According to Football Outsiders, the win over the Dolphins on Sunday night increased the Chargers’ chances of making the playoffs by 29.3 percent, the largest increase in the NFL entering Monday night.
FO Playoff Odds - Biggest Movers— Football Outsiders (@fboutsiders) December 12, 2022
Los Angeles Chargers, +29.3%
Carolina Panthers, +11.5%
Detroit Lions, +10.7%
Jacksonville Jaguars, +10.6%
New York Jets, -13.8%
Miami Dolphins, -13.9%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, -17.2%
Seattle Seahawks, -24.2% pic.twitter.com/isom2oHAx4
That win was only made possible by the entire team — all three phases — coming together for the common goal of making Tua Tagovailoa and the entire Dolphins offense look as abysmal as possible.
And it was absolutely glorious to watch.
Below are this week’s “Surge or Static?” players from the Chargers 23-17 victory over the Dolphins in primetime.
QB Justin Herbert
At least for the time being, the entire Herbert-Tua debate needs to come to an end.
On a night where two of the top quarterbacks from the 2020 draft met in primetime, one most certainly had the upper hand over the other, and quite frankly made a certain sports analyst look like one heck of a clown.
Herbert was SURGICAL against the Dolphins defense, all while running for his life on just about every other dropback. He amassed 39 completions on 51 pass attempts (76.4%) for 367 yards and a touchdown. He also had himself a crowd-pleasing scramble for a first down that actually forced a slight celebration out of the usually-stoic quarterback.
Oh, and did I mention that he also broke another NFL record? Before the night was over, Herbert passed Andre Luck for the most passing yards in NFL history through a player’s first three professional seasons.
WR Mike Williams
What a way to welcome yourself back to the field, Mike Dub!
In his first game back since re-aggravating his high ankle sprain, Williams went off in a vintage performance that saw him rack up 116 yards and a touchdown, which included one of his patented 55-yard bombs.
For the first game all year, Williams, Keenan Allen, and Joshua Palmer all managed to start and finish this week’s game. The trio combined for 22 receptions and 261 yards alongside the aforementioned touchdown from Williams.
Number 81 also finished with the offense’s top PFF grade of 79.9.
The fact that the #Chargers can scheme up a deep corner route for Mike Williams while rolling the pocket away from the route cause they know Herbert can make this throw is absurd. pic.twitter.com/TAgHAbbAX3— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) December 12, 2022
The pass defense
So many players put together notable performances in the secondary that Staley refused to single out just one player to receive a game ball. Michael Davis, Asante Samuel Jr., Alohi Gilman, and heck, even Ja’Sir Taylor played a heck of a game in the place of the injured Bryce Callahan.
Gilman, Samuel, and Davis were all among the team’s top-five defenders graded by Pro Football Focus with an 87.8, 82.4, and 75.7 overall grades, respectively.
And you know who the other two plays were to round out the top five? Kenneth Murray (88.6, 1st) and Drue Tranquill (81.6 (4th).
Thought the Chargers played some excellent defense on Sunday night. They played a lot of man coverage, which kept the linebackers out of conflict on all the RPOs and played press coverage to disrupt the timing. Michael Davis played a heck of a game. pic.twitter.com/At2Rr6tuDK— JP Acosta (@acosta32_jp) December 12, 2022
We’re just going to ignore this part because, quite frankly, I don’t feel like nit-picking last night’s performance. It was an excellent team win and we’re going to celebrate it as such. We’ll save the negative stuff for next week.
But for now, it’s Victory Monday!