What We Saw: Week 6

Jaylen Waddle feasted and Jonathan Taylor beasted

Chargers @ Ravens

Final Score: Ravens 34, Chargers 6

Writer: Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)

 

Well, this escalated quickly! A scoreline nobody predicted at the start of the day, the Baltimore Ravens annihilated the Los Angeles Chargers to make it five wins in a row for John Harbaugh and his talented squad, who now sit atop the AFC North, one game ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals. Surprisingly, both quarterbacks struggled in this game and to embarrass fantasy managers across the board it was the Ravens’ veteran, make-shift running back room that provided the spark. Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray and Le’Veon Bell all marched in for rushing touchdowns as the Ravens took a stranglehold on the game in third quarter. The Ravens’ defense, not a strong point for them so far this season, balled out and this key fourth down stop at the Chargers’ own 19-yard line broke the back of Brandon Staley‘s men, who simply could not muster a score in the second half.

 

 

It was a very bad day at the office for Justin Herbert and this Chargers team, who will want to sweep this under the rug quickly and move on. However, it was another momentous day for Lamar Jackson, the enigmatic Ravens quarterback setting yet another record in his prolific young career so far.

 

 

All in all, it was a picture day in front of their own fans for the Baltimore Ravens.

 

 

Los Angeles Chargers

 

Quarterback

 

Justin Herbert: 22/39, 195 yards, TD, INT, 2 sacks | 2 carries, 12 yards

 

As well as Justin Herbert has played this season, nobody saw this brutal “shot-back-down-to-earth” outing against a Ravens defense that sits middle of the pack against quarterbacks in terms of fantasy production this season and shed 402 yards and two score to Carson Wentz last week. Herbert simply failed to connect with his receivers regularly on early downs to move the chains. The Chargers couldn’t run the ball either which meant too many third and fourth down situations. The Chargers went 3-of-13 on third downs and only 1-for-4 on fourth down, turning it over twice deep in their own territory.

Herbert also under threw a pass to his receiver, Jared Cook when trailing 17-0 and needing points with the clock running down to half time. It was the first real terrible throw we have seen from the former Oregon quarterback this year and it came in a pressure situation. Luckily, Lamar Jackson immediately threw an interception and the Chargers got the ball back quickly.

 

 

Herbert wasted no time and threw a neat lobbed pass to Cook at the back of the end zone to score the Chargers’ only points in the game.

 

 

Herbert came out of this massacre with his worst fantasy performance of the season, but it wasn’t all on him. Poor coaching decisions, an injury-impeded Mike Williams, and an ineffective run game all contributed. Don’t look too much into what was a blip in a so far stellar campaign for the second year phenom.

 

Running Back

 

Austin Ekeler: 6 carries, 7 yards | 7 targets, 4 receptions, 48 yards

Joshua Kelley: 4 carries, 7 yards

Justin Jackson: 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards

Gabe Nabers: 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards

 

Wow! I mean, wow! Look at those stats. Just 1o carries and 14 yards in the entire game for this usually rampant running back room headed by lead back Austin Ekeler, who put up over 100 yards and three touchdowns last week. Completely baffling. The Chargers seemed to favour short passes on third and fourth down rather than trusting their guy to get the yards on the ground. The Ravens defensive front was fired up and the linebackers didn’t allow Ekeler an inch of room on passing downs out of the backfield, which was a smart game plan. Still, this was very grim and a hopefully an anomaly.

Joshua Kelley seems to be picking up more carries for some inexcusable reason. Answers on a postcard, please.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Keenan Allen: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 50 yards

Mike Williams: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 20 yards

Jared Cook: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 25 yards, TD

Jalen Guyton: 5 targets, 1 reception, 15 yards

Donald Parham Jr.: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 10 yards

Joshua Palmer: 4 targets, 1 reception, 8 yards

Stephen Anderson: 2 targets, 1 reception, -1 yard

 

On a day of many lows for the Chargers, the usually reliable Keenan Allen came away with his worst fantasy output of the season despite hauling in all five of his targets for 50 yards. Here is a list of players who got as many as if not more targets: Mike Williams, Jared Cook, Jalen Guyton. And even rookie Joshua Palmer saw four. Ridiculous. In a big game like this you have to pepper your main men and give them as many chances as possible to make plays. The Chargers ended up trying to be too cut with the playbook to try reestablish themselves in the second half, and that didn’t help any of these receivers.

