The Chargers are on fire.
After cruising to a 28-6 win over the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on Thursday, the Chargers have consecutive blowout wins. The Chargers (5-6) have a great chance to even their record next week against the winless Browns.
While the Chargers defense held the Cowboys to 247 yards of offense and forced two turnovers, Thursday’s win was driven by quarterback Philip Rivers and wide receiver Keenan Allen. Rivers lit up the Cowboys defense while Allen racked up 172 yards on 11 receptions. The highlight was a weaving 42-yard touchdown as he made four defenders miss.
Oh no he didn’t …
— NFL (@NFL) November 23, 2017
As the Chargers rolled up 515 yards of offense, the Cowboys had trouble protecting Dak Prescott. The second-year quarterback was sacked twice and failed to throw a touchdown pass under consistent pressure. The first of Prescott’s two interceptions was returned 90 yards by Chargers rookie cornerback Desmond King to seal the win.
— NFL (@NFL) November 24, 2017
Here are three takeaways from the Chargers’ win over the Cowboys
1. Philip Rivers just might rally the Chargers for a playoff berth — The Chargers quarterback always plays with high-energy and he has seemingly sparked the Bolts since their sluggish start.
Rivers was 27 of 33 for 434 yards and three touchdowns on Thursday, including a 27-yard scoring strike to Tyrell Williams. The third-year receiver did a great job to high-point the ball and then tip-toe the sideline in the end zone.
— NFL (@NFL) November 23, 2017
As the Chiefs are sliding in the AFC West, the Raiders and Broncos are dealing with inner turmoil and the Chargers are the only team in the division trending upward.
“We really kept the rhythm from last week,” Rivers told CBS Sports. “It was a great day. It was everything it was built up to be. Playing on Thanksgiving was special.”
2. The Cowboys are done — Dallas set a franchise mark for futility by being held scoreless through the first three quarters of Thursday’s game. Dating back to their last two games, the Cowboys had not scored a touchdown in 10 straight quarters for the first time in franchise history.
Dallas (5-6) got left tackle Tyron Smith back, but lost Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin with a head injury and are still without suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott for another three weeks. Linebacker Sean Lee, the defensive leader, did not play again because of an injured hamstring and he might miss another two games. As the Cowboys fall further behind in the NFC playoff hunt, it’s hard to imagine they’ll be able to make up any ground without Elliott and their other injured stars.
3. The Chargers would lead the AFC West with a competent kicker — The Chargers have the NFL’s worst field-goal percentage. They cut rookie Younghoe Koo after he was just 3 of 6 in four games. The Chargers lost two of those games by two points and another by three. Instead of beginning the season 0-4, the Chargers very well could have been 3-1. Nick Novak, who injured his back on a missed 35-yard attempt Thursday, was signed and he has not been great. After going 1 for 2 on Thursday, Novak is 9 of 13.
Instead of sitting a 5-6 after 11 games, the Chargers would likely be 8-3 if the crucial kicks had been made. Novak has been a vast improvement over Koo, but if his back injury is serious, the Chargers could be right back at square one with their kicking woes.