The Chargers’ kicker wasn’t a story Sunday and that in itself was a story.
Rookie Michael Badgley converted his two field-goal tries, from 27 and 41 yards, and his two extra-point attempts in the team’s 20-6 victory at Oakland.
He did so in his third NFL game and on a day when the winds were swirling and gusting. Badgley replaced Caleb Sturgis last week after the veteran was waived.
“You had weird circumstances with the wind,” defensive end Isaac Rochell said. “It’s his first time back. I just think he did a good job. … He’s still undefeated in the NFL, never missed one. I was proud of him.”
Badgley filled in for two games last month when Sturgis was injured. He is now five for five on field-goal tries and nine for nine on extra-point attempts.
Coach Anthony Lynn praised the rookie from the University of Miami and said he also liked how Badgley kicked off, something that had been a concern.
“The hang time on his kickoffs was something he needed to improve on and I feel like he did that,” Lynn said. “I’d love him to kick it through the end zone sometimes because you’re going to play those all-pro returners. If he can get us the hang time, at least we can cover it.”
Lynn said he believed the lacking air quality caused by the nearby wildfires was more noticeable before the game than as the afternoon wore on.
He also said he and the assistants tired to not dwell on the subject Sunday morning.
“I didn’t want to give that too much attention because then it could really play a mind trick on you,” he said. “I don’t think we would have been out there if it wasn’t safe enough.”
Several Chargers didn’t believe the air quality was a problem but a few suspected it caused them issues.
“I definitely felt it,” Rochell said. “I feel like my throat hurts. I think a big part of that was bad air quality.”
Said running back Melvin Gordon: “I don’t want to say it did [have an effect]. … My throat was super dry, more than normal. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it or not.”
Denzel Perryman is injured
Linebacker Denzel Perryman, who went into the game ranked second on the team in tackles, left in the first minute and did not return after suffering a knee injury.
He said he’ll have an MRI exam Monday.
“Right now, I have no idea,” Lynn said of the injury. “It didn’t look good, you know, on the field. But Denzel’s a tough guy. We’ll see.”
Keenan Allen scores
Keenan Allen’s 11-yard scoring reception from Philip Rivers late in the second quarter wasn’t only the game’s first touchdown. It also was his first since the season opener.
“I can’t lie to you,” Allen said. “It felt good. It’s been awhile. We had a great play call and me and Phil hit it.”
Allen was feeling so good about his surging team, afterward he announced that on the days when the Chargers have everything together on offense they’ll “put up 40 [points], at least.”
Asked whether the Chargers can overtake Kansas City and win the AFC West, Allen said “no question.”
Beating the blitz
Gordon’s 66-yard touchdown in the third quarter came on a play when the Chargers beat the blitz, something Rivers has done plenty of times over his long career.
He threw short to Gordon, who made two defenders miss and was quickly gone.
“Phil knew exactly what to do with the ball,” Lynn said. “Check-down’s not designed for that. But that’s what we did. I thought Melvin did an outstanding job on that play.”