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PFF’s Best and Worst Chargers from Week 15

Here’s how the Bolts graded out against the Raiders.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you follow me on Twitter, you all have probably already seen these grades, but I added in plenty of notes and extra tidbits below.

The Bolts offense certainly did an overall better job against Las Vegas compared to the defense and you’ll see that fact reflected in the grades. Also, you’ll notice some of the players with lesser star power found themselves among the top players from this past Thursday.

Let’s dive right in.

Top-5 Offensive Grades against the Raiders

  • QB Justin Herbert - 84.9
  • TE Hunter Henry - 80.7
  • WR Tyron Johnson - 80.1
  • WR Jalen Guyton - 70.6
  • RB Austin Ekeler - 62.9

Bottom-5 Offensive Grades against the Raiders

  • OG Trai Turner - 42.9
  • C Dan Feeney - 53.1
  • OT Sam Tevi - 53.3
  • OG Forrest Lamp - 54.7
  • OT Storm Norton - 59.0

The backup skill players truly shined in the team’s overtime win over the Raiders this past Thursday and that’s extremely refreshing for fans to see. Without much of Mike Williams and Keenan Allen — they were both essentially decoys — guys like Jalen Guyton, Tyron Johnson, and K.J. Hill stepped up in a major way. That trio combined for 191 yards on 10 receptions and a lone score by T-Billy. Hill actually had the team’s highest offensive overall grade at 82.9 but he played just 15 snaps which kept him short of the top-five’s minimum threshold.

It was another week where the entire offensive line ended up in the bottom five player grades but take this with a grain of salt when it comes to Storm Norton. If you counted all player grades despite the minimum snap threshold, Norton would be the 11th player from the bottom. As you probably also noticed, Austin Ekeler’s grade in the top five is just four points higher than Norton’s, so there’s a little bit of invisible context to keep in mind with these. Norton finished with the team’s highest run block grade with a 61.6.

Trai Turner continues to be the worst player on the Chargers offense on an almost-weekly basis. This is probably one of the more surprising outcomes from this season and not how anyone probably predicted his first season in Los Angeles to play out. He was supposed to bring a desired mentality and physicality to this offensive line but the pros and cons of his addition have seemingly balanced each other out. He had the worst pass block grade (33.1) against the Raiders and the second-worst run block grade (46.7), as well.

Justin Herbert’s overall grade of 84.9 was his highest of his rookie season, so that, itself, is worth celebrating. He came out hot and completed all six of his passes on the opening drive for 75 yards and the eventual touchdown. He completed 22-of-32 passes for 314 yards and only threw the ball once during the fourth quarter due to game flow and the team’s success running the ball. When he wasn’t blitzed (defense brought four or less rushers), Herbert completed 17-of-25 passes for 270 yards and his two scores, good for a near elite 88.7 grade in that area. Between the short, intermediate, and deep areas up the middle of the field, Herbert completed 10-of-13 passes for 163 yards and a score. None of his grades in either of those areas were less than 82.4. This paints the picture we’ve all come to see in that the rookie loves to work the middle of the field.

Top-5 Defensive Grades against the Raiders

  • Edge Uchenna Nwosu - 83.8
  • LB Nick Vigil - 71.3
  • CB Chris Harris Jr. - 68.8
  • DT Linval Joseph - 63.0
  • CB Casey Hayward Jr. - 60.9
  • Honorable Mention: DE Joey Bosa posted an elite 90.2 grade but only played 17 total snaps at Las Vegas

Bottom-5 Defensive Grades against the Raiders

  • CB Michael Davis - 31.6
  • DT Damion Square - 42.2
  • S Rayshawn Jenkins - 48.6
  • LB Kyzir White - 49.8
  • DT Justin Jones - 50.2

For what seems like the first time since the first half of the season, Nwosu earned more than 15-20 snaps (36), and posted the defense’s top overall grade on that side of the ball (min. 25 snaps). Aside from Bosa, Nwosu recorded the team’s best tackling grade and pass rush grade with an 84.1 and 63.7, respectively.

Michael Davis unfortunately came crashing down following a string of strong performances in the secondary. He posted the team’s worst overall grade on defense after allowing five receptions on six targets for 107 yards and touchdown. His run defense grade of 43.4 was the worst among all defenders and his coverage grade of 32.2 was second-worst only to Jahleel Addae’s 31.2.

Chris Harris Jr. had the team’s highest coverage grade of 69.1 after allowing just two catches for 14 yards. He also posted excellent grades in both tackling (80.6) and pass rush (83.5).

Nick Vigil was solid all the way around against the Raiders. His best grade came in tackling with a 81.9, second-best to Jaylen Watkins’ 84.0. His 79.3 in run defense was also the third-best on the team.

Both Kyzir White and Rayshawn Jenkins saw two of the poorest performances in tackling against Vegas. Their grades of 26.9 and 29.8 were second and third-worst on the team, respectively.