JAX-SD grades: Chargers’ secondary stifles talented Jaguars offense

Highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Chargers' Week 2 home win over the Jaguars.

| 3 months ago
Chargers CB Casey Hayward

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

JAX-SD grades: Chargers’ secondary stifles talented Jaguars offense


San Diego Chargers 38, Jacksonville Jaguars 14

Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Chargers’ 38-14 victory at home over the Jaguars.

San Diego Chargers

Quarterback grade: Philip Rivers, 46.1

Chargers’ offensive success comes on short crossing routes

When people see four passing touchdowns, they will presume Philip Rivers was the sole source of the Chargers’ offensive production. However, most of his passes traveled under 10 yards in the air, as Rivers only attempted seven passes over 10 yards, completing four such throws for 63 yards. The success of the Chargers’ offense came as the Jaguars where unable to cover short crossing routes, with the San Diego WRs able to turn the corner and gain extra yardage after the catch.

Top offensive grades

RT Joe Barksdale, 81.4

WR Travis Benjamin, 80.9

WR Tyrell Williams, 79.5

TE Antonio Gates, 76.6

C Matt Slauson, 76.1

RB Melvin Gordon continues impressive start to season

Through Melvin Gordon’s first 15 games of his NFL career, he failed to record 100 rushing yards. This ended versus the Jaguars, as he recorded 102 yards, with 52 coming after contact. What’s more, 40 came on just two runs. Gordon had most of his success with a point of attack off right guard and around left end, combining for 66 yards when hitting those two lanes.

Top defensive grades

CB Casey Hayward, 85.1

CB Brandon Flowers, 85.0

CB Jason Verrett, 81.9

OLB Melvin Ingram, 81.8

S Jahleel Addae, 80.1

Chargers’ secondary players earn four of defense’s top five grades

The Chargers won the game on the back of their secondary, with four their five main defensive backs earning grades over 80.0. The highest-graded CB was free-agent addition Casey Hayward; although the former Packer surrendered the most yards of the group (38), he also intercepted two passes. Brandon Flowers also managed to contribute three QB pressures on three pass-rushing snaps, as the Chargers where able to attack without worry of being beaten in the run game.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Quarterback grade: Blake Bortles, 45.0

Jaguars QB Blake Bortles takes step back in Week 2

The Jaguars struggled to get anything going on offense until it was very late in the game. Bortles was asked to drop back on 55 snaps to nine run attempts. Most of Bortles’ 333 passing yards came after the catch, as the QB struggled on throws over 10 yards. With the Jaguars down early, they needed their passing attack to get big yardage, but Bortles and the Jacksonville receiving corps simply could not deliver.

Blake Bortles passing under pressure versus Chargers

Jaguars QB Blake Bortles

Top offensive grades

C Brandon Linder, 78.1

LT Kelvin Beachum, 77.8

RT Jermey Parnell, 76.6

RG A.J. Cann, 73.6

TE Marcedes Lewis, 70.1

O-line Jacksonville’s top unit in loss

While much of the Jaguars’ lineup struggled versus the Chargers, the offensive line showed some promise. With the Jaguars attempting 50 passes, they asked a lot from the line in protection, and it delivered, giving up nine total pressures for the sixth-best pass-blocking efficiency of the week (Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football games excluded).

Top defensive grades

DT Malik Jackson, 84.2

LB Telvin Smith, 83.0

DT Arby Jones, 78.5

DT Roy Miller, 77.9

S Tashaun Gipson, 76.9

Free-agent addition Malik Jackson stands out in Week 2

When the Jaguars signed Malik Jackson, they where expecting a player who would be able to deliver pressure up the middle of their defense. In Week 2, he provided Jacksonville with the presence they are hoping for. Jackson was able to record five QB hurries on only 20 pass-rushing snaps, as he was too quick and strong for the Chargers’ O-line to regularly handle.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Chargers CB Casey Hayward

  • David Japhet-Mathias

    Rivers gets a 46.1 because he decided to dink and dunk despite the fact that it worked to great effect?

