Hey Chargers fans! I usually put these Pro Football Focus grades out on Twitter but I decided to it would be just as easy to throw them into an article which would also reach all of you here who don’t dabble on that website.
It also gives me an opportunity to throw out more notable pieces of information that won’t be as clunky in a 280-character tweet.
Without further ado, here are the players who landed among the best and worst on either side of the ball, according to PFF!
Top-5 Offensive Grades against the Patriots (min. 25 snaps):
- RB Kalen Ballage - 66.0
- OT Storm Norton - 64.2
- WR Mike Williams - 62.1
- OT Bryan Bulaga - 61.0
- WR Keenan Allen - 60.6
Bottom-5 Offensive Grades against the Patriots (min. 25 snaps):
- OG Forrest Lamp - 50.7
- QB Justin Herbert - 51.0
- TE Hunter Henry - 54.9
- C Dan Feeney - 55.9
- OG Trai Turner - 56.0
It’s not surprising that there’s no one graded above “average” after a performance that saw zero points get put on the board by the offense.
The good news is that a pair of offensive lineman made the top five. The bad news is the other three of the worst five players overall. Storm Norton, in his first career start in the NFL, was the offense’s second-highest graded player. Out of the starting five, he finished with a pass block grade of 54.3 and a run block grade of 72.7, good for third and second-best on the day. He let up three pressures on Justin Herbert, including one hit.
Forrest Lamp, despite being the team’s worst-graded player on Sunday, had the team’s best grade for run blocking with a 73.0. On the flip side, his 18.0 grade in pass protection was the worst grade of the entire season for any offensive lineman in any area. He allowed a team-high six pressures and got Herbert hit twice on the day.
Overall, the offensive line allowed 19 pressures total. Lamp and Dan Feeney allowed 11 between each other.
It’s understandable that Justin Herbert looked very human behind that line. He was running for his life and took a lot of unnecessary hits when he supposedly asked to stay in the game until the end. According to PFF’s passing charts, Herbert threw both of his interceptions when he wasn’t pressured, which isn’t great. He completed 19-of-37 passes for 154 yards without someone in his face. Of the 16 times he threw under duress, he completed just seven passes for just 55 yards.
Kalen Ballage earned the higher rushing grade over Austin Ekeler with a 77.1. Both backs carried the ball eight times, but Ekeler finished with just a 55.6. However, Ekeler earned a 77.9 pass-blocking grade, compared to just 57.9 for Ballage.
Top-5 Defensive Grades against the Patriots (min. 25 snaps):
- DE Joey Bosa - 75.3
- DT Justin Jones - 73.0
- CB Casey Hayward - 70.5
- DT Jerry Tillery - 68.5
- LB Kenneth Murray Jr. - 67.6
Bottom-5 Defensive Grades against the Patriots (min. 25 snaps):
- LB Nick Vigil - 46.5
- OLB Uchenna Nwosu - 54.0
- CB Chris Harris Jr. - 54.6
- DT Linval Joseph - 58.0
- S Nasir Adderley - 59.9
No surprises that Bosa earned the top grade on defense this week, despite recording no sacks or tackles for loss. In this Monday’s presser, he touched on how the Patriots always do a great job of chipping him on the edge and giving their tackles all the help they need against him. His pass-rush grade of 75.7 was tops on the team while Linval Joseph had the next best at 73.9.
Speaking of Joseph, he had the team’s worst tackling grade at 28.9 and the second-worst grade in run defense with a 50.8. For a guy who was signed to help plug up the middle of the defense and limit opposing rushing attacks, Joseph has underwhelmed as of late.
Surprisingly, Jerry Tillery graded as the defense’s best run defender with an 81.8 while finishing with a top-five grade in tackling (74.1). This is good to see as TIllery leads the team with a missed-tackle percentage of 20.7 percent.
Casey Hayward played just 39 snaps on Sunday after coming into the game with a questionable tag. He wasn’t targeted and finished with the team’s best coverage grade at 70.2.
Kenneth Murray recorded the first sack of his professional career. For his efforts, he earned the third-best pass-rushing grade on the defense at 62.3.
Lastly, the pass-rush didn’t get much from anyone outside of Bosa and Murray. Bosa led the team with four pressures, Murray was second with two, and the final two pressures came from Justin Jones and Isaac Rochell.