Chargers grades: Defense and special Teams
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: The Chargers do not win this football game without the dominant performance of one Joey Bosa. In a game featuring the typically superhuman Khalil Mack, it was Bosa who was the best pass rusher on the field. The Ohio State product recorded seven tackles (four tackles for loss) and two sacks. Bosa was everywhere, contributing nearly as much in the run game as he did getting after the quarterback. Besides Bosa, Thomas Davis had a strong showing highlighted by a beautiful read of a run play, weaving through the offensive line to get to David Montgomery behind the line of scrimmage. It was certainly not all positive, and it can’t be when you surrender 253 through the air and a whopping 162 on the ground.
Jerry Tillery stood out as someone who simply looked lost both in the pass rush and the run game. The draft selection was questioned from the start, many favoring an offensive line piece at that pick. Tillery hasn’t done much to quiet those concerns, though injuries have shown the position to be more of a need than originally perceived. Denzel Perryman also looked slow, getting beat in coverage several times and whiffing on three different tackles. The road ahead gets a whole lot rougher as star running back Aaron Jones comes into town next week.
Special Teams: C
Chase McLaughlin barely gets a passing grade, going 1/2 on field goals while knocking through both attempted extra points. This grade gets bumped up a little for the quality play of Ty Long who punted five times for 269 yards, a solid average kick of 53.8. Chargers fans should be excited about this unit when Michael Badgley returns, as his pairing with Long should give fans something they have long desired: Confidence in the kicking game.
Special Teams: C