    • Chris

      Yeah that score makes no sense to me… He did take some shots down field and was quite effective doing so, but so much of what Rivers does is pre-snap checks… So the fact that he created mismatches with slot receivers running underneath routes is a positive, not a negative. 4TDs and 0 ints, and a 46 grade… What a joke.

      • Graham McLagan

        As always you have to take these grades with a grain of salt. PFF over values broken tackles and deep passes, but they do a really good job of judging defensive players and O line

    • DrJWC

      you obviously didnt watch the game becuase he had one of the highest passer rating in the NFL this week.

  • sjt2115

    “However, most of his passes traveled under 10 yards in the air, as Rivers only attempted seven passes over 10 yards, completing four such throws for 63 yards.”

    How exactly is this possible? He had a 45 yarder to Benjamin. That means on 3 other completions 10 yards down the field he got only 18 yards? Did the receivers all backtrack?

    • Brian

      Edit: Think I was wrong about what I said, don’t see a delete button.

      • Red green

        He also had the deep bomb to Benjamin these pff grades have been crap so far this year

    • Chris

      Exactly! He had a 45 yd TD pass to Benjamin and a separate 43 yd pass to Benjamin. If the other two passes were at least 10 yards then he would have had at MINIMUM 108 of his total 220 yds on passes over 10 yds in the air. So again he had at least 50% of his total yards on passes over 10 yds.
      Combine that with the fact that 2 of his short passes were TD’s when we were inside the 10 yard line. What exactly is the issue here??? The fact that Rivers didn’t at least score an 80 on this game is appalling. This is as good of a game as it gets as a pro QB… this should have easily been an 85-90 score game for Rivers.

  • Chris

    Where is the consistency in the grading? Alex Smith was given a 78.8 score last week for doing everything this article criticizes Rivers for, except more extreme. Alex Smith also only three 2 TDs with 1 Int compared to Rivers 4 and 0 respectively. You undermine your credibility when a QB has a 138.9 passer rating while winning the game in a blowout and you give him a 46 grade. It just doesn’t make any sense.

  • Chris

    Also, your stats are wrong. Rivers completed a 43 yard pass to Benjamin in the 2nd Qtr and in the 3rd Qtr he completed a 45 yard TD pass to Benjamin, and both were more than 10 yds in the air… so please explain how he supposedly only completed 4 passes over 10 yds in the air for only 63 yds.

    • cbuck

      It’s simple: after the 98 yards from those two plays, he threw two more passes 10 yards down the field, which his receivers caught and then proceeded to run backwards for 17.5 yard losses each time. 98 -17.5 – 17.5 = 63!

      • dgknj

        Mountford can’t do basic math. This is literally the worst grade every given on the site and the article invalidates itself on the yards traveled.

        PFF should be ashamed of this. They will have Rivers as the worst QB in football once he really plays poorly.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Jesus Christ. How can anybody take PFF seriously anymore? A 46 for 4 TDs and No INTs? Also consider the pre-snap audibles and misdirection a that lead to multiple great running plays and the hurry-ups that caused JAX’s defense to jump offside- clearly they need to rethink everything because these are barely as credible as madden ratings at this point.

  • MachoMenos

    This is EXACTLY why I stopped my subscription. Rivers gets a 46 and Bortles gets a 45?!? Ludicrous! Laughable! Idiotic! Even worse compare Philip’s numbers with what they give Derek Carr in the ATL-OAK game. Carr spent the whole game dinking and dunking the ball to his RB’s and he gets the highest grade of the game. I knew this would happen as soon as Chris Collinsworth bought this site. They’re just selling what the NFL wants us to believe.

  • dgknj

    Catastrophically bad rating on Rivers. He was excellent yesterday always getting the team into the right play and being deadly accurate all game. His bomb and crossing patterns were in stride. Does the person who grades this game have a clue? Rolling to 38 points with 70% passing and 4TDs and 0 picks usually implies a good game.

