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Chargers Week 3 “Surge or Static?”: Williams dominant again in first loss of 2021

Make it two scores in as many games for Williams to begin the season.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

If you take away the plethora of penalties, there were still a number of notable performances by Chargers players from their week two tilt with the Cowboys. Unfortunately, “notable” means both good and bad in this situation.

The Chargers had several players step up in moments where a big play needed to be made. On either side of the ball. At the same time, two of the team’s best players did not have the type of outing they were both expected to have against a Dallas team with blatant issues in several key areas.

An article like this is always a bit more difficult to write following a loss since you have to fight the urge to include EVERYONE on the “Static” section, but we got through it.

Here are my players from week two that I believe either surged forward or stayed static with their performances against the Cowboys.

Surge

WR Mike Williams

After posting a career-high eight catches with a touchdown in week one, Williams followed that performance with another seven catches for 91 yards and his second score in as many games. After four years of up-and-down play, Williams seems to be finding his stride as the “X”-receiver in Joe Lombardi’s offense.

The best part about his recent play, at least to me, is how he’s been finding success thus far. It’s not just back-shoulder fades and 50-50 balls. Williams is winning with a much wider variance of routes and it’s working for him. He’s coming up with plays early and often as opposed to waiting until the offense needs a miracle.

This offense looks good on Mike Will and I couldn’t be happier to see it.

CB Asante Samuel Jr.

How can we not include Samuel as a winner from this week after the rookie recorded his first professional interception and led the Chargers with a pair of pass breakups? He more than deserves some praise after another solid performance to begin his NFL career.

Despite allowing a team-high 66 yards on four catches his way, Samuel and the rest of the secondary did a phenomenal job to hold the duo of Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb to just 105 yards and no touchdowns.

If you were to ask me what a winning performance from the defensive backs would look like before the game, I would have predicted something like this.

Static

QB Justin Herbert

Herbert is beginning this season in a similar manner that he did last year as a rookie. It took him two games before he threw for multiple touchdowns and three games until he went a full contest without an interception.

Against Dallas, he threw for 338 yards and another score to Williams along with two painful interceptions. The first one was a great play by cornerback Trevon Diggs. It’s not often you see a defender undercut a dig route like that but nonetheless, Herbert should have seen Diggs already in decent position before he let it rip.

His second interception of the day came in the end zone on a timing route in which Allen slipped. Regardless of Allen not being in position, Herbert would have still had to thread a needle around multiple Dallas defenders to make the play. It was a bad read no matter what happened.

It’s only been two weeks, but this team already feels like it’s been put through the ringer. Luckily, the team has Herbert who we’ve seen bounce back in a major way against a plethora of bad breaks during his rookie season.

EDGE Joey Bosa

Another inclusion that obviously pains me.

Bosa finished Sunday’s game with three total tackles and zero sacks or tackles or loss. He went up against a second-year undrafted free agent in Terrence Steele and ended the day without much to say for it.

The Cowboys got 11 pressures out of Micah Parsons — a guy playing a different position than he was drafted for in this game — who had the ideal matchup against a backup tackle in Storm Norton. Why in the world couldn’t Bosa, a perennial Pro Bowler, find some way to impact the game? He finished with just two pressures, both of which were hurries, and left the game without actually hitting Prescott.