Special teams and final grades
The special teams story of the game for me was the lack of Joe Reed. For the first time this season, Reed was a healthy scratch. The LA Chargers decided that they needed more speed and tight end help on offense.
While I understand healthy scratching Reed with the weather and Tampa Bay’s high touchback rate, it felt like he could’ve had some impact on kick returns. I’m not really sure it was worth it to scratch Reed in favor of Jason Moore.
The Chargers actually had an awesome punt return with K.J. Hill that was wiped out by a Gabe Nabers penalty. Nabers had two special teams penalties in this game and seemed to struggle for yet another week.
Ty Long had another great week with an average of 53.3 yards per punt. Out of all the LA Chargers’ special teams players, he’s been the best this season.
Michael Badgley’s weird year continues. He knocked in an impressive 53-yard field goal that was weirdly held, but also missed what should’ve been a relatively easy 47-yarder.
It didn’t cost the Chargers in the end considering that they still would’ve needed a touchdown on the final drive anyway. Missing field goals isn’t good though, considering Anthony Lynn simply wasn’t confident in him, to begin with.
Special Teams: B
Talk about a game that started so well yet ended so poorly. From the miscues to the poor play of a lot of players in the second half, the Chargers fumbled what might’ve been a good opportunity for a statement win.
Herbert was really awesome in this game. Against Kansas City and Carolina, he made crucial mistakes throughout the game that ended up costing the team. Against Tampa Bay, he was so good that it made the rest of the team’s effort unfortunately look bad.
Anthony Lynn’s week will start with the decision between Herbert and Tyrod Taylor. While that will dominate the discussion for a lot of fans and analysts, I just can’t help but feel that it’s an almost meaningless decision for the Saints game with how bad the defense was on Sunday following a poor showing vs. Carolina.