Special teams and final grades
It was a really….great special teams game? I’m as shocked as you that I’m finally writing those words.
Nasir Adderley is certainly the lead story here. Two big kick returns in this game set the Chargers up really well on offense. It’s been a struggle for Adderley on defense all year, but he seems to be carving out a significant special teams role with good play. I’m curious to see how he does in Week 17 against one of the most well coached ST units in the league.
Michael Badgley kicked four field goals and knocked down four field goals. None of them came from a particularly challenging distance, so that problem isn’t close to solved. After last week, it was nice to not see shanks or wide lefts though.
Ty Long had a good day punting the ball with four for 193 yards. He could’ve used some pins inside the 20, but I’m just happy to see that he could kick the ball away comfortably without worrying that someone will miss their block.
Ultimately, Anthony Lynn‘s tenure as special teams coordinator does not change my mind on whether he should be retained or fired next season. The tangible steps forward since the Patriots disaster are still very noticeable. Credit where credit is due.
Special Teams: A-
The offense was sloppy in this one and just didn’t execute to the extent that it could’ve. It was a harder defensive matchup than the previous game against Vegas, but the Broncos have their own depth issues that the Chargers never quite took advantage of.
Defensively, it was a solid performance. The collapse in the second half of the last Denver game never happened here. The defensive line certainly should’ve stepped up in a bigger way. There was very sound play from the second and third levels.
Week 17 is the last week for the offense, defense, and special teams to prove themselves in a battle for roster spots next season. While the game is technically meaningless, I’m curious to see how it plays out.