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Best and worst Chargers PFF grades vs. the Patriots

Khalil Mack led the way with the Chargers’ highest game grade from Pro Football Focus vs. the Patriots.

Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

After watching the Chargers down the Patriots 6-0 on Sunday afternoon, it was quite easy to foresee which Chargers were going to be standouts from Pro Football Focus and which ones were likely to get dogged for their performance.

So, you could probably guess who topped this week’s game grades, but I’ll give you a hint anyways: Khalil Mack.

Whoops!

Let’s go ahead and dive in.

Offense

Best (min. 20 snaps played)

QB Justin Herbert - 80.3
OT Rashawn Slater - 65.0
WR Keenan Allen - 64.8
TE Gerald Everett - 64.3
OT Trey Pipkins - 62.3

In an ugly game for just about everyone, Herbert was the Chargers’ best offensive player despite some middling numbers. That’s because he was the victim of yet even more dropped passes by his receivers. According to PFF’s numbers, six passes from Herbert were dropped.

Slater was best in pass pro (69.9) but was fairly average with the rest of the line as a run blocker. I don’t know if it’s the sum of the parts that bringing his game down, but it’s odd not seeing the usual elite numbers from him this season. Pipkins had the team’s best pass block grade at 79.3 but the second-worst run block grade at 45.8.

Worst

TE Donald Parham - 30.6
OG Zion Johnson - 37.6
WR Jalen Guyton - 50.4
OG Jamaree Salyer - 51.9
C Will Clapp - 52.0

Parham was the team’s lowest-graded player on Sunday after a day that saw him let two different passes slip right through his hands. He was decent pass protection with a 70.2 grade.

The interior of the offensive line all ended up here in the bottom five. Johnson continues to regress after a decent rookie season. His 35.0 in pass protection was the worst mark by a wide margin. He also was called for another penalty. Clapp had the team’s worst run block grade at 43.4.

Defense

Best

EDGE Khalil Mack - 89.4
EDGE Tuli Tuipulotu - 81.3
LB Kenneth Murray - 77.5
LB Eric Kendricks - 77.0
CB Asante Samuel Jr. - 72.6

Mack continued his strong second half of the season with another two sacks on quarterback Bailey Zappe. Those two takedowns brought his career total to 99.5. He posted grades of 75.0 or better in all categories across the board. Tuli was right behind him with the second-best qualifying grade on the team. He posted an elite and team-high 91.3 run defense grade.

The linebacker duo of Kendricks and Murray both graded well in a game where each needed to take on a lot of dirty work trying to stop the Patriots ground game. Murray’s 80.6 tackling grade was the best on the team.

Samuel posted the team’s best coverage grade of 78.6. Otherwise, he still struggled in both run defense and as a tackler.

Worst

DT Austin Johnson - 30.5
DT Sebastian Joseph-Day - 45.7
DT Morgan Fox - 53.5
S Alohi Gilman - 54.0
CB Deane Leonard - 54.6

The interior of the Chargers defensive line was gutted early on by a number of strong runs from running back Rhamondre Stevenson. If he didn’t end up leaving the game early due to injury, he may have had an even bigger day which could have led to even worse grades for this unit. Fox earned a sack, but it wasn’t enough to make up for his run defense. Johnson and Joseph-Day each posted abysmal run defense grades of 32.4 and 42.0, respectively.

Gilman missed a tackle on Patriots receiver Tyquan Thornton that turned into a big gain which was likely the biggest reason both his run defense and tackling grades fell below 30.0. Leonard had the team’s lowest coverage grade among qualifying defensive backs (51.6).