The Chargers have come full circle, going from a trendy team everyone loved to a flaming disaster we finally refused to trust to a secretly stable franchise in the 2018 season. I certainly did not expect to write about trusting the Chargers -- they've always been a thorn in my side and a thorn in the side of logic, because of special teams gaffes, dumb clock management, poor coaching decisions and general tomfoolery. This was supposed to be their year for a breakthrough. Maybe it is after all. 

Los Angeles now has a pretty decent resume six weeks into the season. They're 4-2 and in a good spot when it comes to the wild-card race, having lost games to the Chiefs and Rams, two teams who combined for a 10-0 record coming into Week 6. The Chargers weren't particularly close in those games, but losing to KC and LA isn't something to be upset about. 

Their wins are more interesting to me. The Chargers, after manhandling the Browns 38-14 on Sunday, have a pair of impressive road wins against quality defenses in the Bills and Browns. Beating Buffalo and Cleveland isn't some magnificent achievement, but stomping out a frisky opponents on the road in a different time zone is a sign of a strong team. 

Make no mistake: the Browns are a quality opponent. They were favored by kickoff and sported the No. 2 defense by DVOA coming into Sunday. The Bills were No. 7 entering Week 6. Both teams have rookie quarterbacks and offenses that can sputter, but the Chargers snuffed them out. They stomped on Oakland in recent weeks too. C.J. Beathard had a nice game the week after Jimmy Garoppolo went down, but there's some psychology in play there, along with game planning. 

The Chargers will still continue to battle some issues, but Anthony Lynn saw the little things happen on Sunday. 

"Well, we made all of our damn kicks – all the extra points, all the field goals so that's improvement," Lynn said, opening up his postgame press conference. "Fire away."

Los Angeles has the pieces to sustain a run here too. Philip Rivers is playing at an MVP level right now. He completed only 11 of his 20 attempts on Sunday, but two of them went for touchdowns and he averaged more than 10 yards per attempt. Melvin Gordon isn't getting the same love as guys like Todd Gurley, but he's having a MONSTER year. Gordon found the end zone three times, giving him nine scores for the season. And he's been excellent as an all-purpose back, compiling 745 yards from scrimmage in the first six weeks. Gordon hasn't had a game with more than 20 carries yet -- he's been remarkably efficient, averaging over five yards per rush. The Chargers have wisely used Austin Ekeler to help alleviate his carries and to keep their foot on the gas. 

It's a balanced team with potential reinforcements down the stretch run, as both Joey Bosa and Hunter Henry have a shot at injecting some life into their respective side of the ball in the second half of the season. The Chargers defense hasn't been the beast we expected, but it was 18th in DVOA before Sunday and only went up with a comfortable performance against Cleveland. 

Schedule-wise, this team should keep streaking. The reeling Titans -- losers of two straight -- come to town next, then the Bolts hit their bye before heading to Seattle and Oakland, followed by them hosting Denver. Expect them to snuff out some divisional rivals en route to setting the stage for a huge divisional matchup against the Chiefs in December. 

Maybe this will finally be the year they flip a game they traditionally lose.

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Buccaneers final play

There were a couple of heart-wrenching moments at the end of a wild Tampa Bay-Atlanta shootout that surely left anyone holding Buccaneers +3.5 with their head in their hands. For starters, Dan Quinn elected to kick a 57-yard field goal with less than two minutes left and his team up by two points. Matt Bryant got hurt on the kick, which is another issue, but he made it, which gave the Falcons a five-point lead and forced Tampa to play for a touchdown. As Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said afterwards, "that was a ballsy call" by Quinn. 

That touchdown would never happen but it came really close to being an absolutely wild ending, thanks to a curious and creative play call from the Tampa sidelines. With seven seconds left in the game, Koetter got a little heavy on the huevos as well, dialing up a quarterback draw for Jameis Winston from the 20-yard line. It wasn't a "normal" draw, though, with Winston having "options

"It was a quarterback draw with options. Jameis had options," Koetter said after the game. "It's tough, he has people chasing him from all sides. There's not a lot of great plays on one play from the 20."

That's true, but was this the best option for Tampa Bay? 

It nearly worked, but it nearly worked on accident. At one point, Jameis was flying through the air and lobbing the ball back on a lateral to Adam Humphries, even though it didn't appear Humphries knew the ball was coming until it landed on the turf. 

via NFL Game

People got #mad #online over my commentary on this questionable play call and I get that it almost worked -- if DeSean Jackson scoops up the ball on the final lateral he probably strolls into the end zone untouched, the Bucs walk the game off and we're praising the genius of Koetter for a bold and successful trick play. 

