Well it’s been a while since the Chargers could say it, but the team has won. That’s right I said it, the Chargers finally get back into the win column. Let’s all be thankful for that because in my opinion a loss to the winless Jets would of been utter rock bottom. I must say in those first 5 minutes i really wasnt feeling good about what i was seeing and i had my doubts. We also shouldn’t get too ahead of ourselves with excitement because it ended up being much closer than it should have ever been. I guess you can always view it from the perspective of the fact there is no such thing as a easy win in the NFL. However at one point this game had the makings of a blowout yet it ended up being too close for comfort and was making me get vibes of the Broncos game all over again. It’s been a while since we could enjoy a victory so let’s not get negative about a win.
What went right:
The connection between Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen keeps getting more and more impressive. Since Herbert has arrived the connection with Allen is something that can’t be denied and will likely get Allen the rightful recognition he has longed for as a top 5 if not too 3 wide out in the league. In week 11 Allen amounted a whopping 16 catches for 145 years and a touchdown. Through 10 games he now has 72 catches for 835 yards and 6 touchdowns total for the season. He is on pace to get close to, if not pass, his career high in receiving yards for a season (1,393). He would have to maintain a similar pace that we saw in week 11 to be able to pass that number but he should easily be able to set a career high in receiving touchdowns (8).
New running back Kallen Ballage had himself a decent day and while his numbers wernt overly impressive he managed to come up for first down conversions when needed. I’m also willing to give him more credit than his numbers suggest because of the fact the offensive line wasn’t exactly getting a lot of push. It will be interesting to see how he pairs with Ekeler upon his return.
What needs to be cleaned up :
Once again the Chargers punt team was a let down as the Jets were able to block a punt on the Bolts first punt attempt of the game. They mixed up the personnel and they were met with the same exact result. This time it was rookie running back Joshua Kelley who let a defender blow by him almost untouched. Typically he is a very good back field blocking back on offense so this was a little surprising. This cannot be something they allow to plague them all year long.
Something seems to be missing on this defense and I can’t really put my finger on it. The Jets were allowed far too many yards both through the air and on the ground. Frank Gore at 37 years old shouldn’t be allowed by what is supposed to be a top 10 defense to average 4.1 yards a carry (61 on 15 carries). Guys like Jerry Tillery and Damion Square were virtually invisible and it was evident by a big fat zero in every category next to their name. Probably worse was the passing yards the team gave up. Again it wasn’t a case if an explosion of yards it was the timely manner in which they were able to amount them. It seemed almost every important 3rd down the Jets were able to haul in a 20+ yard catch. All of this was reflective in the Pro football focus grades the corners received (Hayward 29.8 & Davis 61.5). To make matter worse the Chargers wernt able to get after Flacco in passing situations the way I had imagined they would. The only person who really was getting consistent pressure was Joey Bosa. If the Bolts plan on coming away from week 12 with another win they will have to step up on the defensive side as Buffalo has a much more potent offense