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  • Chargers receiver Mike Williams aims to make most of injury plagued rookie season

    Chargers receiver Mike Williams aims to make most of injury plagued rookie season

    There are no redshirt years in the NFL, so Mike Williams won’t gain another season of eligibility for what seems like a lost rookie year with the Chargers, who chose the 6-foot-4, 220-pound receiver with the seventh pick of last April’s draft. Williams, 23, has no choice but to marinate in the...

  • Chargers' defense seems to improve every week under new coordinator Gus Bradley

    Chargers' defense seems to improve every week under new coordinator Gus Bradley

    The Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense has been stellar, overcoming mediocre quarterback play to rise near the top of the AFC. The Minnesota Vikings’ defense has been almost as good, helping cover for an offense that lost its top choice at quarterback and running back. And the Baltimore Ravens’ defense...

  • Staying healthy has been key factor in Chargers' resurgence

    Staying healthy has been key factor in Chargers' resurgence

    Chargers coach Anthony Lynn doesn’t know exactly how it’s happened, but somehow his once-snakebitten franchise has the sun shining squarely on it. To get back into a tie for first in the AFC West after starting the year 0-4, you’re going to need some good fortune. To suddenly be swimming in turnovers,...

  • Keenan Allen has overcome injuries to become Chargers' top receiver

    Keenan Allen has overcome injuries to become Chargers' top receiver

    Keenan Allen does not appear to have a chip on his shoulder, that accumulation of slights — real or perceived — that many NFL players seem to need for motivation. The Chargers receiver does have a lump on his shoulder. To the right of his neck is a peculiar-looking protrusion, about an inch high,...

  • Chargers never gave up after 0-4 start

    Chargers never gave up after 0-4 start

    When the Chargers were sitting at the bottom of the NFL, winless after four games, questions should have been being asked. Cracks in the team’s foundation should have started to show. The losing streak had essentially eliminated them from postseason contention since only one team in modern NFL...

  • What we learned from the Chargers' victory over the Browns

    What we learned from the Chargers' victory over the Browns

    The Chargers improved to 6-6 with a 19-10 defeat of the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at StubHub Center. Here’s what we learned: 1. The Chargers aren’t there yet After getting to .500 for the first time this season, the Chargers could finally claim that they’ve undone the damage from an 0-4 start....

  • Optimistic mind-set leads Chargers to the top of the AFC West

    Optimistic mind-set leads Chargers to the top of the AFC West

    When things were at their worst, when the Chargers fell to 0-4 and their fans were regularly and decisively being drowned out by cheers for whichever team was visiting StubHub Center, they could have let their season slip away. And who would have cared much if they had? The team that nobody seemed...

  • NFL notes: Bills WR Kelvin Benjamin to miss Sunday's game

    NFL notes: Bills WR Kelvin Benjamin to miss Sunday's game

    Buffalo Bills receiver Kelvin Benjamin will not play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday because of an injured right knee. The Bills said Benjamin did not travel with the team Saturday. He was hurt while being tackled on a 20-yard reception on Buffalo's opening drive in a 54-24 loss at the...

  • Chargers get some good news on Mike Williams' knee injury

    Chargers get some good news on Mike Williams' knee injury

    The Chargers and coach Anthony Lynn spent Thanksgiving Day dismantling the Dallas Cowboys, and the momentum carried over Friday when the team got some good news. Wide receiver Mike Williams, whom the team selected No. 7 in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft, didn’t injure the anterior cruciate...

  • What we learned from the Chargers' 28-6 victory over the Cowboys

    What we learned from the Chargers' 28-6 victory over the Cowboys

    Here’s what we learned in the Chargers’ 28-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys: 1. Rivers still has it While the defense has stood out in the Chargers’ victories this season, quarterback Phillip Rivers took center stage in Dallas and shone brighter than the star painted on midfield. Rivers, who will...

  • Chargers lucky they didn't leave Dallas kicking themselves after Nick Novak injury

    Chargers lucky they didn't leave Dallas kicking themselves after Nick Novak injury

    Chargers kicker Nick Novak was in the locker room getting pain-killing injections in his lower back and hip flexor in the first quarter of Thursday’s game when he heard the television announcers reference a video that was quickly spreading on social media. Novak’s emergency backup, punter Drew...

  • Chargers' defense puts a stamp on 'it' — a 28-6 victory over Dallas

    Chargers' defense puts a stamp on 'it' — a 28-6 victory over Dallas

    The word is “swagger,” but Chargers defensive tackle Damion Square isn’t very fond of it. There are better ways to describe the “it” the Chargers defense is playing with, the display that was clear as could be in the team’s 28-6 win Thursday against the Cowboys. It’s confidence. It’s attitude....

  • Chargers' Keenan Allen scores some points with his career-high 172 receiving yards on 11 catches

    Chargers' Keenan Allen scores some points with his career-high 172 receiving yards on 11 catches

    One by one they fell to the AT&T Stadium turf Thursday, five Dallas Cowboys defenders in all, tumbling to the ground as if they were pins and Chargers receiver Keenan Allen was a human bowling ball. Four of the five got a hand on Allen — one grabbed a shoulder, one an ankle, one a rib cage, one...

