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Chargers Week 13 Surge or Static: Kenneth Murray and then a bunch of bad

The rookie out of Oklahoma had a career-day against New England.

NFL: New England Patriots at Los Angeles Chargers Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

This week’s “Surge or Static” is a bit shorter this week because...well... there wasn’t a lot of good to be had from the Chargers’ 45-0 shellacking by the Patriots.

One player stood out while the majority of players, and coaches, were largely forgettable.

The tape was honestly not worth a second look because what else can you gain from it besides reliving the the headaches and utter frustration from such a poorly-prepared effort.

At any rate, here are this week’s players/coaches who either took a step forward with their play or regressed.


LB Kenneth Murray
Week 13 stats: 14 total tackles, two tackles-for-loss, one sack, one QB hit

Murray was close to the lone bright spot for the Chargers against the Patriots. In a game where the Bolts were forced to stop the run over and over again, the team’s leader in the middle needed to play his best game of the season.

While the total tackles aren’t the number we should focus on since that stat can be misleading, we can still hold some weight in his splash plays, including multiple tackles for loss. In fact, they were the only two tackles for a loss that the Bolts registered on Sunday.

In a game where no one else in the front seven of the Chargers defense was able to make a play, the rookie buckled down and made something happen. It didn’t have an effect on the outcome of this game, but it’s something to take note of, nonetheless.


The entire coaching staff
Week 13 stats: Numerous special teams gaffes, an unprepared offense and defense

We’ve heard about all of these mistakes over the past few days since the slaughtering by the Patriots so we don’t need to get too into it all, but these consistent mistakes are getting to the point where it feels like at times we’re watching a Pop Warner team run around out there.

Some lowlights:

  • 10 or 12 men on three of the Patriots five punts
  • Blocked field goal returned for a touchdown
  • Missed extra point
  • 148 punt return yards and a touchdown allowed
  • More special teams penalties on top of another undisciplined penalty by Jerry Tillery

This wasn’t just a “burn the tape” game for the players, it was also a “burn the practice/game plan”-type of outing for the staff.

WR Keenan Allen
Week 13 stats: Five receptions for 48 yards

I have Allen here on the “Static” list because this was a prime opportunity for Allen to prove he can get the best of any defender that lines up opposite him. Unfortunately, the Patriots secondary had their way with the Chargers’ pass catchers all game long.

A moment that Allen would probably like to forget came on a play where Stephon Gilmore got off a vicious two-handed jam prior at the snap. Allen needed several steps to collect himself before going out for his short crossing route but the play was effectively dead before it began as pressure got to Herbert quickly.

Allen has just nine catches for 88 yards and a touchdown over the past two outings for the Chargers. Allen is out of the AFC East gauntlet that pitted him against Gilmore, Tre’Davious White, and Xavier Howard over the last four weeks, so he’ll look to return to form against the less-than-stellar Falcons secondary this Sunday.

The entire offensive line
Week 13 stats: Allowed three sacks, four tackles-for-loss, 19 total pressures

This was about as bad of an outing as this unit has had all season. Specifically, this was a terrible game for both Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney.

Lamp led the team with six pressures allowed while Feeney was second with five. Both players struggled with twists and stunts thrown at them by the Patriots, which has been a theme throughout the season. What makes the performance against the Patriots so depressing is that the Pats only sent four rushers the majority of the time. The front five of the Chargers struggled to simply block the four guys in front of them. On one play specifically, rookie outside linebacker Josh Uche lined up on the outside shoulder of Lamp while fellow pass rusher Chase Winovich lined up wide outside of Storm Norton.

At the snap, Forrest Lamp leaves Uche untouched to go lay a hit on his quarterback. Only four players rushed, and despite the fact it looks like the line slides to their right, Lamp still has to get hands on Uche. There’s no reason why Norton would ever leave Winovich alone to take Uche with the way the Pats lined up pre-snap. It’s four on five. This situation doesn’t take a rocket science.

Again, it was a terrible showing and one has to start to wonder is James Campen is really getting the job done when the entire line has seemingly regressed over the last month.