This post is a couple days late, but after what happened this past Sunday, can you blame? Trying to find enough good in the game to warrant a pair of “surge” candidates was rough and picking just two “static” players was its’ own monster. When the Chargers put together a “burn the tape” game, you almost want to say the same thing about an article like this, but I couldn’t do that you guys.
However, after two extra days, here’s what I got.
Let’s get into it.
WR Joshua Palmer
On a day where someone needed to step up for the Chargers, Palmer was that player for Justin Herbert.
The former third-round pick finished Sunday’s game with a career-high 99 yards receiving on six receptions. While he did most of his damage when the game was already out of hand, it’s nice to see Palmer continue showing he can be a reliable target when given the opportunity.
Keenan Allen should be back at practice this week and will likely return to the field against the Texans. That will muddy up Palmer’s path to consistent production but he’s certainly shown enough up to this point that can be a valuable player for this team if/when the duo of Allen and Mike Williams splits up.
DT Sebastian Joseph-Day
Joseph-Day ended Sunday with his best overall game grade as a Charger by a mile as he recorded the team’s second-highest mark with a 78.0. His 83.6 in run defense was the best on the team as he finished with two tackles for loss and six “stops” which are deemed by Pro Football Focus as “failures by the offense.”
SJD has been a key part of the Chargers’ success against the run early this season. Yeah, yeah, I know you’re probably pointing at the 150 yards that the Jaguars just dropped on the defense, but I’ll always try to paint some context on the matter. If you take away the 50-yard run on the fourth-and-one play (a massively unlikely play to begin with), the Chargers allowed 101 yards on 35 attempts. That’s good for 2.88 yards per tote. The week before, prior to Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s 52-yard run, they had let up just 41 yards on 17 carries by the Chiefs (2.41 yards per carry).
It’s not reality to simply erase those big plays. I get that. But it’d be wrong not to understand this team is two plays away from allowing 3.1 yards per carry on the season as opposed to 4.59. Just two.
That’s no too bad, if you ask me.
WR Mike Williams
Mike Williams sandwiched his big game against the Chiefs with two absolute duds on the stat sheet.
In week one, he recorded just two receptions for 10 yards. This past Sunday, he caught a 15-yard touchdown from Herbert, but that was all she wrote for Williams against the Jaguars. He failed to haul in his five other targets on the day.
What certainly makes this seem more egregious is that in a game where the Chargers trailed by several touchdown throughout most of the second half, the offense couldn’t scheme up a way to get the ball in their best remaining receivers hands.
Williams earned a pay day form the Chargers this offseason, but one good game out of every three is a quick way for the team to get buyer’s remorse.
OG Matt Feiler
What an unfortunate season it’s been for Feiler in year two with the Chargers.
In 2021, Feiler allowed 25 total pressures all season. Through three games in 2022, he’s up to 14 pressures allowed and has an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 41.8. He recorded an insanely low 29.0 pass block grade against the Jaguars while allowing seven total pressures, half of that aforementioned total on the season.
Up to this season, Feiler had only recorded an overall season grade less than 71.0 one time and that was in 2020 when he finished the year with a 65.0. He’s not only on path to have the worst-graded season of his career, but he’s on the fast track to being one of the worst starting offensive linemen in the entire NFL.
The loss of Rashawn Slater to his left isn’t going to help, but he’s a much better player than he’s been through three weeks. If the Chargers want Herbert to survive at all this season, veterans like Feiler will have to pull it together before the wheels begin to fall off entirely.