Happy Tuesday, y’all.
Here’s this week’s top-five grades for the Chargers on both sides of the ball.
The offensive grades were just fine while the defensive grades were some of the best this team has put out all year.
Go ahead and dive right in.
Top-5 Offensive Grades against the Falcons (min. 25 snaps):
- QB Justin Herbert - 79.1
- WR Keenan Allen - 78.8
- WR Tyron Johnson - 70.7
- RB Austin Ekeler - 66.3
- C Dan Feeney - 64.2
Bottom-5 Offensive Grades against the Falcons (min. 25 snaps):
- OG Trai Turner - 33.0
- OT Sam Tevi - 48.1
- WR Jalen Guyton - 48.6
- TE Hunter Henry - 53.5
- OG Forrest Lamp - 57.9
Herbert recorded one of his best games of his career as he was tops on the Chargers with a 79.1 overall grade against the Falcons. When he wasn’t blitzed, Herbert completed 26-of-31 passes for 188 yards and his two scores which cumulated in an 84.1 grade when the defense sent four or less. On dropbacks with an extra rusher, Herbert completed 10-of-13 passes for 55 yards but did throw his lone interception.
Justin Herbert puts "wow" throws on tape every week. pic.twitter.com/qrdE9KwrKv— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) December 14, 2020
Feeney finds himself in the top five for the Chargers for one of the rare few times this season. The Bolts’ center recorded the second-highest pass block grade against Atlanta with a 81.0 and had the highest run block grade with a 58.3. Forrest lamp led the unit with a near-elite 89.0 in pass protection and had the third-highest run block grade at 52.4. Trai Turner was pretty horrendous against the Falcons and has been arguably the worst lineman this season for the Chargers when healthy. He recorded the lowest overall grade for the entire team and also had the worst pass and run-block grades with a 43.2 and a 31.7, respectively.
Despite having one of his usually-productive games, Austin Ekeler recorded an average 66.3 overall grade against the Falcons. As a receiver, Ekeler recorded an excellent grade of 83.3 but he struggled mightily in pass protection. For that, he received an abysmal 25.4 in that area. This is likely the main reason his overall grade wasn’t tops on the team.
Top-5 Defensive Grades against the Falcons (min. 25 snaps):
- S Rayshawn Jenkins - 90.9
- CB Michael Davis - 77.6
- S Jahleel Addae - 72.3
- DT Linval Joseph - 70.9
- DT Justin Jones - 70.5
Bottom-5 Defensive Grades against the Falcons (min. 25 snaps):
- S Nasir Adderley - 35.8
- CB Casey Hayward - 47.7
- LB Kenneth Murray - 47.9
- DE Isaac Rochell - 49.2
- Chris Harris Jr. - 59.7
- Honorable Mention: LB Nick Vigil (21 snaps) - 90.1
Jenkins ending Sunday with an elite grade of 90.9 is actually not his first 90.0+ mark of the year. However, he’s now the only player for the Chargers who has multiple elite grades to his name. Jenkins nabbed his second interception and reminded everyone that his natural position is still free safety. I’m not sure if he’ll see more time there for the rest of the season as Anthony Lynn stated he is still their best strong safety at the moment while Derwin James is out.
Hayward and Harris against Atlanta were, together, pretty bad. The two combined to allow nine receptions on 14 targets for 162 yards and two touchdowns, both coming against Harris. Adderley was seemingly benched for Jahleel Addae late in the game but Lynn did note that he was banged up. Either way, it was the right decision. Harris and Nas had the two worst tackling grades on Sunday with a 25.2 and a 26.6, respectively.
Kenneth Murray had a rough time defending the run, receiving an underwhelming 49.0 grade in that department. He did earn a team-high 81.5 tackling grade, but his inability to get off blocks docked him quite a bit.
In his first start of the season, Isaac Rochell earned a team-low 50.6 pass-rushing grade. His run defense grade of 54.5 was also third-worst on the team.
Vigil earns an honorable mention as he recorded an elite 90.1 overall grade against the Falcons but he was four snaps short of meeting the 25-snap threshold. His best individual grade came in coverage where he earned a 86.7, second to only Jenkins’ 90.3.