
Of the 290 points the Chargers have allowed, 79 have been because of giveaways. At 27.2%, that is the third-highest rate in the league.
“The guys are buying in and the guys are playing their tails off, but the turnovers will kill you,” Lynn said.
Philip Rivers has been the main culprit most of the season when it comes to turnovers, but he wasn’t alone against the Vikings. Rivers was picked off three times and had a fumble, but Melvin Gordon fumbled twice and Hunter Henry coughed up the ball on what could have been ruled an incomplete pass.
Rivers has 18 interceptions with 11 coming in the past five games. He has 21 turnovers, which is tied for the fourth most in his 16-year career. He had 26 (21 interceptions, five fumbles) in 2015.
With Rivers’ future remaining a source of speculation, especially with the Chargers eliminated from playoff contention, he knows there is plenty of emphasis on the final two games.
“I think everything matters. Every throw, every interaction, every interview, they all matter regardless of what situation you are in. I think it gives you the chance to show your character, show that fight and desire to go play,” he said. “I think, collectively and individually, we are going to play them like they’re the last two. That is all I can do and see what goes from there. That is the only way I know how to go about it.”
Michael Badgley is one of only six current kickers who has not missed an extra point this season. Badgley made his lone attempt on Sunday and has made all 14 after he missed the first eight games this season because of a groin injury.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Remember when the Chargers had a semblance of a pass rush with Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa? That hasn’t happened much lately.
The Chargers were held without a sack against Minnesota and have a league-low three sacks in the past four games after having 24 in their first 10.
Wide receiver Keenan Allen has reached 1,000 yards for the third straight season, marking the first time that has been done by a Chargers receiver since Charlie Joiner in 1981.
Allen has 90 receptions for 1,046 yards.
Gordon was benched for most of the second half after his second fumble on the opening drive of the third quarter. He had a season-low seven carries and his 28 yards were the second fewest.
Gordon missed the first four games because of a contract dispute but appeared to turn the corner after a slow start. However he has only 19 carries for 83 yards the past two weeks.
“You get in times like this, and you’re desperate to make a play. I got humbled,” Gordon said.
Left tackle Russell Okung aggravated a groin injury during the second quarter. Lynn is hopeful that Okung could return for Sunday’s game against Oakland.
7 — Consecutive games by Mike Williams with at least one reception of 35 yards or more.
Los Angeles’ final two games are against its AFC West rivals, beginning Sunday against Oakland. It will be the Chargers’ final home game at their temporary home in Carson, California, before they move into the new stadium in Inglewood with the Rams next season.