Jets @ Chargers
It wouldn’t be the Chargers if there wasn’t some drama late in the 4th quarter. The Los Angeles offense was having trouble staying on the field to close out the game, giving the Jets a chance to score and force a tie with a two-point conversion. Fortunately for LA, the Jets are a bad football team and have still not figured a way to win this season. The Chargers held on by the score of 34-28, and let’s dive in to see what we saw.
New York Jets
Joe Flacco: 15/30, 205 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 1 sacks | 1 carry, 2 yards
In his fourth start of the season, Joe Flacco gifted the Chargers with a pick-6 in the 1st quarter, and the Jets were essentially doomed from there. Chalk it up to laughable play calling or failure on his part, Flacco was unable to connect with any Jets wide receiver until the third quarter. Managing to throw for two touchdowns, Flacco’s stat line was and is what you can likely expect from him if he continues to play in place of Sam Darnold the rest of the season.
Frank Gore: 15 carries, 61 yards, 1 TD | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 10 yards
La’Mical Perine: 8 carries, 33 yards, 1 TD | 1 target, 0 receptions
Ty Johnson: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 17 yards
Another week, another game where 37 year-old Frank Gore is the featured back for Adam Gase’s winless offense. Gore actually started off gaining some chunk yards that led to La’Mical Perine vulturing the effort and scoring. It’s puzzling that Perine isn’t the lead in the backfield this late into the season, but that’s Gase for ya. Even so, Gore was able to find the end zone as well, scoring his 80th career touchdown. I’m not saying he is the Jets future RB1, but the ‘call from upstairs’ at this point in time should be one pushing for more Perine so you can find that out.
Ty Johnson was not featured in the run game, but did have four receptions on six targets.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Denzel Mims: 8 targets, 3 receptions, 71 yards
Breshad Perriman: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 54 yards, 1 TD
Jamison Crowder: 3 targets, 1 reception, 16 yards
Chris Herndon: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 32 yards, 1 TD
At least the Jets are doing right by their rookie WR (if they aren’t going to with their rookie RB). Denzel Mims led the way with eight targets, and turned three catches into 71 yards, one of which was a sideline grab late in the 3rd quarter against Casey Hayward Jr.. When the Jets eventually have competent QB play and coaching in 2021, Mims’ potential should only trend upwards. Breshad Perriman found the end zone again, his third time in the last two games after scoring twice against the Patriots Week 9. The score came on a pretty 49-yard throw from Flacco in the middle of the field to which Perriman landed in the end zone. What was disappointing for fantasy owners this week was the lack of Jamison Crowder. Only targeted three times, he had one catch for 16 yards. These sentiments from @JCaporoso are pretty telling to what may lie for Crowder the rest of the season:
After going over 100 yards in his first 3 games this year, Crowder only has 70 yards total over his past 3 games. Could be banged up still or offense is shifting away from being so insanely slot WR dominant with Mims/Perriman healthy
— Joe Caporoso (@JCaporoso) November 23, 2020
To say tight end Chris Herndon has been an extreme disappointment this season is an understatement. Whenever he’s been targeted, it ends negatively. Against the Chargers, his first target was a bad drop, but he later found the end zone on a nifty fingertip grab. It’s anyone’s guess how Herndon fares the rest of the way, but he continues to remain off the fantasy radar.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert: 37/49, 366 yards, 3 TDs, 3 sacks | 2 carries, 11 yards
Have a day Justin Herbert. Posting a career-high 366 yards through the air, the rookie had his way with the porous Jets secondary. His longest completion was to Tyron Johnson for 54 yards, and he had completions to eight different players. If we’re being honest with ourselves, he’s playing at an MVP level, but will have to ‘settle’ with OROY recognition instead. He has at least two touchdowns in each of the last five games, including against the Jets.
Kalen Ballage: 16 carries, 44 yards | 9 targets, 7 receptions, 27 yards
Troymaine Pope: 3 carries, 4 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards
Joshua Kelley: 4 carries, -2 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 4 yards
#RevengeGame number two in consecutive weeks for Kalen Ballage was productive enough for fantasy owners to be satisfied with his box score. He failed to find the end zone, but his seven receptions on nine targets got the job done for PPR players. He actually limped off the field early on, but quickly returned and played the rest of the way. It’s still unclear when Austin Ekeler will return to action, but until then, this has become Ballage’s backfield ahead of Troymaine Pope and Joshua Kelley. Both Pope & Kelley were non-factors in this one as Herbert had 49 pass attempts (tied for his career high from Week 3).
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Keenan Allen: 19 targets, 16 receptions, 145 yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble
Mike Williams: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 72 yards, 1 TD
Tyron Johnson: 1 target, 1 reception, 54 yards
Hunter Henry: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 48 yards, 1 TD
Coincidentally, when Herbert had 49 pass attempts in Week 3, 19 of those targets were to Keenan Allen. Against the Jets, Allen saw a team-leading 19 again. He caught all but three to the tune of 145 yards and a touchdown. It was a monster game for Allen and his best on the season. He’s now scored in four straight games and is clearly Herbert’s favorite target (as he should be). This high octane, passing offense has proved to have room to support another [fantasy] receiver, and that’s been Mike Williams. Coming off a quiet Week 10, Williams caught four of seven targets for 72 yards and a score. As mentioned earlier, Johnson had one grab that went for 54 yards, yardage any Chargers receiver can post at a moment’s notice given Herbert’s arm.
Hunter Henry found the end zone again as he did in Week 10, on the same reception total of four, and one more target against the Jets with seven. He definitely has not been a focal point in Herbert’s offense, which limits Henry’s weekly production. But of course, with the tight end landscape in fantasy being so weak overall, Henry is locked in start each week.
-Matthew Cava (@cavaM_ Twitter & Reddit)