The Chargers lost a game in which should have been theirs on Thursday night against Kansas City. The 27-24 loss showed just how close the Chargers are to being able to match the Chiefs. They maybe even outplayed them, but they couldn’t get out of their own way.
Here are the positional grades:
Justin Herbert is as tough as they come. He had a nice game even without Keenan Allen but did throw that pick six that kind of sealed the game.
Running back: C-
The Chargers aren’t getting the same production out of Austin Ekeler so far this season. Maybe teams have figured him out. Also, Joshua Kelley needs to touch the ball more four carries for 22 yards, he needs to see an increase in carries.
Wide receivers: B+
Mike Williams had a strong game catching eight passes for 113 yards and one touchdown. The Herbert and Josh Palmer connection was off in the first half but got better in the second. The Chargers might have struck gold with DeAndre Carter.
Tight end: C
Gerald Everett had six catches for 71 yards and has been productive for the offense in his first two games. Trey McKitty was used more as a blocker on Thursday.
Offensive line: w/ Linsley: A- w/out Linsley: D
This was the tale of two halves. Center Corey Linsley played in the first half, which saw the best offensive production and Herbert faced almost no heat. He doesn’t come out in the second half and the offensive line couldn’t keep Herbert’s pocket clean.
Defensive line: B-
Take away the Clyde Edwards-Helaire 52-yard run, and the Chargers held the Chiefs to 17 rushes for 41 yards. They did an impressive job of at least getting their hands in Mahomes face and making him feel uncomfortable in the pocket.
Edge rushers: C+
They got pressure but only brought Mahomes down once on the half a sack from Khalil Mack and Drue Tranquill. Mack and Joey Bosa helped stopping the run.
There were some missed tackles and a step behind when in coverage.
There were some questionable calls but there were some drops. Samuel should have had a 103-yard pick six. JC Jackson had a rough debut but should bounce back as the season continues.
Special teams: B
Kicks were made, ball was kicked out of the end zone, and no mistakes were made.
There are times were the offensive play calling kicks it into neutral. The coaching staff should have noticed that Gerald Everett was tired and needed to come out.
Next opportunity: B
The Chargers will face Jacksonville and they are no slouch. There is also questions on Herbert, Linsley, and Allen status for the game.