LA Chargers: Grading the team in its dramatic win over the Bengals
Special teams and final grades
Joe Reed had a very nice kick return that set up the Chargers near the 50-yard line. I’m really high on Reed’s return potential and think he’ll do wonders this season. Desmond King on the other hand didn’t do a whole lot with his punt returns. As long as he’s not muffing it like at key points last season, I don’t mind.
Michael Badgley was nearly perfect on the day, but missed a 50-yard attempt that would’ve given the Chargers the lead. He ultimately did what was expected of him and can be excused for one miss.
Ty Long had a scary moment where he seemed to fall hard after a punt. He hobbled off the field, but seemed to be OK on the sideline later. Perhaps it was just a moment where he got winded. Long was my favorite special teams player for the Chargers in general, as he had five punts for nearly 250 yards. He was solid in 2019 and seems to be picking up where he left off.
Long was in charge of kickoffs as well and prevented any real opportunities for returns.
Special Teams: A-
The offense is certainly the unit that needs to be better going into Week 2 vs. the Chiefs. However, I’m fairly confident they’ll have more of an up-tempo style going against that offense. Today felt like some necessary growing pains with Steichen and crew figuring things out on the fly with no real action prior. Get Turner back healthy while getting Allen and Ekeler more involved.
The defense was mostly great in this game. The last two-minute drill was concerning, and I didn’t quite understand why Gus Bradley was so fixated on playing prevent. Other than that though, Hayward, Ingram, Tillery, and Bosa were awesome. Murray also flashed his potential.
Other than a long missed Badgley kick, there’s not a lot to complain about with special teams. Hopefully, King has a few better chances at punt returns in Week 2.