CLE-SD Grades: Josh McCown posts best grade since 2013
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Browns-Chargers game, including the highest graded players from each team:
– QB Josh McCown led the team with a +3.8 overall grade, his best game since the 2013 season. McCown thrived against the blitz, finishing 11-for-15 for 146 yards and a touchdown, earning a +2.9 grade. Rookie HB Duke Johnson (+3.3) was the top target. McCown was 9-for-10 for 85 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown, when targeting Johnson.
– LT Joe Thomas (+3.5) and LG Joel Bitonio (+1.9) were excellent, earning positive grades for both run blocking and pass protection. Each player surrendered just one hurry in 48 pass blocking snaps, and the pair finished with matching +1.8 run blocking grades after consistently creating movement in the run game.
– Cleveland was unable to get much pressure on Chargers QB Philip Rivers, finishing with a -3.9 team pass rush grade. DE Randy Starks (-1.5) failed to record a pressure in 30 pass rushes, and OLB Paul Kruger (-1.3) finished with just two hurries. ILB Chris Kirksey (-1.4) was the Browns’ most effective pass rusher, picking up a sack and two hurries on just eight pass rushes for a +1.3 pass rush grade.
QB Josh McCown (+3.8)
LT Joe Thomas (+3.5)
HB Duke Johnson (+3.3)
LG Joel Bitonio (+1.9)
RE Jamie Meder (+1.6)
-QB Philip Rivers (+0.9) was actually more productive under pressure (5-for-8 for 143 yards, one touchdown, +2.6 grade) than he was with a clean pocket. Rivers did a nice job taking advantage of matchups, finding TE Ladarius Green for a 19-yard touchdown versus S Donte Whitner in the third quarter. Rivers also finished 2-for-3 for 47 yards and two touchdowns on passes thrown 20+ yards.
– Despite missing their starting left tackle, left guard, and center due to injury, the Chargers’ offensive line held up well in pass protection. Rivers was pressured on just 10 of his 40 drop-backs, and no lineman was responsible for more than two pressures. LG Kenny Wiggins (+0.2) was the standout, finishing with a team-best +1.7 pass protection grade after not allowing a single pressure.
– OLB Melvin Ingram led the team with a +2.3 overall grade, earning positive marks in run defense and as a pass rusher (two sacks, three hurries). The Chargers need Ingram to be a consistent threat as a pass rusher; the team currently ranks in the bottom 10 of our team pass rush grading, and Ingram is the only Charger with a pass rushing grade higher than +1.5 through the first four games.
OLB Melvin Ingram (+2.3)
FS Eric Weddle (+2.3)
RT Joe Barksdale (+2.2)
TE Ladarius Green (+2.2)
CB Patrick Robinson (+2.1)