Sunday sucked. No way around it.
There was a lot of good (in the first half). There was also, unfortunately, just as much bad (in the second half plus that one, excruciating fumble).
You know the drill.
Here are your Surge and Static players from the Chargers’ Week 4 tilt with the Bucs.
QB Justin Herbert
Week 4 stats: 20-of-25 passing, 290 passing yards, three touchdowns, one interception / 14 rushing yards
Dude. Herbert has been incredible. It’s also getting to the point where I’m getting quite annoyed of the lazy narrative that’s still hanging around like he’s played a major role in the team’s three-game losing streak.
His interception on the final drive against the Bucs is his least-glaring of them all, especially when he shouldn’t have had to be in that situation in the first place, but the discussion of the defensive collapse is a topic for somewhere else.
Heck, you could even argue the fumble wouldn’t have even happened if the offensive line didn’t get whipped so bad that Ndamukong Suh was on top of Kelley before he could even attempt to better secure the handoff.
Yes, Herbert should have placed it better in Kelley’s gut compared to his clavicle, but the ball wasn’t actually “out” until Suh put a hit on the ball-carrier. It’s just an example of multiple negative occurrences compounding into one huge bad play.
But we’re moving on because this was by far his best performance of the year against a top-5 defense in the NFL. He not only threw a career-high three touchdowns, he also became the 2nd quarterback in NFL history (Cam Newton) to throw for 900+ yards through his first three career starts.
He’s shown touch, arm talent, and surprising poise under pressure through the last three weeks, which are all crazy to see after he came into the NFL with his fair share of blemishes on his scouting report. Each new week has added to his rookie year highlight reel.
Oh yeah, here’s another crazy stat for Herbert: Through Week 4, Herbert leads the NFL in passing yards thrown for under pressure with 433.
He’s going to be fine, especially with a softer schedule coming up following Monday night’s matchup with the Saints.
WR Tyron Johnson
Week 4 stats: One receptions, 53 receiving yards, one touchdown
It really only took one game, and one catch, for Johnson to make his presence felt throughout the Chargers fan base. The guy who was in Anthony Lynn’s office at 5:45am on Friday morning, asserting to his coach that he wants to play against the Bucs, made the most of it, and then some.
Johnson was promoted and made active over 2020 fifth-round pick Joe Reed because the offensive staff wanted to see what the offense could do with more speed. It took the Chargers less than one drive before they saw Johnson get behind the Bucs secondary for a long score.
He only played eight snaps in total, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Johnson active once again on Monday night after proving he can win against top competition.
TE Donald Parham
Week 4 stats: One reception, 19 receiving yards, one touchdown
The Chargers finally used Parham in the exact way we were all waiting for them to use him. During the offense’s second trip inside the red zone, Parham lined up isolated to the left side with cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting in man coverage. Parham took an outside release and worked vertical up the sideline before Herbert threw a dart towards the front pylon that the 6’8 pass-catcher was able to snag through the efforts of the much smaller defender. Him being able to drag both of his feet in bounds before falling through the end zone was also an impressive feet for the former XFL player, as well.
Beautiful back-shoulder throw from Justin Herbert! Donald Parham Jr. comes down with the @Chargers TD.— NFL (@NFL) October 4, 2020
: #LACvsTB on CBS
: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/wvEEn0SFTV pic.twitter.com/VO4Z20QpIQ
It remains to be seen if Parham will continue to be active, but I don’t know how you keep that god-given talent off the field, especially when he helped the offense put up a career-high in points against the toughest defense the Chargers have faced up to this point.
WR Jalen Guyton
Week 4 stats: One reception, 72 receiving yards, one touchdown
It’s extremely weird to think that I’m including three players on the Surge list that all caught one pass against the Bucs while all of them also went for a touchdown, but here we are.
Guyton looked like former Chargers speedster Tyrell Williams when he beat his man vertically and separated enough at the catch point to out-run the tackle attempt before striding into the end zone 72 yards later. It gave Herbert his third touchdown of the day and proved everyone watching that he can be the type of receiver the Bolts need when it comes to taking the top off of opposing defenses.
If Williams is out another week, I’d like to see Guyton receive an increase in looks, but that might be tough against a Saints defense that may get back their top cornerbacks prior to Monday night.
CB Michael Davis
Week 4 stats: Six tackles, one PBU, one interception returned for a touchdown
Obviously I have to include Davis who became the first member of the secondary to record an interception in 2020. He undercut an ill-advised out route thrown by Brady and raced all the way back to the end zone to give the Chargers the lead at the time.
According to NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Davis was the fastest player in Week 4, while also turning in the third-fastest speed speed in the NFL through four weeks.
The fastest #NFL ball carrier from week 4 was #Chargers CB Michael Davis who hit 21.7 MPH on this 78-yard pick 6.— Recruiting Analytics (@RAanalytics) October 6, 2020
Per Next Gen Stats, this is the 3rd fastest speed reached by a ball carrier thru week 4, only trailing Raheem Mostert’s 23.09 & 22.73 MPH#myRAmaxspeed | @NFL pic.twitter.com/KCUo6ALoOm
It’s nice to see one of the younger guys excelling at a time where the most-veteran of the group is struggling.
CB Casey Hayward
Week 4 stats: Four tackles, one PBU, allowed five receptions on seven targets for 111 yards and one touchdown
There honestly isn’t much to say here besides that Hayward had a really, really bad day against Mike Evans, whom also was practically dragging one foot the whole time after getting his leg rolled on top of during the first quarter.
Hayward’s worst play of the day came on a deep pass to Evans up the right sideline. Hayward was actually the one who looked like the receiver on the play due to him maintaining a solid step on the receiver throughout, but that effort came up fruitless once he realized he had overrun the pass and Evans was able to haul it in without much of a fight. It simply looked like a horrible decision by Hayward, who usually isn’t one to allow himself to get beat due to his own poor play.
He’ll face another tall task this week if Michael Thomas is able to make his return for the Saints.
DE Joey Bosa
Week 4 stats: One tackle, three pressures (two QB hits, one hurries)
I feel like I have to start out by saying that I was a big fan of Bucs right tackle Tristan Wirfs when he was coming out of Iowa, and that’s not jut because we’re both former Hawkeyes. He’s a physical freak and he played like one against the Big Bear on Sunday.
Wirfs looked prepared for all of Bosa’s favorite moves, including his long arm and two-hand swipe. He did win a few reps, but the “W” for the game definitely went to the rookie.
It also didn’t help that Arians and Brady perfected a game plan that involved getting the ball out fast on almost every down. Yes, he’s been nursing a tricep injury, but he’s the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL. Like Anthony Lynn has said before, the Chargers pay a lot of players on this team a lot of money. They need to start making plays.