The Chargers needed big efforts from just about everyone on Monday night to beat the Broncos. It sure wasn’t pretty, but they got it done in the end.
When the team’s stars and studs turn into duds in primetime, great teams find a way to overcome it and that’s just what the Chargers did.
Without further ado, here are this week’s players who either surged forward or stayed static following their latest performance against the Broncos.
LB Drue Tranquill
Tranquill finished Monday night as the highest-graded player on the entire team with am 85.3. He finished second on the team with eight total tackles while adding a team high two tackles for loss and two sacks. Overall, he hit Russell Wilson three times and his second sack of the night was a huge drive-killer late in the game.
This was arguably Tranquill’s best game as a Charger and the fan base should be incredibly pleased that it came during a divisional game in primetime.
Drue Tranquill timed the snap perfectly, sacking Russell Wilson in just 2.25 seconds, the 4th-quickest sack this season.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 18, 2022
The Chargers win probability increased from 46% to 61% as a result of the sack.
Tranquill (2022): 7 pressures (T-5th among off ball LB)#DENvsLAC | #BoltUp pic.twitter.com/AH2i905lYd
CB Ja’Sir Taylor
Taylor authored the play of the game against the Broncos when he shoved a Denver defender into punt returner Montrell Waashington, forcing a muffed punt that the Chargers recovered at the Broncos’ 28-yard line. That was the first fumble the Chargers have recovered this year and it set up Dustin Hopkins’ game-winning field goal which helped them finally end a game that likely shouldn’t have been as close as it was for the majority of the night.
Taylor hasn’t found his way onto the field for defensive snaps yet in 2022, but plays like this will go a long way in the coaching staff building up trust in the sixth-round rookie.
Props to Ja’Sir Taylor #36. Heads up play in the vicinity of the punt returner to push the blocker into him and create a muff that ended up being the game winner pic.twitter.com/HtGvYeXXcd— Cam Worrell (@CamWorrell) October 18, 2022
CB J.C. Jackson
I feel a bit like a broken record at this point.
Wait....I said this last week as well. I truly am a broken record.
For his fourth-straight game played since joining the Chargers, Jackson allowed yet another big play in coverage that drastically shifted the momentum of the game. In fact, he allowed more than one this time.
During his postgame presser, Brandon Staley admitted that the touchdown to tight end Greg Dulcich in the first quarter was due to a blown assignment from Jackson. He also admitted that the long reception to KJ Hamler which led to a field goal by Denver before halftime was also another blunder by Jackson. Those two plays led to the pricey free agent being benched after the break for Michael Davis who played well through the remainder o the game.
Jackson ended the night as the team’s worst defender by Pro Football Focus, grading out with a horrendous 28.2. Out of 108 cornerbacks with at least 100 snaps in 2022, Jackson ranks 107th in overall season grade.
WR Mike Williams
Williams spent all of Monday night locked in a cage on Surtain Island fighting for scraps in the passing game.
It’s been feast-or-famine through six games for #81 and Monday’s matchup with on of the best cornerbacks in the league ended in another famine outing as Williams caught just two-of-six targets for 17 yards. For those keeping track at home, Williams has three games this season with 110 or more receiving yards but has just as many game with less than 20.
Williams had what looked like an incredible catch on the sideline where his toes may have just barely scrapped in bounds, but the play wasn’t reviewed and it was deemed incomplete on the field.
I don’t expect Williams to be a superstar each and every week. That’s simply not the receiver he’s meant to be, but finding a middle ground in his game would go a long way for helping this offense find more consistency. Improving his route-running on a short to intermediate level would also allow him to find more opportunities to impact a game.