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2023 NFL season, Week 9: What We Learned from Chargers' win over Jets on Monday 

Los Angeles Chargers
2023 · 4-4-0
New York Jets
2023 · 4-4-0

  1. Chargers find a way to win ugly. Let's keep it simple: Los Angeles scored 27 points and won by 21 while totaling just 191 yards of offense. That's the kind of night it was for the Chargers, who found the going to be rather difficult against a notoriously stingy Jets defense that certainly did its job. Austin Ekeler found some early success and scored two touchdowns, but finished with just 47 yards on 14 carries. Keenan Allen led the Chargers in receiving with 77 yards, while Justin Herbert posted a passer rating of 65.4. It wasn't pretty, but it was a win, one Los Angeles can be proud of for the way its defense (and special teams) rose to the occasion.
  2. Jets can't get out of their own way. It sure seemed as if each positive play for New York came with a catch Monday night. Breece Hall runs around the left end for 6 yards? Penalty, holding on Allen Lazard. That's how the night went for the Jets, who couldn't avoid hurting themselves. What was arguably even worse was how the Chargers gave the Jets opportunities to get back into the game -- interceptable passes landing incomplete, fumbles available to be recovered by the Jets but somehow rescued by the Chargers to maintain possession, slightly muffed punts saved from catastrophe simply because nearby Jets weren't able to fall on them. Yet, New York consistently didn't capitalize. It's a shame, because the Jets' defense played well enough to win. Just look at the final team statistics. But every 50/50 play went the Chargers' way, a remarkably surprising outcome for a team known for ending up on the losing end of such events. Sometimes, it's bad luck, but it happened so often.
  3. Both of these offensive lines are bad. Chargers right tackle Trey Pipkins resembled a turnstile for much of Monday night, inviting rushers through his right shoulder toward Herbert. It certainly wasn't just Pipkins who struggled, either. The entire group had a tough time, surrendering a registered QB pressure on 54.1% of Herbert's total dropbacks. Rashawn Slater allowed a career-high eight pressures on 37 pass-blocking snaps. New York's offensive line wasn't any better, giving up eight sacks of Zach Wilson, who also lost two fumbles caused by Chargers rushers. We spent a point talking about how tough it was for the Chargers' offense, but the Jets' offense struggled plenty, too, and most of it had to do with the lack of proficiency up front. Hall managed 3.1 yards per carry and never really got going because there just wasn't anywhere to run. It was stunning that Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett trusted this group to clear enough space for a direct snap on a fourth-and-1 play. Surprisingly, it worked well enough to get the first down. But overall, well, this offense is going to struggle no matter who plays quarterback, because the line just isn't good enough.
  4. Zach Wilson ... just not good. The photos of a stone-faced Wilson are likely already being printed for Tuesday's New York tabloids and, frankly, it's warranted. The small bits of progress Wilson has made in the last two months were nonexistent Monday night. He didn't sense pressure well at all, which was especially detrimental, considering how poorly the Jets' offensive line performed in pass protection. When he tried to extend plays, they ended in ugly fashion. He missed open targets and didn't really find any sort of rhythm until garbage time. It's surprising to see the Jets outgained the Chargers by nearly 80 yards, but then again, 73 of those yards came on New York's inconsequential final drive. New York's front office should be judged harshly for building a group that relied heavily on Aaron Rodgers with no legitimate backup plan in place. If general manager Joe Douglas thought Wilson would suddenly become a competent quarterback from one training camp spent learning from Rodgers, he was only fooling himself -- and now the Jets are paying the price for it.  
  5. Two Chargers stalwarts clear checkpoints. Now for the good stuff. Joey Bosa looks healthy and led the Chargers in sacks with 2.5. Khalil Mack tacked two more sacks to his ledger, clearly benefitting from Bosa's presence and delivering a much-needed boost for a defense that has had a rough go for much of this season. Offensively, Keenan Allen delivered the only top-tier highlight play of the night, going full acrobat to reel in an off-target throw from Justin Herbert on an important third down. That snag also made history, moving Allen past the 10,000 career receiving yards mark as he became just the second Charger to reach that milestone (joining tight end Antonio Gates). That was a fun little detail in Monday night's game, which didn't see the Chargers make any definitive statements about their potential, but did see them move back to .500 at 4-4.

Next Gen stat of the game: Joey Bosa generated five pressures and 2.5 sacks on 32 rushes Monday night (15.6% pressure rate), with four of his five pressures coming in matchups with right tackle Billy turner.

NFL Research: The Chargers saw three players record multiple sacks in a game for the first time since Week 16 of the 2012 season. The 2.0-plus sacks recorded by three players (Joey Bosa, Tuli Tuipulotu, Khalil Mack) also tied for the most in a game in franchise history.

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