Chargers: Top Five Performances:
5. Michael Schofield III, right guard: C-
Every Chargers fan knows the offensive line has been a particular weak point for the team., and even the national media seems to be catching up to this narrative. That being said, let’s give credit where credit is due to Michael Schofield for a passable effort. Per Pro Football Focus, Schofield got a 61.8 run blocking grade and a 72.2 pass blocking grade. These numbers purely by themselves would spell a D+, but I bump Schofield up a notch simply because I am encouraged by the play.
4. Phillip Rivers, quarterback: C
During CBS’s broadcast of the game, play-by-play man Ian Eagle and color commentator Dan Fouts discussed Phillip Rivers feeling “phantom pressure” and forcing the ball out faster than he needs to. I can’t blame him. For a non-mobile quarterback like Rivers the option to scramble is nonexistent, so while you see signal callers like Carson Wentz feeling this phantom pressure and deciding to roll out, Rivers can only get rid of the football or take a sack. This leads to a 63 percent completion percentage, though the veteran was able to get 8.7 yards per attempt and two touchdowns out of the performance. With the game on the line, the Bolts (Chargers, never Bolts) ran it two straight times. Hindsight is 20/20, but with Rivers playing quality football one wonders why Lynn and Whisenhunt wouldn’t look for a similar play to the two-point game-winning conversion from Rivers to Mike Williams in the Chiefs game last year.
3. Austin Ekeler, running back: B+
With his carries taken away, Austin Ekeler remains a massive part of this offense through the air. Ekeler led all receivers with 118 yards on seven receptions for a monster 16.9 yards per catch for the game. Ekeler’s big play was a 41-yard catch and run for a score that pulled the Chargers within three points. With talk already stirring about the benching of Melvin Gordon, Ekeler continues to stay ready and look like a polished RB1.
2. Joey Bosa, defensive end: A-
The man simply performs. Doesn’t matter what secondary is behind him, if Melvin Ingram is injured, it simply isn’t going to stop Joey Bosa. With two sacks and six total tackles Bosa continues to produce star numbers despite the crumbling defense around him. With double teams and triple teams coming almost each and every play it is nothing short of magical what No. 97 is able to do.
1. Hunter Henry, tight end: A
The second-leading receiver with six catches for 97 yards, Hunter Henry continues to be efficient with his targets. Henry really should’ve eclipsed the century mark on the day, but Rivers missed him on multiple occasions. Henry continues his strong return to form in both the passing game and also blocking game, though his services are mostly used catching the football.