The Los Angeles Chargers find themselves in a challenging position at 0-2 for the year, with several players falling short of expectations. After a disappointing loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Chargers followed up with an embarrassing defeat against the Tennessee Titans, where starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed over 80% of his passes. Let’s take a closer look at the top five Chargers who need to step up their game.
Joshua Kelley In Week 1, Joshua Kelley showed promise by rushing for 91 yards and a touchdown while filling in for the injured Austin Ekeler. However, his performance in Week 2 was disappointing, with only 39 rushing yards on 13 attempts, earning him a subpar 53.1 rushing grade. What’s more concerning is his performance in the passing game, where his 34.9 receiving grade limits the Chargers’ offensive options. For the team to secure wins, Kelley must either become the bruising back he’s shown flashes of or emerge as a viable passing threat.
J.C. Jackson J.C. Jackson had a shaky start in Week 1. Although he recorded an interception, he allowed 99 yards in coverage and committed a costly pass interference penalty in the second quarter against the Dolphins. Since joining the Chargers, Jackson has faced injury issues and struggled on the field. To bolster the secondary and fulfill his role as a turnover machine, Jackson must deliver a strong performance this year.
Sebastian Joseph-Day Sebastian Joseph-Day arrived at the Chargers after three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, known for his stout run-stopping abilities. In his debut season with the Chargers, Joseph-Day recorded 32 run stops but saw his PFF grades decline across the board, ending the year with a 51.6 defense grade. This season, he has only registered one run stop in two games and holds a 48.5 defense grade. Joseph-Day needs to step up against the Minnesota Vikings, a team struggling in the run game, to bolster the Chargers’ run defense.
Jamaree Salyer Jamaree Salyer, in his second year with the Chargers, has experienced a sophomore slump after an impressive 2022 season. His 2023 performance, with a grade of 59.1, has been lackluster, particularly after a rough Week 2 facing the Titans. Salyer struggled in pass-blocking, allowing four pressures, two hurries, and a sack, with a dismal 36.1 grade. As the second-year right guard, he must improve his performance to support his quarterback and running back.
Kenneth Murray Entering his fourth year with the Chargers, Kenneth Murray aimed to prove he deserved his 5th-year option. However, his Week 1 performance was disastrous, earning a 29.4 defense grade as he struggled against the run and in coverage. In Week 2, with Eric Kendricks sidelined due to injury, Murray stepped into the main linebacker role and performed better, registering five run stops and a sack. Murray must continue to improve in his linebacker role, especially when Kendricks returns.
The upcoming clash against the 0-2 Minnesota Vikings presents an opportunity for redemption for the Chargers. To secure their first win of the year, these players must step up and make a significant impact on the field.
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