SD-GB Grades: Career days from Rivers and Allen not enough as Chargers fall to Packers

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Green Bay Packers’ 27-20 win over the San Diego Chargers.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

SD-GB Grades: Career days from Rivers and Allen not enough as Chargers fall to Packers


Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Green Bay Packers’ 27-20 win over the San Diego Chargers:

San Diego Chargers

– Only a hip injury stood in the way of WR Keenan Allen (+5.5) making history on Sunday. Instead, we’ll have to settle for three quarters of truly dominant play from the third year player from California. Allen caught all 14 of his targets at multiple levels of the defense for 157 yards to earn the highest receiving grade of any wide-out this season.

– One of the reasons Allen was featured so heavily was because of the offensive game plan. The Chargers took the dink-and-dunk philosophy to its extreme; much like the Bears did in Week 1 against the Packers with similar success. QB Philip Rivers (+5.2) was an unbelievable 30 of 33 for 265 yards and a touchdown on passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.

– The Chargers front seven continues to be completely ineffective against both the run and pass. On the defensive line, not a single player had a pass rush grade of +1.0 or higher. One has to wonder how much more will they need to see from Donald Butler (-3.8) until they decide to go with someone else at inside linebacker. On Sunday, he was a complete non-factor, collecting just one stop in 56 snaps. He has graded negatively overall in every single game this year.

Top performers:

WR Keenan Allen (+5.5)
QB Philip Rivers (+5.2)
LT Chris Hairston (+4.3)
RT Joe Barksdale (+2.3)
RB Branden Oliver (+2.1)

Green Bay Packers

– This was definitely not QB Aaron Rodgers’ (+1.9) most impressive performance of the season, but he made enough plays down the stretch to come away with the win. He was uncharacteristically just 2 of 10 on passes targeted 10+ yards downfield. Luckily, backup running back James Starks (+1.7) stepped up in a big way with multiple long runs that helped take some pressure off of the passing game.

– Mike Daniels (+4.4) and Mike Pennel (+4.8) were absolute terrors against the Chargers offensive line all day. We’ve come to expect this by now from Daniels, but Pennel’s performance was a career high. The second-year player only saw the field for 24 snaps, but managed two hits, a hurry and a stop.

– After a strong start to the season, CB Sam Shields (-1.4) came crashing back to earth on Sunday. Shields is known for his long speed, but not for his lateral agility, and the underneath routes from the Chargers receivers exposed that. He allowed 117 yards and nine catches on 14 targets. Secondary mates, Micah Hyde (-2.3) and Quinten Rollins (-1.7) also struggled.

Top performers:

DE Mike Pennel (+4.8)
RG T.J. Lang (+4.6)
DE Mike Daniels (+4.4)
LT David Bakhtiari (+1.9)
QB Aaron Rodgers (+1.9)

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • SeattleSteve

    Weird that the Packers went empty backfield/pass happy when Starks was having the kind of game he was having in the 1st quarter.

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      esp against the porous SD run D that gives up 5.4 ypc

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      esp against the porous SD run D that gives up 5.4 ypc

  • Joe Doe

    As a Packers fan it annoys me to no end that Cobb, a wr often characterized as “elite”, cannot find a way to get open on even a semi-regular basis, especially since he doesn’t match up against premier corners while playing in the slot. His route running leaves much to be desired.

    • Kevin

      He is playing injured but more importantly is getting all the defensive attention and it will continue until an outside wr can expose single coverage. Its amazing how much attention he is getting actually. Just reach the game and you will see why he is having a hard season.

      • Jim Winslow

        yeah but elite wide receivers should be dominant in all cases no matter the attention, I mean all elite players get attention and they still put up numbers. He is not elite now nor was he ever.

        • Cant FixStupid

          I guess you miss the part where Cobb has been playing with a sprained shoulder all year huh?? A sprained shoulder that was improving where he put up 15 catches, 207 yards and 3 TD’s in back to back games vs Seattle and KC but was then reaggravated in SF just 2 weeks ago. But i guess he should still dominate with a bum shoulder and receiving all the attention huh??? Get real. And i don’t know if you’ve ever watched Rodgers play, but he’s not gonna force the ball into anybody who is getting a ton of attention, he’s gonna find the matchups. Just watch, Cobb is gonna get healthy and he’s gonna finish the year over 1,200 yards and 12 TD’s once again and show that he is one of the top WR’s in the league.

          • Jim Winslow

            lol, calm down son.

          • Knucklebear

            I could be mistaken but I think that Jason Varrett was covering Cobb for most of the game. This is the same Jason Verrett that shut down Megatron and Antonio Brown…

          • Julien Bélair

            kid is good

          • Marcel West-Bailey

            Tate. Didn’t cover Johnson. Too much of a height advantage.

          • Jim Winslow

            well jason varrett is better player then all three of them i suppose

          • Schwalmy

            Wow! Nothing like blind optimism. Huh?????

          • Cant FixStupid

            Except nothing about my optimism is blind. And even if it was, blind optimism is better than clear ignorance!!!

        • Schwalmy

          Or will he ever be elite, especially if he ever plays with another QB.

    • Cant FixStupid

      Watch a little closer. Cobb is getting separation often, problem is he usually just has another player around him, forcing Rodgers to look elsewhere. Plus, like Kevin said, he’s still nowhere near over his shoulder injury, he just reaggravated it a couple weeks ago. It was getting better up to that point, evidenced by his 7 for 91 against KC and 8 for 116 against Seattle. Cobb will get healthy and start doing work. And as for his route running leaving “much to be desired”, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Cobb’s route running and never has been.

  • PackMaster

    Now the packers have allowed the most 500 yard passers in NFL history. All have been with Dom Capers as DC…

    • Schwalmy

      Isn’t he a genius??

  • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

    donald butler sure did retire once he got paid, dude has been on vacation since, sad part is he’s on vacay on the field

  • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

    donald butler sure did retire once he got paid, dude has been on vacation since, sad part is he’s on vacay on the field