The Los Angeles Chargers visit the New York Jets in Week 16 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
PFFELO Ranking: 12
Coverage by: Daniel Rymer
Matchup: Los Angeles Chargers offense vs. New York Jets defense
- TE Antonio Gates vs. LB Demario Davis – With Hunter Henry placed on injured reserve, the Chargers will lean on Antonio Gates at the tight end position as they fight for a playoff spot. The future hall-of-famer has gained an average of 0.75 yards per route run, which ranks last out of 40 qualifying tight ends. Despite not being the yardage monster than he once was, Gates is still as sure-handed as ever. He has not dropped a single catchable target all season, which puts him in a tie with the Ravens’ tight end Nick Boyle for lowest drop rate among all tight ends. On the Jets’ side, Demario Davis will look to contain Gates. Davis has allowed just 0.81 yards per cover snap, tied for sixth out of 50 inside linebackers.
- RB Melvin Gordon vs. S Jamal Adams – Gordon’s current overall grade of 79.9 isn’t quite as high as his 83.0 overall grade last season, but he has still had a productive year. He has forced 37 missed tackles on rushing attempts, tied for the fourth-most among all running backs. To go with that, Gordon also has ten runs of 15-plus yards, which is tied for tenth-most among running backs. Rookie safety Jamal Adams has had a solid year for New York, coming in with an overall grade of 79.1. Adams has tallied 20 stops on 379 run snaps, good for the 13th best run-stop percentage among all safeties and the third-best among rookie safeties. If there is something to improve on for Adams, it’s tackling. He has missed seven tackles on run plays, ranking 42nd out of 69 qualifying safeties in tackling efficiency.
- WR Travis Benjamin vs. CB Morris Claiborne – The Chargers’ deep-threat wide receiver Travis Benjamin currently has an average grade of 71.8 and will have to battle Morris Claiborne. On the year, Benjamin has been targeted on deep passes (throws 20-plus yards downfield) on 38.9 percent of his targets, second-highest percentage behind Josh Gordon (46.2) among wide receivers with at least 25 targets. Benjamin has gained 1.42 yards per route run, 50th out of 85 qualifying wide receivers. Jets’ cornerback Morris Claiborne has been unable to match his career-high overall grade of 84.0 from last year, as he has an overall grade of 48.6 this season. Claiborne is allowing 1.10 yards per cover snap, 58th out of 120 cornerbacks, and ranks 74th among cornerbacks in passer rating allowed at 95.2.
PFFELO Ranking: 27
Coverage by: Cyrus Geller
Matchup: New York Jets offense vs. Los Angeles Chargers defense
- WR Robby Anderson vs. CB Casey Hayward – Hayward has been the best cornerback in the NFL this season, as his overall grade of 96.7 is the best out of 119 qualified cornerbacks. When targeted, he is allowing a passer rating of 59.5, which ranks ninth out of 120 qualified corners. He will see a lot of Robby Anderson, who is averaging 2.02 yards per route run, which is tied for 12th-best out of 85 qualified receivers this year. Anderson is coming off a tough week against New Orleans where he only caught five of the 12 balls thrown his way and only had a passer rating of 50.7 when targeted. We will see if he can rebound this week against the NFL’s’ best.
- WR Jermaine Kearse vs. CB Desmond King – Kearse has performed well in the slot this year, as he is tied for 10th out of 62 qualified receivers in yards per route run in the slot at 1.88, and 15th in slot yards at 416. He will have a tough matchup in slot corner Desmond King, whose overall grade of 87.2 ranks 11th out of 119 qualified corners. King is allowing a passer rating of 82.2 when targeted in the slot, which ranks 15th out of 55 qualified corners.
- T Kelvin Beachum vs. Edge Joey Bosa – Bosa has been one of the best in the game in 2017, as his overall grade of 91.8 ranks sixth out of 115 qualified edge rushers. Bosa has accumulated 67 total pressures this season, which is the third-most among all 4-3 defensive ends. This will be a tough task for Kelvin Beachum, who has been the Jets best offensive lineman this year. Beachum’s pass-blocking efficiency of 96.5 ranks tied for 15th out of 81 qualified offensive tackles.