WR Keenan Allen
It was a day of days for The Slayer against the Jets.
Facing a secondary that started three rookies at cornerback, Allen was never NOT open on any given play. In the first half alone, Allen recorded 10 receptions for over 100 receiving yards. He would go on to finish with a personal and franchise record 16 receptions for 145 yards and his sixth touchdown catch of the year, which was an absolute rocket with perfect placement from Justin Herbert.
Allen now currently leads in the NFL in receptions (81) and targets (112) through 11 weeks of the season. He also ranks ninth in receiving yards with 835 while sitting tied at 11th with six touchdowns through the air.
His recent performance also helped Allen supplant himself in the record books. By Sunday’s end, Allen held the record for the most receptions through a players first 96 games — the equivalent of a players first six full seasons - with 605 catches, edging out superstars Antonio Brown and Julio Jones.
QB Justin Herbert
Herbert got the chance to do what we all hoped he would against a lowly Jets defense. And thankfully, the coaches gave him the opportunity when they could have easily attempted to run it the majority of the time.
The bright, young rookie went 37-for-49 on his passes for a career-high 366 yards passing with three touchdown passes and zero interceptions. He diced up the Jets defense with the help of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry, all three of whom caught touchdowns.
It was the performance we not only wanted from Herbert, but one we also have come to expect. Had Herbert come out and struggled against New York, then we’d all be trying to come up with reasons and excuses for the poor performance. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Herbert has been amazing. He’s been playing up to the level of his toughest opponents while also expectedly dominating the lesser teams on the schedule.
It’s been said over and over this season, but the Chargers got a special one.
LB Denzel Perryman
Perryman played 93% of the total defensive snaps against the Jets, marking the second-highest percentage for a single game in his career.
Two plays stood out for Perryman: his sack on Joe Flacco and a collision with Jets left tackle Mekhi Becton. The first was great to see since it was the only sack of the week for the Chargers. The other was highlight tape worthy.
On a toss play to the left, Becton pull around the tight end and was tasked with being the lead blocker for the running back. Perryman followed Becton, meeting near the line of scrimmage in a spectacular display that mirrored David vs. Goliath. At contact, Perryman caught Becton underneath his chest and the 6’7, 340-pound Becton left the ground for a brief moment before coming back down on his backside. It became the most viral moment of the weekend, being shared and retweeted across all media platforms.
After all the injuries and unfortunate luck that has come Perryman’s way, it’s been refreshing to see him having fun out there again.
Denzel Perryman 5'11, 240 put Mekhi Becton 6'7, 364 on his ass.pic.twitter.com/1P8EIpqz3I— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) November 24, 2020
CB Casey Hayward
Hayward has had some rough performances this season but Sunday’s game against the Jets may have been one of the most frustrating for the veteran. It wasn’t just the yards allowed and the touchdown he let up, however, but the players who were able to get the best of him.
On the day, Hayward allowed four receptions on six targets thrown his way for 81 yards and a touchdown. No other player allowed more than two catches or 32 yards in coverage against the Jets.
Denzel Mims WAS that scoring drive. Unreal catch and drew two deep flags. Good things happen when you target him pic.twitter.com/cypOhbny2p— Matt (@JetsOpinion) November 22, 2020
The two plays that stand out are obviously the 49-yard touchdown catch to Breshad Perriman and another big gain to rookie Denzel Mims where Mims was able to win the position battle to snag a ball that was simply thrown up for grabs by Joe Flacco. Perriman has elite speed and that play shouldn’t have been a huge surprise as speed is the most-effective way to take advantage of Hayward in coverage. We saw Hayward struggle to cover Nelson Agholor on a deep touchdown pass a few weeks ago against Las Vegas and other teams seem to be taking notice of that.
I’m seriously hoping for Hayward to shake this funk before season’s end because if he can’t, the Bolts will be forced to use draft capital at that position which would take resources away from reinforcing other positions of need on the roster.
RB Joshua Kelley
Sunday was unfortunately the worst outing of the year for the charismatic rookie out of UCLA. His final stat line included six total touches (four rush, two receptions) for six total yards on a season-low 11 snaps played.
His lack of playing time seemed to be tied directly to his gaffe on special teams. Early in the first quarter, Kelley missed a blocking assignment on punt coverage and his man ended up blocking the Ty Long kick which subsequently led to the Jets scoring the first touchdown of the game. It was the second blocked punt in as many weeks for the Chargers so you just know Anthony Lynn was likely fuming on the sideline.
Kelley hasn’t been effective as an offensive player since Week 3 against the Chiefs. He’s still a rookie, so there’s growth to be had, but 2020 doesn’t look to be his season to really contribute to this team’s offense in any meaningful way.