Williams did haul in a nice chunk play that got the ball down to the goal line to set up Cook’s touchdown pass, however he also went down and stayed down for a while. It was clear that the injury that forced him to not practice all week was still lingering and affecting his performance. The Chargers need him healthy.

 

Baltimore Ravens

 

Quarterback

 

Lamar Jackson: 19/27, 167 yards, TD, 2 INT, 3 sacks | 8 carries, 51 yards

Tyler Huntley: 3 carries, 10 yards

 

On a day when the Ravens routed their opponents, it is very strange to see Lamar Jackson not at the forefront. Jackson was shaky, then steady if not spectacular as his teammates took the lead in providing the big moments in a game for once. So often these games come down to what Jackson can do on the ground and through the air, but today he simply needed to be functional and let his team do the rest. His burgeoning relationship with newly-paid tight end Mark Andrews continues to be a highlight of this offense – Jackson finding him for a crucial score midway through the third quarter to take the game away from the Chargers.

 

 

He threw two picks, however, and the first one was dreadful. The quarterback has already cost his team one game this season and was lucky to escape from an error in another. Whether these errors come back to haunt him later in the season remains to be seen, however they need addressing. His first interception was thrown straight at linebacker Kyzir White.

 

 

Still, Jackson made some terrific throws and used his feet when he needed to to set up the Ravens in Chargers territory on a number of drives. His longest carry of the game setting up the Andrews score.

 

 

Running Back

 

Devonta Freeman: 9 carries, 53 yards, TD | 2 targets

Latavius Murray: 9 carries, 44 yards, TD | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards

Le’Veon Bell: 8 carries, 18 yards, TD

 

Who saw this coming? Yes, that’s right, nobody! A fantasy disaster for managers with all three veteran backs hitting paydirt for the Ravens. First, it was Baltimore’s most reliable and talented back, Latavius Murray, who forced his way into the end zone thanks to a solid run from 14 yards out. Murray has scored in four of six games for his team on limited use. He probably deserves to lead this backfield but that just won’t happen.

 

 

Then recently acquired Le’Veon Bell literally jump hopped in for the second score. Bell only averaged 2.1 yards/carry despite splitting the carries equally with the other two vets.

 

 

Third man lucky was journeyman Devonta Freeman, who pulled his ticket to win out late in the game to seal the points with his first carry in the red zone.

 

 

Will this ever happen again? Unlikely! But the Ravens showed they have depth and options at the position and that could impact upon Jackson’s ceiling if they continue the winning run and blow opponents away like this.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Mark Andrews: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 58 yards, TD

Marquise Brown: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 35 yards

Rashod Bateman: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 29 yards

Devin Duvernay: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards

Myles Boykin: 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards

Josh Oliver: 1 target, 1 reception, 2 yards

James Proche II: 1 target

 

On a day when the focus was away from the quarterback we learned a little bit more about this young receiving corps. Let’s start with the staple piece – tight end Mark Andrews, who was his usual busy-self with an accomplished performance. He made a nice grab in the first quarter to set up the touchdown run for Bell before catching a touchdown pass himself in the third quarter.

 

 

Then come the two exciting young receivers – second-year standout Marquise Brown and debuting rookie Rashod Bateman. Brown had a quiet day as the game script didn’t really call for him to push the ball deeper downfield. He was targeted on third down in Chargers territory in the second quarter but juggled the ball and went out of bounds, failing to convert. Bateman flashed his skill with this nice spin move to gain extra yards after the catch. Draft expert Matt Waldman breaking it down for us.

 

 

However, Bateman was at fault for Jackson’s second interception. The rookie showed some poor work with his hands, letting a pinpoint pass bounce up into the air for the turnover. Still, he is likely to continue to be heavily involved in this offense.

 

 

After a promising few weeks, Devin Duvernay took a step back from seeing regular snaps in offensive formations with Bateman back on the field. Which is a shame, he has really helped this offense win a few games these past weeks.

 

Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.