It does sound, at least from Jackson's perspective, like he ends up with the ball in that situation.

"I'd have walked in backwards. ... I was anxiously waiting on it," Jackson said after the game. "The way that play is planned out, I definitely would have for sure scored."

He's not wrong:

via NFL Game

Maybe I'm being overly harsh here, but I just don't like the play call. Sure the Falcons are loading up the end zone with defensive backs -- and Julio Jones too -- but the Bucs' biggest team strength, by far, is the size of their pass catchers. Mike Evans and Cameron Brate are red-zone monsters. Throw it up to them and try either get a reception or draw pass interference. 

I've come around on this play since I started writing, and definitely since I saw the play and referred to it as one of the worst play calls you'll ever see. I don't think that's the case: in fact, I think it was a pretty creative play call, and if you get the ball into Jackson's hands and he scores, the Bucs would deserve all the praise they would have gotten.

The execution definitely left something to be desired, with Jameis committing too far towards the end zone and being forced to flip the ball back to no one. But the play call certainly added some spice to the end of the game, even if it didn't work out well. 

Raiders are reeling

It's stunning to see how bad the Raiders look with each passing week, and even more stunning to see how little Jon Gruden appears to care about their results. Oakland is now 1-5 on the season after getting smothered into oblivion by the Seahawks on Sunday afternoon in London, losing 27-3 thanks to an offense that looked like it was playing in a glass of Guinness.

I thought the Raiders might win this game because overseas action gets weird, but if I'd known that Gruden was going to wait until Friday (!?) to fly over to London for a Sunday game, I would have jammed the Seahawks in my SuperContest picks and splashed some shillings on them as well. A red eye from L.A. or Vegas back to the East Coast takes a day or so to recover. Flying from Oakland to London and playing a professional football game less than 48 hours after the trip? That's pure insanity. And Gruden knew it too. 

 "I hope I can make it, honestly. I'm not great. I get claustrophobic," Gruden said last week when talking about a long trip he took to see his son in a weightlifting event. "I had vertigo for a month [after Belarus]. I couldn't even lay down, the house was spinning. I am hoping I don't get vertigo. I'm not a great traveler. I'll be honest with you, I hate it. I'm not good. I'm concerned. I'm more worried about that than our goal-line offense right now."

So that didn't work out very well for the Raiders. Marshawn Lynch -- 13 carries for 45 yards -- was bottled up and the Seahawks spent most of the afternoon busting through the offensive line and making Derek Carr's afternoon miserable by sacking him six times. It looked like he was on the verge of tears at one point. 

Amari Cooper got knocked out of the game without recording a statistic. Jalen Richard, a running back, led the team in targets (8), receptions (7) and receiving yards (48). Carr was utterly unable to push the ball down the field. Just look at Derek Carr's Next Gen Stat passing chart for proof of how neutered this offense is right now.

via NFL Next Gen Stats

Those are numbers you expect to see from Blaine Gabbert. 4.5 yards per attempt is not going to scare anyone. Here's a bananas stat: Carr's average air yards per completion -- meaning how many yards the ball traveled in the air before being completed -- was 0.1, per Next Gen Stats. It doesn't even seem possible. For comparison's sake, Eli Manning averaged 2.4 air yards per completion against the Eagles on Thursday night. Only two quarterbacks, Brock Osweiler and Sam Bradford, manage to have average air yards per completion of under 4.0. 

Overtime rules

Ever wonder what the record for most ties in an NFL season is? Or the record for most overtime games in an NFL season? The short version is that the NFL saw a record-breaking overtime game on Sunday with a game going to extra time for the sixth week in a row. We're on pace for the most ties and most overtime games in NFL history. 

Brock N' Roll

How weird was Week 6 around the NFL? Brock Osweiler started a game and beat the first place Chicago Bears in overtime. For doing that, the Brock Lobster helped the Dolphins earn an A+ from John Breech in his weekly grades. Interesting to note on this situation, was Adam Gase's response when asked about Ryan Tannehill's injury. He appeared to get a little snippy, saying he's sick of talking about it and can't talk about it for HIPAA reasons (that's not true). It would be stunning if the Dolphins continued to roll with Osweiler, but we have certainly seen weirder things. 

The Steelers live!

So much for the demise of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Heading into their bye, they are supposed to get Le'Veon Bell back (TBD on that) against the Browns in Week 8. And by beating the first-place Bengals (who are still in first place), the Steelers reminded everyone they are not yet going to go away from the AFC North. The Ravens look great and the Bengals are still very good, but the Steelers are very much alive right now. Sean Wagner-McGough breaks it all down right here.