The Chargers got the job done against the Broncos and that’s all that matters.
This week’s player grades from Pro Football Focus paint a pretty good picture of how the game went, meaning the offensive grades were just “meh” while the defense had to play a bit more inspired to make up for the lack of fireworks on the opposite side.
Below, you’ll find the best and worst grades for Chargers players from their 19-16 victory over Denver, along with some notable stats and numbers.
Top-5 Offensive Grades per PFF (min. 25 snaps):
- TE Stephen Anderson - 91.3
- Justin Herbert - 72.8
- Storm Norton - 68.0
- Austin Ekeler - 64.7
- Tyron Johnson - 61.7
Bottom-5 Offensive Grades per PFF (min. 25 snaps):
- Trai Turner - 37.9
- Forrest Lamp - 49.5
- Sam Tevi - 50.9
- Jalen Guyton - 56.9
- Dan Feeney - 59.7
Without Hunter Henry, the Chargers still got excellent production from the tight end position as Stephen Anderson and Donald Parham combined for six receptions on nine targets for 95 yards. Anderson caught four of those passes for 45 and earned an elite 91.3 overall grade, good for tops among all players on either side of the ball.
Storm Norton has continued to be — whether starting or relieving Bryan Bulaga — to be one of the Chargers’ most-consistent lineman. He posted the third-best offensive grade against the Broncos while the other four were listed among the bottom five qualifying grades.
For the third week in a row, Trai Turner was the Chargers’ worst-graded offensive player. He hasn’t had a grade above 50.0 over the last month and two of his last three grades were below 35.0. For context, a “average” grade for a player is 60.0. For the Bolts, he hasn’t even been serviceable, according to PFF. With a 37.9, Turner recorded the worst run-blocking grade against Denver while Feeney was the worst in pas protection with a 35.4. Sam Tevi led all lineman with four pressures allowed while Feeney allowed the team’s only sack.
Mike Williams (61.6 overall) and Jalen Guyton’s grades (56.9) suffered due to a lack of sure hands. Williams had two separate drops on the day while Guyton had one.
Top-5 Defensive Grades per PFF (min. 25 snaps):
- Denzel Perryman - 83.9
- Chris Harris Jr. - 80.9
- Linval Joseph - 80.5
- Casey Hayward Jr. - 74.1
- Justin Jones - 73.7
Bottom-5 Defensive Grades per PFF (min. 25 snaps):
- Michael Davis - 33.3
- Jerry Tillery - 43.7
- Nasir Adderley - 50.9
- Jahleel Addae - 53.7
- Kenneth Murray Jr. - 56.8
While the defense struggled to get off the field on third downs — the Broncos went 7-for-17 — they still held the Denver offense to just 16 points, which ended up being exactly what the Chargers needed to do. Casey Hayward finally secured his first interception of the season and finished with the second best coverage grade (74.1) behind only Chris Harris Jr. (78.3).
Linval Joseph ended leading all defensive lineman with four total pressures and seven tackles. For his efforts, he also led the position with a 80.5 grade. His tackling grade was pretty bad with a 43.3, but his team-best pass rush mark of 69.3 helped him make up for it.
Michael Davis struggled mightily once again after a poor performance against the Raiders in Week 15. He allowed a whopping eight receptions on 13 targets for 86 yards and finished with an abysmal 29.7 grade in coverage. After a stretch of games where Davis was playing like the veteran in the secondary, Hayward and Harris have now rebounded as of late but the former UDFA seems to be in a bit of a slump to end an otherwise fine season.
Something notable that needs to be shared and acknowledged is that the entire defense didn’t commit a single penalty on Sunday according to Pro Football Focus. Not a single one. So a big round of applause for the team playing some real disciplined football.
Rookie Kenneth Murray has been a bit of a mixed bag this season and that continued on Sunday. He doesn’t make a ton of splashy plays but he’s been a solid presence in the middle of the defense, especially after he’s cut down on allowing yards in coverage during the second half of the season. Against Denver, however, he recorded the team’s lowest grade as a tackler with a 28.2. According to PFF, the Chargers missed seven tackles and Murray was accounted for four of them.