The Chargers extended their winning streak to two with a dominant 27-6 win against the Jets at Met Life. Traveling to the East Coast is never easy and LA got it done against one of the tougher defenses in the league.
For the second time this season, the Bolts are back at .500 with a chance to get back into playoff contention.
Before diving into Week 10’s Lions matchup, let’s look back at the week’s notable performers.
Stud: EDGE Joey Bosa
It’s a night and day difference when Joey Bosa is healthy in the lineup. Bosa had just six pressures and one sack in the three games that he was dealing with a broken toe on the injury report. In the last two weeks that he’s been in the clear medically, Bosa has 11 pressures, four sacks, and nine stops in the backfield. He’s rushing the passer and stopping the run at a high level.
Bosa just looks a half second faster off of the line initially and is playing with notably more force in front of him. If he’s able to keep up this production with the development of Tuli Tuipulotu and Khalil Mack’s bounce-back season relative to last year, LA’s defensive front may be able to give some of the best offensive lines in the league some trouble.
Dud: RB Austin Ekeler
Since his return against the Cowboys in Week 6, Ekeler has yet to have a game where he averages more than 3.4 yards per carry. Against the Jets, he had one carry for 20 yards. The rest of his 13 opportunities went for 27 yards.
Uncharacteristically, Ekeler also had three drops on Monday. In his seven seasons with the Chargers, he had never had a game with more than two.
Austin Ekeler since his return against the Cowboys in Week 6, via PFF:
53.9 Offense grade (46th out of 50 eligible RBs)
60.2 Rushing grade (42nd out of 50)
50.0 Pass blocking grade (44th out of 69)
Ekeler also ranks 48th out of 50 eligible RB's in receiving grade. pic.twitter.com/gczVG761nQ
— Alex Insdorf (@alexinsdorf99) November 9, 2023
The offensive line situation hasn’t been optimal, but it’s clear at this point that the Ekeler of years past isn’t here right now. Whether it’s his previous ankle injury this season or just a lack of burst from hitting the running back wall, the running hasn’t been as precise or impactful.
Time will tell if Ekeler maintains his current usage or if the team will feel the need to bump up Joshua Kelley’s usage, but the clock is ticking.
Stud: S Alohi Gilman
Alohi Gilman received his second elite PFF grade of the season with a 90.8, leading the Chargers’ defense in teams’ weekly scores. Gilman forced a fumble, returned a fumble recovery and had a pass breakup. On pace to play the most coverage snaps of his career, Gilman has given up just seven completions.
He has a clear nose for the football in being around turnovers and lays hits hard. While Gilman’s presence in previous seasons had seemed more incidental to the Chargers’ success, he’s been the engine of the secondary when it has been at its’ most potent and aggressive this year.
In a contract year, Gilman is balling when it matters.
Dud: TE Gerald Everett
Coming back from a hip injury certainly isn’t easy, but Gerald Everett has largely had a side role in the Chargers’ offense this year. After six straight seasons of increasing receiving production from the vet, Everett is on pace for his lowest yardage total since 2020. Week 2 against the Titans was the only game in which he produced more than 30 receiving yards this season.
The lack of pass-catching productivity from the Bolts’ receiving room is particularly felt at a time when the team is missing Joshua Palmer and Mike Williams. Everett also fumbled despite the Chargers’ recovering the ball. He’s had two fumbles on the season after having zero last season.
Stud: WR Keenan Allen
The Vikings game will likely remain Keenan Allen’s best of the season from a production standpoint throughout the year, but there’s an argument for his game against the Jets being high up on a list of his best performances.
Eight receptions on 77 yards may not seem that impressive on the box score but consider the circumstances. Absolutely no one else on the Chargers’ offense was able to produce consistently on Monday night. Four of Allen’s eight catches came against the elite Jets’ secondary trio of Sauce Gardner, Michael Carter II, and D.J. Reed.
It was Allen’s second-highest PFF offensive grade of the season. The route running prowess, the big-time catches to extend drives when the Chargers had to have them, and the insanity of the spinning around near the sideline catch…it’s hard to believe it’s year 11 for Slayer.
Dud: The offensive line
One step forward last week, two big steps back this week. After the Chargers allowed just eight pressures on Justin Herbert last week, the offensive line allowed 22 against the Jets.
In fairness to the Chargers, the Jets’ defensive front is an absolute struggle to play with the amount of pressure they’re able to get on three and four-man rush looks. But it would’ve been nice to see some progression for the Chargers after the Bears game. Instead, the line looked just as overwhelmed as it did against Kansas City and Dallas.
From Slater’s ankle injury to the absence of Corey Linsley, the Chargers have a lot of confounding factors for why the offensive line performance has been poor. But they’re running out of time to figure it out.