  • Philip Rivers in fine form during the Chargers' 28-6 rout of the Cowboys

    Philip Rivers in fine form during the Chargers' 28-6 rout of the Cowboys

    There was a little Decatur, Ala., on the field with Philip Rivers on Thursday. That was the town where he grew up, fantasizing of playing in the NFL; where he obsessed over football with his father and grandfather, and where he doctored photos to include his face on the cover of Sports Illustrated....

  • Sam Farmer's NFL picks for Week 12

    Sam Farmer's NFL picks for Week 12

    The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 9-5 (.643); season 100-60 (.625). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 6-7-1(.462); season...

  • How the Chargers and Cowboys match up for their Thanksgiving Day game

    How the Chargers and Cowboys match up for their Thanksgiving Day game

    How the Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) and Dallas Cowboys (5-5) match up for their Thanksgiving Day game. When: 1:30 p.m. | On the air: TV—Ch. 2; Radio—640 When Chargers have the ball The Chargers seemingly discovered the secret to their offensive woes against the Buffalo Bills, finding ways to get...

  • Chargers love being on Thanksgiving Day stage against Dallas Cowboys

    Chargers love being on Thanksgiving Day stage against Dallas Cowboys

    Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward knows the drill. Thursday when his team takes the field in Dallas to play the Cowboys, it’ll be a tremendous opportunity. Every football fan near a television will be watching. There will be no Red Zone channel or other games to distract attention. Thanksgiving...

  • Chargers defense overpowers Broncos in 21-0 victory

    The pads, the helmets, the rules, the 300-pound mountains of flesh usually keep the most important player on the field — the quarterback — out of harm’s way. But sometimes, when the ingredients are just right, an uncomfortable amount of punishment can be served. It’s why you weren’t wrong to hold...

  • Chargers and Rams finally giving L.A. fans football that they can get behind

    The Rams and Chargers beat division rivals Sunday by a combined 54-0. That’s just the kind of boring, no-suspense football Los Angeles can get behind. Technically, they were both home games, though neither felt that way. The Rams beat Arizona 33-0 in London, where the NFL is still sort of an exotic...

  • Chargers trying not to overthink matchup with familiar Broncos

    Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa isn’t worried about route tendencies. He’s not concerned with whether the quarterback throws the football to the left side of the field or the right side of the field. Bosa gets to play free — and free means fast. In the second quarter of the Chargers’ game with...

  • Chargers' Trevor Williams has turned a big corner as an undrafted free agent out of Penn State

    The chip is ingrained on the shoulder of Chargers cornerback Trevor Williams, as much a part of his uniform as the lightning bolt and No. 24 that cover it. It does not make Williams run faster or jump higher or tackle harder. It does keep an eternal flame lit under the 24-year-old and has been...

  • Las Vegas shooting victim enjoys his day meeting Chargers players

    Three weeks after surviving the most harrowing day of his life, Jonathan Smith, a 30-year-old copy machine repairman and longtime Chargers fan from Buena Park, enjoyed one of the most memorable days of his life. Smith, who was shot in the neck while trying to save dozens of people from a gunman...

  • Chargers put trust in Nick Novak, who comes through with game-winning field goal

    The Chargers, as much as anyone in the NFL, have their reasons to be skeptical when it comes to the guy who is supposed to knock the football between the two yellow posts. In their season opener in Denver, they had a game-tying kick blocked in the final seconds. In Week 2, they missed a pair of...

  • Chargers' top draft pick Mike Williams makes his debut and first reception

    It was a simple “dig” route, a play in which Mike Williams sprinted about 15 yards downfield and made a quick 90-degree turn toward the middle. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, on a third and six from the Oakland Raiders 34-yard line and his team trailing by three points in the fourth quarter,...

  • Hunter Henry shines on Chargers' winning drive

    The situation wasn’t bleak, not when you’ve got Philip Rivers — the veteran quarterback and author of 23 fourth-quarter comebacks since 2006 — under center with four minutes left and a mere two-point deficit to overcome. Still, it wasn’t ideal. Their offense limited to two touchdowns and struggling...

  • Chargers find a way to defeat the Raiders in Oakland: with a leap of faith

    It was fourth down, and Melvin Gordon would have preferred not to jump. The Chargers running back did it once last season, leaping into the end zone for a score, but he paid a steep price, taking a shot below the waist that still haunts him. “I felt like my world was about to end,” Gordon remembered....

  • Chargers' visit to Oakland to play the rival Raiders is not a very moving experience

    Imagine a person walking down the stairs in the house shared with a spouse. They need to talk. The last 22 years have not been great. There have been good times and bad, but more bad than good. The house is mess. That’s why they have to leave. Found someone new, someone fancier, someone better....

  • Chargers need more consistent all-around play, which is why they are 1-4

    While many teams have forged an identity five weeks into the season, the Chargers remain an enigma, a 1-4 club that has shown promise in many phases of the game and a capacity to collapse in all of them. A tough, physical running attack was a priority for first-year coach Anthony Lynn, and the...

