LA Chargers News

Game Balls in Chargers loss to the Broncos

CARSON, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 06: Joey Bosa #97 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks on during the second half of a game against the Denver Broncos at Dignity Health Sports Park on October 06, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
CARSON, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 06: Joey Bosa #97 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks on during the second half of a game against the Denver Broncos at Dignity Health Sports Park on October 06, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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CARSON, CA – OCTOBER 22: Casey Hayward #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the game against the Denver Broncos at StubHub Center on October 22, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA – OCTOBER 22: Casey Hayward #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the game against the Denver Broncos at StubHub Center on October 22, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Chargers game balls, continued

Casey Hayward is flat out playing at an elite level this season. While the secondary around him has been in flux, he has been a steadying force for the Chargers. He has essentially been shutting down one third of the field, which is a huge advantage for the defense. The team has been using him more as a shadow cover corner – meaning he’s been following the opposing team’s number one receiver – and he has been excelling at that role.

Courtland Sutton is an emerging receiver in this league and the Chargers elected to have Hayward shadow him the majority of the day. Ultimately, he followed Sutton on 83% of his routes. While Sutton did break off a long touchdown catch, that was when Hayward was on the opposite side of the field covering Emmanuel Sanders. In fact, while he was guarding Sutton he held him to one catch for six yards. He broke up the only other target Flacco threw at him. Shutting that side of the field down was key to keeping the Chargers in the game, and his elite play while limiting opposing receivers deserves more recognition. When both Derwin James and Adrian Phillips return, and Michael Davis is more games back from injury, this secondary can get back to its elite level.

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