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Chargers Week 15 Surge or Static: UDFAs lead the way over Raiders

It was awesome to see the young guys step up the way they did.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts made it two wins in a row with their 30-27 overtime victory over the Raiders this past Thursday night. They’ve now tied their win total from a year ago with two games remaining against the Broncos and Chiefs.

Against Las Vegas, with top wideouts Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, a number of young players, including a pair of undrafted free agents, really showed up and helped the Chargers exorcise some demons in the AFC West.

Not only was this performance a positive in the current moment, but it also bodes well for the future of this team knowing they likely hit on even more impactful UDFAs.

Without further ado, here are your Surge or Static players from Week 15.

Surge

WRs Tyron Johnson and Jalen Guyton
Week 15 stats: Combined for seven receptions for 152 yards, one touchdown

With Allen and Williams playing no more than “decoy” snaps against the Raiders, two former undrafted players in Johnson and Guyton stepped up and delivered two of their best performances of the season against a divisional opponent.

Not only did Guyton record a career-high 91 yards receiving yards, but it was his 53-yard bomb that he caught from Justin Herbert that helped set up the Chargers; game-winning QB sneak just a few plays later.

Johnson corralled his third touchdown of the season and caught three-of-five targets for 61 yards.

The emergence of both Guyton and Johnson will give the Chargers some flexibility in the receiver room, especially when it comes to picking up Mike Williams’ fifth-year option for 2021. He’s set to make over $15 million next year and that’s top-five wide receiver money in the NFL. If the Chargers don’t want to take that on, they can either rescind the option and sign him to a more team-friendly deal or let him walk althogether.

QB Justin Herbert
Week 15 stats: 22-of-32 passing for 314 yards, two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown

Herbert started HOT against the Raiders by completing all six of his passes on the opening drive for 75 yards and a touchdown. By the end of the game, he had only completed 15 more passes, but that includes a fourth quarter that saw the Chargers throw just one pass due to the success of the run game and the Raiders doing a good job of playing keep away.

His two touchdown passes helped him tie Baker Mayfield’s rookie touchdown record with 27 and his walk-off rushing score put him at 31 total touchdowns for the season. After a stretch of tough matchups against the AFC East, Herbert seemingly got back to his “slicing-and-dicing’ ways as the coaching staff let him cook for three quarters.

In overtime, Herbert only needed one pass to make magic happen. After Guyton forced a DPI call against Raiders corner Trayvon Mullen, he went right back to the speedster and hit him with a 53-yard strike to set the offense up at the Las Vegas two-yard line.

The rest is history.

LB Nick Vigil
Week 15 stats: 9 total tackles, one sack, one QB hit

Vigil was all over the field against the Raiders and made one of the most-pivotal plays early in the game when he sacked quarterback Derek Carr on third down with the Raiders inside the Chargers’ five-yard line. In a game that came down to overtime, the little plays made became big in a hurry. Vigil has shown the propensity to make much-needed plays in crucial moments for this defense and he came through yet again to help the team end a nine-game losing streak against the AFC West.

Static

CB Michael Davis
Week 15 stats: Allowed five receptions on six targets for 107 yards and a touchdown

After a string of strong performances, Davis stumbled against the Raiders into one of his worst performances of the season. He allowed five-of-six targets his way to be caught, including a big touchdown reception by Darren Waller where the big tight end ran right past Davis before hauling in the pass in the end zone. It was a tough look for Davis who was playing like the best member of the entire secondary coming into Week 15. It’s safe to assume this was just a bad day for the former UDFA and with a matchup against Broncos rookie wideout Jerry Jeudy, he’ll get the chance to bounce back against a promising talent.

OG Trai Turner
Week 15 stats: Allowed three pressures, recorded the lowest PFF pass block and run block grades among the offensive linemen

This one is frustrating.

Turner has struggled with a nagging groin injury for most of this season, so it’s tough to find clarity on whether or not he’s playing through a ton of pain. Regardless, he’s been rough in pass protection in recent weeks and the Raiders game was no different. He struggled against both Jonathan Hankins and Maurice Hurst, with the latter beating Turner several times with a nifty swim move.

The expectation was that Turner would bring a new sense of physicality and nastiness to the offensive line but neither of those have been able to show up on film consistency.