The beginning of this year was a revelation. The offense was clicking on all cylinders, the new offensive line was unreal, and the defense was crushing it. But the last few weeks, going back to the Ravens game, this team has been exposed. Crushed by the Ravens and outplayed by the Patriots and now Vikings. After watching them drop 47 on the Browns, it almost seems impossible! Regardless, there is one takeaway from these losses. the Chargers are just average.
The defense is still exactly what it was to start the year. They're a top 5 defense vs the pass(even after playing the #2, #4, #5, #9 and #10 pass attacks in the league), but the worst in the league vs the run. Their special teams unit has gotten better with the addition of Andre Roberts, sure. But the offense has just gotten stagnant, and I'm willing to lay blame in three spots: Herbert, WR drops and Lombardi.
- Herbert games 1-5: 303 yards/game, 67% completion percentage, 104.9 QBR, 2.6 TD/game
- Herbert in their last 3 losses: 186 yards/game, 55.5% completion percentage, 69 QBR, 1.3 TD/game
- The Chargers are second in the league right now in drops. Keenan is second individually, and Jared Cook is 4th. Even last game alone, Mike Dub dropped a surefire touchdown that would have put them out in front.
- Any an offense gets even slightly stagnant, the fans always go for the coordinators jugular. I don't think that Lombardi is a bad coordinator. He has found ways to properly utilize players that struggled under Lynn, and he has found a way to make this offense way more consistent vs dependent on deep shots. However, it just seems like opposing defensive coordinators either have him figured out before the game starts, or figure him out during the game and he isn't prepared to counter their adjustments.
I think this upcoming game vs the Steelers could be the disaster that sinks the rest of their season. Najee Harris is one of the top rushers in the league and the Steelers have a sneaky good pass defense. They excel in all the Chargers weak spots, so it is going to take a hell of a game plan to beat them.
I was spot on in recommending you take Dalvin Cook in every way you could, so let me give you another bit of advice. For SNF, take:
- Najee Harris every way you can. Rushing yards, total yards, and to score.
- Chargers receiver yardage unders
- If Herbert is 2.5 TD and in the 280s-ish for yards, UNDER