Chargers: Dissecting the anti-Mike Williams argument

Los Angeles Chargers v Washington Football Team
Los Angeles Chargers v Washington Football Team / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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Mike Williams, Tre Norwood
Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Chargers / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

3. Mike Williams disappears in games!

This is my favorite point to disprove. There is this narrative that Mike Williams disappears far too often and that he is not worth the money because of that. Yes, Williams does have some bad games in which he does not contribute much to the offense. They do happen and there is no point in trying to deny them.

The problem is that outside of maybe the top 3-5 receivers, literally every wide receiver in the NFL has these games when they 'disappear'. I truly don't think Charger fans who argue this point realize how common it is in the NFL for a certain receiver to have a slow game, especially when they have another Pro Bowl receiver on the team in Keenan Allen.

Mike Williams had five games in 2021 with 40 or fewer receiving yards. However, against Baltimore, he played just 36% of the snaps as he was dealing with a knee injury (and no, he is not injury-prone, he has missed three games in four years). We will give him the pass for that game because it happens.

Here is some other notable receiver with four or more <30 yard games in 2021: Jaylen Waddle (4), Michael Gallup (4), Mike Evans (4), Michael Pittman (4), Hunter Renfrow (4), Ja'Marr Chase (5), Amari Cooper (5), Brandin Cooks (5), Terry McLaurin (5), Adam Thielen (5), Tyreek Hill (6), Darnell Mooney (6), DeVonta Smith (7), Tyler Lockett (7). Eleven of the top 22 players in the NFL in 2021 had as many games (or more) with 40 or fewer yards as Mike Williams. Some (like Chris Godwin) were right there as well but missed games to keep them off the list.

This notion that Williams disappears is just ridiculous because that is part of the game. He is not going to have a massive game every single Sunday when there is also Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler on the team. This isn't Madden.

When he does have big games though they are extremely important to the Bolts. The Chargers would not have beaten Cleveland, Kansas City or Pittsburgh without Mike Williams. They wouldn't have gone to overtime against the Raiders in Week 18. Heck, he also caught the game-winning touchdown against Washington.

Three wins. That is the difference Mike Williams provided the team in 2021. If Joshua Palmer was the WR2 then the Bolts would have been 6-11 and would have had the seventh overall pick in the draft.

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But sure, let's get cheap and not sign one of Justin Herbert's favorite targets because he is making $3-4 million more than someone at home thinks he should be making.