Chargers News: 3 Takeaways From Week 1 Against the Cincinnati Bengals

Let’s get it out of the way right now. The Chargers got lucky on Sunday in their 16-13 win over the Bengals thanks to a missed field goal with 7 seconds left in the game. While it surely wasn’t the showing that most fans had hoped for, there were key takeaways that should retain their optimism for the season.

3. Tyrod Taylor Shows Promise

Anthony Lynn has expressed his confidence and trust in Taylor with the hopes that he could lead the team until former first-round pick Justin Herbert is deemed ready. While the score doesn’t garner much confidence, especially against a lackluster Bengals team, Tyrod quietly put up some solid numbers. After a slow start to the game, Tyrod and the offense started to pick up the pace.

He completed 16 of his 30 passes for 208 yards while gaining 7 additional yards on the ground. Tyrod hasn’t started a game under center since 2018 and with no preseason, it’ll take some time for him to learn to trust his receivers and develop some chemistry.  Some of that chemistry started to show later on in the game with some big plays to Mike Williams and Hunter Henry. 

2. Joshua Kelley Impressed

The former Bruin product was expected to make an impact sometime this season, but no one expected it to be this soon. Kelley saw an increase in touches after Justin Jackson exited the game early due to a quad injury. The Bengals couldn’t stop him as he rushed 12 times for 60 yards and his first career touchdown. The rookie surely left his impression on the game and could see another increase in Week 2 if Jackson can’t find his way back to the field. A combination of Kelley and Ekeler (19 carries for 84 rushing yards) could form a dangerous duo moving forward. 

1. The Defense is Still a Strength 

The Chargers came into the season with not only one of the best secondaries in the league but one of the best overall defenses. Even after a season-ending injury to Derwin James, the Chargers proved they’re still to be feared. The defense led by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III tormented Joe Burrow and repeatedly stuffed Joe Mixon.

As a whole, they totaled 3 sacks, 6.5 tackles for a loss, 6 QB hits and forced two key turnovers (an interception by Melvin Ingram III and a fumble recovery by Nick Vigil) that ultimately led to the win. While it was a positive sign for the future of the season, the defense will have its hands full during their Week 2 matchup with the defending champion Chiefs.

Final Thoughts

It surely was an ugly win for the Chargers who barely escaped the Bengals, but starting off the year 1-0 has to give confidence to an underdog team. Taylor and the offense should only get better from here and fans should expect big things this season from rookie Joshua Kelley as well as a talented defense.

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