  • Losing streak is over but penalty-plagued Chargers still have much work ahead

    When Chargers coach Anthony Lynn watched the film from his team’s 27-22 victory Sunday over the New York Giants, he couldn’t allow himself to bask in the glow from his first victory in the NFL — and his team’s first as the “Los Angeles Chargers” in more than five decades. No, the amount of laundry...

  • What we learned in the Chargers’ 27-22 win over the Giants

    Here’s what we learned in the Chargers’ 27-22 win over the Giants: 1. This team needed a win. The Giants aren’t very good. Eli Manning is close to motionless in the pocket. Their running game is as anonymous as a league source. Their receivers went to the locker room one by one until only one was...

  • Chargers defense 'came up huge' in victory over Giants

    Poor Ereck Flowers. The New York Giants left tackle lined up for a third-down play early in the third quarter Sunday with two of the NFL’s most menacing edge rushers in his face, Joey Bosa just off his right shoulder pad and Melvin Ingram off his left. The Chargers tandem is difficult enough to...

  • M and M (Melvin Gordon and Melvin Ingram) have sweet performances in Chargers' first victory

    The Ls had been piling up over the last 10 months, a span where the Chargers played nine times without a W, chasing and failing to catch one in all kinds of dramatic fashion. But Sunday at MetLife Stadium, they figured they needed to flip things. “M and M, baby,” Chargers running back Melvin Gordon...

  • Winless Chargers are having an awful time trying to grow roots in Los Angeles

    In San Diego, this is a fantastic NFL season. The Chargers, who abandoned that city for Los Angeles, are 0-4 and, worse, have gone largely unnoticed. This week’s game against the winless New York Giants has been shoved to Channel 9, where it won’t risk bumping into the Rams’ kickoff. Last week,...

  • Matchup between oldies Philip Rivers and Eli Manning could be a goodie

    In the car rides between the Chargers facility in Costa Mesa and his home in San Diego County, quarterback Philip Rivers can watch play after play in the mobile film room he had built for the season. He has seen the throws — the interceptions against Denver and Kansas City, and the deep strikes...

  • Chargers report: Defensive backs must find the middle ground on hits

    NFL defensive backs sometimes feel like major league pitchers who are getting squeezed by umpires — they’re confused by a shrinking strike zone. The league, in an attempt to reduce brain injuries, has tried to crack down on helmet-to-helmet contact, giving referees the authority to eject players...

  • Without a victory, it's difficult for Chargers to win over L.A. fans

    A banner criticizing Chargers owner Dean Spanos for moving his team from San Diego flew over StubHub Center on Sunday for the third consecutive game. With NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on hand to assess the league’s latest relocation project, Philadelphia Eagles fans staged a hostile takeover...

  • What we learned in the Chargers’ 26-24 loss to Philadelphia

    Here’s what we learned in the Chargers’ 26-24 loss to Philadelphia: The loss isn’t a fluke. This is the toughest truth the Chargers need to face after losing for the ninth time in their last nine tries — a stretch that goes back to Week 12 last season. These aren’t accidents. This isn’t just “bad...

  • A charged-up Rivers is anything but calm

    It was time to take a chance — at least, Philip Rivers thought so. The Chargers quarterback convulsed in frustration on the field before screaming his way off of it in the third quarter of a 26-24 loss to the Eagles. The offense faced fourth down and wanted to stay on the field. And Rivers, the...

  • Chargers defense cracks in loss to Eagles

    What Chargers coach Anthony Lynn likes to describe as a “bend-but-don’t-break” defense was stretched and twisted like a lump of Silly Putty on Sunday, yielding 16 plays of 10 yards or more in a 26-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in StubHub Center. It snapped on LeGarrette Blount’s 68-yard run...

  • Home-field disadvantage for Chargers against Eagles

    It was surreal. One look at the palm trees towering behind the north end of StubHub Center confirmed that the Eagles and Chargers were playing in California. But the roars and cheers from legions of green-clad fans told both teams otherwise — and reminded the Chargers that their house is not yet...

  • Chargers season on shaky ground after loss to Eagles

    With the goal posts dismantled on the StubHub Center field and the sun setting late Sunday afternoon, maintenance workers tried to remove any sign of Chargers football from the building. Using power washers, a group of men meticulously sprayed the team’s iconic lightning bolt helmet from the 50-yard...

  • Chargers are 'pinning their ears back' and putting pressure on opposing offenses

    If an offensive lineman had his way, his team would never pass. The quarterback would just hand off the football time after time after time. Run blocking is a proactive move — the ball is snapped and you attack the defender, trying to create space. The offensive linemen know where they’re supposed...

  • Chargers plan to link arms during the anthem before Sunday's game

    The Chargers plan to present a united front before Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, agreeing Friday to stand and link arms during the national anthem at StubHub Center. While most players and coaches stood and linked arms during the anthem before last Sunday’s game, five defensive...

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