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 said.
The Melvins — Gordon and linebacker Ingram — helped the Chargers end a losing streak that began in December by defeating the New York Giants 27-22.
Gordon caught two touchdown passes, including the game winner that came after Ingram recorded a sack, a forced fumble and a recovery on the same play.
That the two played such big roles in the victory — Gordon with more than 160 yards from scrimmage and Ingram with two sacks and two hits on Eli Manning — had to be special for the two close friends, guys who often wait for one another so they can walk out of the locker room together.
“That’s my little brother,” Ingram said.
The friendship began in Gordon’s rookie season and initially had nothing to do with their shared first name. But as time went on the two grew closer and “M and M” became a thing.
That the Chargers have two Melvins is a bit of an oddity. Only 19 players with the name have played in the NFL.
And Sunday, two of them were pretty important.
Gordon had not rushed for 100 yards in his last eight games, dating to Nov. 13, 2016, before trampling over and through the Giants for 105 yards. He caught a team-best six passes for 58 yards.
“He ran like he wanted it again,” coach Anthony Lynn said.
Gordon barreled through tackles and looked quicker than in the Chargers’ previous four games, when he ran for only 168 yards.
“That’s just how I play. I was tired and exhausted, but you just have to find a way to push through,” Gordon said. “It’s what we had to do. I wasn’t trying to get back on this plane 0-5. That was going through my mind the whole time — regardless of how you feel, push through it.”
Ingram increased his season sack total to 7½ with his third multi-sack game.
“[The ball] was looking for me. I didn’t go find it,” Ingram said. “It came and found me. It just said, ‘Where you at?’ And I said, ‘I’m right here.’ ”
That the Chargers could joke after a victory was a pleasant change; that they could joke after a tight victory could prove to be important down the road.
“Today was a statement that proved to ourselves that we have the talent, the team and the ability to push through in close games,” Gordon said. “We just have to find a way to make it happen. We did that today. So now we know we can do it. So, when we get back into this situation, we have all the confidence in the world to get through because we just got through it now.”