    Please regrade as this doesn’t pass any sanity test. He had 45 yards in the air alone to Benjamin.

  • dgknj

    Whoever runs PFF needs to review this game. All credibility is lost when comparing Rivers vs. Bortles. Literally this grader should never be allowed to touch a game again. I am truly thinking about canceling my subscription, because these mistakes are hit you over the head obvious.

  • dgknj

    This grader is completely incompetent. Take a step back and ask whether his conclusions pass the logic test. SD scored at will yesterday and Jax was throttled until ultra-garbage time. Rivers was like a conductor moving the O up and down the field and he was deadly accurate and efficient.

    I can’t back this site with such errors. Rivers is right on the borderline of the HOF and he absolutely needs a fair viewing from independent sites like this

  • Anthony Perna

    I made an account just to comment on this article. Usually I really like seeing what PFF has to say but wow you guys really missed the mark on this game. I would really like to see a PFF staff member comment on this article and regrade this game. First, Rivers was masterful this game with his decision making and accuracy. And he had at least 100 yds in passing over 10 yds. This needs to be reevaluated. This does not pass the eye test. Also, I constantly saw pressure all game from the chargers front 7, therefore I’m completely confused by the Jaguars OL being the highest scoring unit in the game, many with scores in the 70+. Did your rater watch a different game? A secondary rater really needs to go through and reevaluate this game and post in the comments section. Looking at everyone else’s comments who watched the game there is no way you can come to the same conclusion.

    • dgknj

      Exactly…I created an account just to comment on this. I love PFF and just can’t stand by this because if this rating stands it invalidates everything else on the site. The Chargers literally scored at will and Rivers completed 70% with 4TDs (one bomb) and no picks. Just asinine….I wouldn’t trust this guy grading a first grade spelling exam.

  • al4000

    These guys at PFF get into a lot of trouble when they try to rate QBs. QBs are intertwined with their playmakers. Every game is different and QBs have to take what the defense gives them. And can only do as much as their surrounding talent allows. Otherwise they are forcing things. Rivers’ grade seems a bit low for a 4td no int outing. Also don’t like how their writers post these reviews so quickly after a game.

    • dgknj

      Some good points on stuff being nuanced. In the end the job of QB is to lead the team down the field to get points. The Chargers scored at will yesterday so PR did something right. That is why this grade doesn’t pass the logic test and literally invalidates everything this guy touches.

      If my grading system came to the conclusion that Rivers and Bortles had the same grade I would take a step back and reexamine the game. This grader may be completely incompetent

      • shawnthesheep

        Yes, it’s asinine. Bortles had a fumble and 2 picks to go along with 2 garbage-time TDs (the second one vs. the Chargers backups). Any grading system that grades Rivers and Bortles equally needs to be thrown in the dumpster.

  • Anthony Perna

    Just for arguments sake, if the PFF grader on this game could comment back…why would Rivers or any other QB make a tough long throw when they can clearly make a short one with far greater accuracy and get plenty of YAC. It’s smarter football. NFL QB’s are taught to take what defenses give them, Rivers is excellent at this. Forcing deep throws for the hell of it isn’t smart football. Just like QB’s are taught to take what the defense gives them, defenses are taught not to give up “explosive” plays greater than 10 or 20 yards. Either the grading system needs reevaluating or this game need reevaluating by a competent grader.

    • shawnthesheep

      The importance of short ball accuracy is also very important. On Tyrell Williams’ 44-yard touchdown in the 3rd Quarter, Rivers hit Williams perfectly in stride. A less accurate throw would not have allowed Wiliams to catch the ball in stride and turn up field the way he did. But by PFF’s grading system, throwing a jump ball deep that a receiver hauls in is somehow more impressive than hitting a receiver short with great precision.

  • Macrodex

    Rivers only gets such a poor grade because he’s not Rodgers or Brady or Newton, etc.

    Severely-underrated and underappreciated and PFF made a HUGE mistake with this grading.