Chargers Grades: Continued
Before I get to McLaughlin’s debut, a quick word in a segment I don’t usually do: coaching. First of all, those who berated Anthony Lynn for the performance against Denver, you’re pointing the finger at the wrong guy. Let’s say you don’t agree with the fourth-down call to go for it instead of taking the points nearing the end of the first half.
While Lynn would have made the go-for-it decision, it was offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt’s decision to try a cutesy race to the outside edge that more led to the downfall of the play. I don’t blame Lynn for the defeat. I believe that it was more born out of more motion on the offense than needed from Whisenhunt paired with an inability for Gus Bradley to adapt to a crushing run game from Denver.
Whether you blame injuries and personnel for both of these faults is entirely up to you, but surely do not lay the blame on the shoulders of Lynn.
Special Teams: B
McLaughlin went 2-of-3 on field goals and 1-of-1 on extra points in a largely successful kicking debut. A better letter grade is next to impossible however as you consider that if McLaughlin’s earliest attempt would have split the uprights, the Chargers could have gone for the tie on their final drive instead of kicking a chip-shot field goal and then relying on an onside attempt.
The first kick was tipped, so don’t peg it all on the kicker, but at the end of the deal the special teams unit as a whole has to get penalized for the game-changing miss. On the other side, King’s punt return touchdown nearly single-handedly brought his team back from the brink so a “B” as a whole for the unit.
Special Teams: B