Travis Benjamin made some forgettable plays in the Los Angeles Chargers most recent game.
Benjamin caught two passes in the game for five yards, but he was targeted five times in the passing game. It was the catches he didn’t make that really hurt.
Trailing by seven points just after the two-minute warning and coming off a play in which the Chargers converted a 4th-and-13 to stay alive, Philip Rivers threw a pretty ball to a streaking Benjamin for what would have been a game-tying catch. The coverage was there, but the catch should have been made.
Benjamin dropped it. He’s dropped many passes before, but that one was big.
Not only that, but the leash can only be so long for such a marginal player, right? What has Benjamin really given to this team? Let’s take a look:
- 2016: 47 receptions, 677 yards, 4 touchdowns
- 2017: 34 receptions, 567 yards, 4 touchdowns
- 2018: 12 receptions, 186 yards, 1 touchdown
So far this season, he has caught four passes for 17 yards.
As you can see, Benjamin’s production started out strong but it has started to taper off and last year’s numbers were down so bad that the Chargers could get that kind of production from literally any receiver out there.
“But he’s so fast”.
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All you ever hear about is the guy’s speed and perhaps that helps open up opportunities for guys like Keenan Allen, so he is helpful in that regard, but he’s not a player the Chargers can’t do without. Not in any way, shape or form.
Rivers needs players he can be confident throwing the ball to. Benjamin gets his chances but he’s a guy you’re going to hope doesn’t mess it up, rather than one you can’t wait to see get the ball.
The Chargers have Allen and Mike Williams, a solid one-two punch at wide receiver. But Dontrelle Inman and even a guy like Andre Patton should be getting the opportunities that Benjamin normally gets and Benjamin should be shown the bench.
The Chargers gambled in the offseason by not re-signing Tyrell Williams, who signed with the Oakland Raiders. Through three games this season, his loss is a glaring one.
Benjamin may be fast, but why would teams even be worried about him with all of the drops? The Chargers should instead surround Rivers with a couple of different options in certain situations because this one has proven that he’s not the guy.