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Turnovers Doom Chargers in 39-10 Blowout Loss to Minnesota Vikings
By Jarred Davis, Contributing Writer
Published December 19, 2019

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (#30) carries the ball during the matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

“We got our (butt) kicked in all three phases,” Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said post game after witnessing his team showcase its most disheartening performance of the season.

One week after being officially eliminated from playoff contention, pivotal mistakes and frustrating mishaps continued once more.

Los Angeles lost four fumbles and committed seven heart wrenching turnovers during the Minnesota Vikings 39-10 route over the Chargers on Sunday night at Dignity Health Sports Park.

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“I haven’t seen that team all year,” Lynn said. “We’ve gotten beat. We’ve never gotten beat like that. That was my problem today. That’s my frustration right now. I haven’t seen that team in three years since I’ve been here.”

The Chargers (5-9), have dropped four of their last five, while the Vikings (10-4) have won four of their last five. Los Angeles running Melvin Gordon fumbled twice and quarterback Philip Rivers threw three interceptions.

“It sucks,” Gordon said. “You’re playing for nothing but you’re playing for something, playing for your boys and the guys around you.”

Since holding out prior and midway through the beginning of the season, Gordon has been trying to get on track, but has struggled to get back to his Pro Bowl level of play.

Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Thomas Davis, Sr. (#58) makes a tackle against the Minnesota Vikings. (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

“Lack of focus,” Gordon added on the turnovers. “You’re itching to make a play, make something happen. You worry so much about trying to make something happen you lose focus on the ball.”

Rivers threw for 307 yards and a touchdown but has now been picked off 11 times in the past five games. He currently has 18 interceptions on the season, as his single-season career high for interceptions is 21.

Minnesota signal caller Kirk Cousins was 19 of 25 for 207 yards with a touchdown and interception. Cousins marched the Vikings down the field on the opening drive of the game and connected with Irv Smith Jr. in the back of the end zone for a one-yard touchdown.

The Chargers took a 10-9 lead in the second quarter on Rivers’ two-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams. However, that would be the final bright spot for Los Angeles after Minnesota went on to score 30 unanswered points.

The Vikings first responded with a Dan Bailey field goal to go up 12-10. Moments later, all chaos broke loose for the Chargers after an impressive drive fell apart with under 20 seconds left in the half. Rivers tried to make something out of nothing but fumbled while being sacked by Danielle Hunter.

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

Chargers tailback Austin Ekeler then recovered the ball at the 38 and attempted to make a play but also fumbled and defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo then sealed a 56-yard scoop and score to give Minnesota a 19-10 lead.

On the opening drive in the third, Gordon fumbled for the second time of the game, which resulted in Lynn benching his feature tailback for the majority of the third and fourth quarters.

“You go out there and make a mistake at this point in time, everything is under a microscope. You fumble once, it’s like you fumbled three times. You throw an interception, it’s like you threw two interceptions. Everything is worse,” Gordon said.

Bailey added two more field goals in the third and backup running back Mike Bone had two rushing scores in the fourth to give the Vikings a dominating 39-10 victory.

“I don’t need to tell them (anything), if they don’t wanna fight, then they don’t needa be in this locker room,” said Los Angeles linebacker Melvin Ingram, on what the team needs to be told going forward. “When (stuff) goes bad, be self-motivated.”

The Chargers next host the Oakland Raiders (6-8) next Sunday on December 22 in their final game in Carson before moving into their new stadium in Inglewood next season. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:05 PM.

Categories: Football | Sports
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