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Best and worst Chargers PFF grades vs. the Broncos

The Chargers got strong games from Khalil Mack and Michael Davis vs. the Broncos but Derwin James posted the worst game grade of his career.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After watching yesterday’s game against the Broncos, you probably wouldn’t expect many good grades from Pro Football Focus for the Chargers. You’d somehow be wrong, though.

The Chargers got one elite grade from a defender and three more that pushed close to being in that territory.

How? Well let’s go ahead and dive in to find out.

Offense

Best (min. 20 snaps played)

OG Zion Johnson - 89.6
C Will Clapp - 83.2
OT Rashawn Slater - 79.3
RB Austin Ekeler - 78.1
WR Keenan Allen - 77.8

I would never have expected to see three offensive linemen leading the way for the Chargers following what we watched on Sunday but here we are. Johnson had the best game of his career by PFF’s standards with an 86.7 grade in both run blocking and pass blocking. Will Clapp also had a stellar day with posted a near-elite 89.2 run block grade.

Ekeler had a good day as a receiver but got docked a ton for his pass protection. His receiving grade ended at 86.4 while his pass block grade was a dysmal 25.1.

Worst

QB Easton Stick - 37.1
OG Jamaree Salyer - 49.5
WR Alex Erickson - 53.4
TE Gerald Everett - 58.0
OT Trey Pipkins - 60.0

Stick’s time at the helm of the offense got started on the worst foot as he was creamed on his first third down attempt and nearly fumbled the ball away for a touchdown. He came back strong to lead the team’s only scoring drive but he was walloped several more times as he held the ball two long one too may times.

Salyer allowed six pressures and had the team’s worst pass block grade among the offensive linemen at 37.3. Pipkins one-upped him by allowing seven pressures, including a sack.

Defense

Best

CB Michael Davis - 90.5
EDGE Khalil Mack - 85.8
DT Scott Matlock - 76.5
DT Morgan Fox - 74.9
LB Eric Kendricks - 72.3

Davis bounced back from his benching in Week 13 with an elite overall grade against the Broncos. He started the game hot with an interception but that was balanced out by allowing a one-handed touchdown to Courtland Sutton while also getting called for a penalty on the play. Somehow though, he wasn’t dinged as much as you’d expect.

Mack had another solid game with five more pressures. Unfortunately, he’ll have to wait until this Thursday night to cross over the 100-sack threshold. On the bright side, Khalil Mack had six sacks against this Raiders team in Week Three.

Worst

S Derwin James - 30.0
EDGE Tuli Tuipulotu - 35.7
DT Nick Williams - 41.8
DT Sebastian Joseph-Day - 49.8
CB Essang Bassey - 52.7

This was the worst-graded game of Derwin James’ career. His tackling grade (30.2) and coverage grade (29.9) were both just as abysmal and may also be career-low marks. I don’t know what’s going on with James this year, but like many others on this team, he doesn’t seem like his normal self.

Tuli ended the game with a team-high four missed tackles and that resulted in a 29.1 tackling grade. He did post three pressures, but otherwise he wasn’t much of a factor in this game.

Bassey posted the worst tackling grade on the team at 22.6. He was decent everywhere else but that bad of a grade will understandably tank you.