LA Chargers News

Chargers: Awards at midpoint of 2019 NFL season

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 20: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs the ball during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on October 20, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 20: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs the ball during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on October 20, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – JANUARY 06: Kicker Mike Badgley #4 of the Los Angeles Chargers in action against the Baltimore Ravens during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – JANUARY 06: Kicker Mike Badgley #4 of the Los Angeles Chargers in action against the Baltimore Ravens during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Chargers MVP

No one has been as consistent, as dominant, and as productive as Bosa, and he is easily the team’s most valuable player thus far.

This is the first time in years Philip Rivers isn’t the clear-favorite for MVP; in fact, one could argue he’s not even second or third in line. Casey Hayward and Austin Ekeler may take the nod over him, even though they aren’t exactly the “most valuable” on the team.

Bosa was single-handedly responsible for the team’s win in Chicago, and without an insane performance from the defensive end, the Chargers would likely be out of playoff contention for good. Instead, they’ve got all the chance in the world heading home to face the Green Bay Packers.

Chargers biggest surprise

I’m actually going to bring up a few players, since there are a number of pleasant and unpleasant surprises so far this season

Michael Badgley

What a shame. Badgley was not only injured to open the season, but it sounds like he even lied about his injury and forced the team to make quick in-season changes to fix the kicking unit. He’s last year’s hero, but this year he’s healthy and benched for the foreseeable future because the Chargers have to make an example out of him.

Nasir Adderley

This, if not the biggest surprise, may be the biggest disappointment. Not only did the Chargers not get a chance to see him paired with Derwin James, but they couldn’t even get Adderley on the field much to pair with anyone. The second-round pick has gone from draft-day steal to immediate concern moving forward, though no one should be calling him a bust just yet.

Austin Ekeler

Most expected Ekeler to do well with an expanded role, but I don’t think most expected him to be such a legitimate outside receiver. Ekeler has caught 51 of 53 targets, an insane rate considering not all his receptions were dump-offs or easy screens.

Chargers best rookie

Grading the Chargers' win in Chicago. Next

Drue Tranquill is basically the best rookie by default, though he has made significant contributions thus far. His expanded role has been a bit of a mixed back, but that’s expected for a fourth-round draft pick trying to work his way into the NFL. Last week, Tranquill logged the most coverage snaps he’s had all season by far, but turned in his highest-graded performance in that category. For what it’s worth, his special teams efforts place him on Pro Football Focus’ All-Pro team as an honorable mention. Jerry Tillery, meanwhile, just watched Sylvester Williams post a higher overall grade in his first game with the Chargers than any of the Notre Dame defensive tackle’s first eight.

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