Good morning, Chargers fans!
The table is set for some primetime Chargers football, and all eyes will be on the first round rookie Quentin Johnston tonight. With Mike Williams lost for the year, and Joshua Palmer battling a knee injury last week, Johnston saw twice as many targets against the Bears as he has against any other team this season. The rookie did well with those expanded opportunities, securing five receptions on six targets for 50 yards.
Johnston put out some questionable tape earlier in the season, but while he hasn’t broken out just yet, there are some early reasons for optimism that he might flourish in an expanded role. With Joshua Palmer’s placement on the IR, Johnston’s role has been fast-tracked to starter and likely Justin Herbert’s number two option after Keenan Allen.
Johnston has twenty targets so far this season, but has recorded a single drop. It’s a small sample size, but for a player with a prospect scouting report littered with concerns about his hands, it’s encouraging to see he’s done a decent job of securing his catches. He’s also been as advertised with the ball in his hands, gaining 21 of his 50 receiving yards yesterday after the catch and flashing the ability to make defenders missed.
His biggest concern remains the same: Johnston has had six contested catch targets this season, and has only pulled one in. Below is a chart of Johnston’s grades in various zones of the field. So far, it looks like the team would be best to avoid sending Johnston over-the-top, and try to scheme him in the middle areas of the field with some grass in front of him.
Hopefully the rookie is ready to have a breakout performance tonight on the national stage. And now, for today’s daily links:
Chargers officially activate Jalen Guyton and Otito Ogbonnia to the 53-man roster from the PUP list, Joshua Palmer placed on IR (Chargers.com)
Omar Navarro shares the top Chargers’ quotes from Week 9 (Chargers.com)
Alex Insdorf breaks down his five keys to victory in tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup (Chargers Wire)
Jason Reed believes the Chiefs stagnant defense may increase Eric Bieniemy’s chances becoming the Chargers next head coach (Bolt Beat)
Jacob Camenker details the financial aftermath of Josh McDaniels’ firing (The Sporting News)
Jeff Kerr determines which storylines are overreactions, and which are reasonable takes (CBS NFL)
John Breech gives grades for every teams’ Week 9 performance (CBS NFL)
Travis Kelce declares “This is the best defense I’ve ever played with” (NFL.com)
Daniel Jones’ knee buckled in Raiders matchup, feared to have torn ACL (NFL.com)
C.J. Stroud had a record-breaking rookie performance against Tampa Bay (ESPN)