Chargers ride big plays, exorcise demons in win over Browns

CLEVELAND -- Almost two years ago, players stood on the sideline in disbelief as kicker Josh Lambo's 45-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right, and the Los Angeles Chargers lost to the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 24, marking the struggling franchise's only win of the 2016 season.

Fast forward to 2018, and this year's version of the Chargers exorcised some demons Sunday by dismantling the Browns 38-14 at FirstEnergy Stadium.

With the win, the Chargers take a three-game winning streak into their final game before their Week 8 bye, when they play "host" to the Tennessee Titans in London next week.

"I did say to Melvin Ingram as we were walking in, 'We cannot lose this game and then stay here the next four or five days," joked Rivers. "I couldn't think of anything much worse."

The Chargers are staying in Cleveland this week in preparation for their Week 7 game, and will travel to London on Thursday.

Added Ingram: "When you come out and get three wins in a row and then you're going out to London, it's definitely a boost."

While the Browns are improved, the Chargers dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage, and therefore the game.

The Chargers rolled up 246 yards on the ground, led by Melvin Gordon's 132, including touchdown runs of 11, 10 and 4 yards.

It marked the first time Gordon has rushed for three touchdowns in a game in his NFL career and the third time he scored three TDs (rushing/receiving combined) in a game.

Gordon now has nine touchdowns this season -- the most by a Chargers player in the team's first six games of a season since Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005 (11), per ESPN Stats & Information.

Gordon also is the first Chargers player with 125 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in a game since Tomlinson did it exactly 11 years ago (Oct. 14, 2007).

"I get a lot of juice when he's the running the ball like that," Chargers guard Dan Feeney said. "He was out there making people miss, running through people. Phil even threw a couple blocks out there."

Receiver Tyrell Williams had a big day as well, finishing with three receptions for 118 receiving yards. Williams served as a one-man wrecking crew on a two-play, 89-yard scoring drive midway through the second quarter.

On first-and-10 from the Bolts' 11-yard line, Philip Rivers hit Williams in stride on a deep crossing route for a 44-yard gain.

The play worked so well the Chargers dialed it up again, with Rivers this time throwing into triple coverage to Williams. The Western Oregon product managed to outmuscle cornerback Damarious Randall for the 45-yard touchdown reception.

Williams also hauled in a 29-yard reception on an in route for a score just before halftime.

According to NFL Next Gen stats, Williams has caught 5-of-5 tight window targets for 144 yards and two touchdowns this season. Williams is the only player with a 100 percent catch rate on tight window targets (less than 1 yard of separation) on at least five targets this season.

Defensively, the Chargers finished with five sacks, led by two from Damion Square. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield finished 22-of-46 for 238 passing yards, one touchdown pass and two interceptions, both corralled by slot cornerback Desmond King.

The Browns managed just 103 rushing yards on the day.