Chargers Week 1 Report Card: How the offense graded in victory over Washington

By Gavino Borquez

The Chargers took care of business in Week 1, defeating Washington by the score of 20-16.

Here’s how every position graded out in the team’s victory on Sunday:

Quarterback — A

While many believed he was going to endure sophomore struggles, quarterback Justin Herbert did not lose a step from his phenomenal rookie campaign. Delivering beautiful darts at all levels of the field, Herbert finished 31-of-47 passing for 337 yards – leading the offense on three long scoring drives (75, 76, and 68 yards). His most impressive work came on third-down situations, as he completed 13 of 16 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. Had the dropped passes not occurred, Herbert could have been sitting with over 370 yards and two scores.

Running back — B-

After dealing with a hamstring injury leading up into the contest, Austin Ekeler still played and took the majority of the carries. Running the ball 15 times, Ekeler totaled 57 yards. He was a non-factor in the passing game, not being targeted on any of his 26 routes. Aside from a carry of 13 yards, Larry Rountree did not do much with his other opportunities. The bulk of Justin Jackson’s playing time came on special teams, finishing with only one carry for five yards. All backs played key roles in pass protection, however.

Wide receiver — B

Herbert distributed the wealth to nine different skill players, with all five receivers on the roster being targeted. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams were the stars of the show, combining for 17 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown on 25 targets. Allen went for over 100 yards and Williams caught a career-high eight passes in his new role in Lombardi’s offense. Jalen Guyton and K.J. Hill each had three receptions, averaging over 10 yards per catch. Rookie Josh Palmer was only targeted once, but he turned it into a 17-yard gain. Had there not been some bad drops, this unit would have received an ‘A’ grade.

Tight end — B

Jared Cook did the majority of the work in the passing game out of this group. The chemistry between Herbert and Cook was there, as the two linked up five times for 56 yards on eight targets. Cook, however, did have one of the team’s few drops on the afternoon. In a surprising manner, Donald Parham was primarily used as a blocking tight end. Parham had 20 run blocking snaps and eight pass blocking snaps, while only running routes 13 times. Stephen Anderson wasn’t a factor as a receiver, but he was arguably one of the better blockers, especially in the run game.

Offensive line — A

It’s been quite some time since this position group received anything higher than a ‘C’ grade, but the newly revamped line held their own against one of the best defensive fronts in this league. Herbert had 52 dropbacks and he was only pressured five times. Rookie tackle Rashawn Slater was a major contributor, going up against Chase Young and Montez Sweat, not allowing a single pressure and paving the way in the run game.


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