LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: Team grades from a tough loss to Tom Brady’s Bucs

TAMPA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 04: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to pass against Shaquil Barrett #58 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of a game at Raymond James Stadium on October 04, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 04: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to pass against Shaquil Barrett #58 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of a game at Raymond James Stadium on October 04, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
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(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

Receivers and defensive line

Coming into the game, my expectations were fairly low for the receivers. Mike Williams was a huge loss coming into the game. He’s usually the team’s deep ball threat. Today, it was Johnson and Guyton. Who would’ve thought?

In all seriousness, the receiving game was mostly based around Allen with a number of other players sprinkled in. Allen finished the game with eight receptions for 62 yards and was by far the most targeted receiver.

Outside of Allen, eight receivers would combine for 12 catches. It was impressive to see Herbert distribute as well as he did. The LA Chargers couldn’t get guys open consistently, but they made up for it with well-executed screens and deep shots.

The inclusion of Parham was fun to watch as well, and I’m hopeful they utilize his size from here on out. It was a group effort and everyone contributed when they needed to.

The performance of the defensive line on the other hand was concerning, to say the least. They registered OK pressure on Brady in the first half but finished the game with zero sacks. If you only get a few QB hits and zero sacks, you simply aren’t beating a Brady team.

In addition to their struggles with the pass rush, they got absolutely smashed in the run game. Ronald Jones finished with 20 carries for 111 yards. Every run felt like a bludgeoning where the Chargers simply had no leverage. The performance of the Tampa running game made me miss Justin Jones. It feels like the run defense has taken a big step back without him.

No one on the defensive line was really terrible, but it was a combination of about five or six uninspired performances. Linval Joseph might’ve had the only positive afternoon.

Receivers: B+

Defensive line: C

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