Chargers @ Falcons
Final Score: Chargers 20, Falcons 17
Writer: Dave Cherman
Marcus Mariota: 12/23, 129 yards | 5 carries, 24 yards
Marcus Mariota was accurate all day and was getting the ball out quickly and making simple reads. When his initial reads were taken away, the pressure got to him, but he did a good job protecting the ball and letting the run game lead the way. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make plays when they really needed him to — as has been the case all season. Mariota managed the game, but couldn’t be the guy the Falcons needed to go out and win a game. He chipped in his usual rushing volume, but without a touchdown, his day was a fantasy disappointment.
Tyler Allgeier: 10 Carries, 99 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 24 Yards
Cordarrelle Patterson: 13 Carries, 44 Yards, 2 TD | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 9 Yards
Caleb Huntley: 7 Carries, 34 Yards
Arthur Smith had a great play call to get the ball to Tyler Allgeier on the outside, sparking a 44-yard explosive play to jumpstart the offense.
Tyler Allgeier is exciting in every language, particularly Spanish
44 yard run for the former Cougar! pic.twitter.com/s4fNuFoo7S
— Daily Universe Sports (@DailyUnivSports) November 6, 2022
The Chargers have been very susceptible to the running game all season and Allgeier showed great physicality to break tackles along the way. Allgeier picked up chunk gains throughout the game, looking impressive in his role in the offense.
Overall, the game belonged to Cordarelle Patterson though. In his first game back, Patterson was the RB1 in terms of snap share and touches and routinely showed quickness and decisiveness in space as well as power through initial tackle attempts, plus a pretty aggressive truck stick for a TD.
Cordarrelle Patterson HIT STICK 😳
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 6, 2022
He’s back. Caleb Huntley mixed in a few nice rushes as well in a balanced rushing attack but was third in the rotation at running back.
Wide Reciever/Tight End
Kyle Pitts: 7 Targets, 2 Receptions, 27 Yards
Drake London: 7 Targets, 3 Receptions, 23 Yards, 1 Fumble (Lost)
KhaDarel Hodge: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 19 Yards
Olamide Zaccheaus: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 19 Yards
MyCole Pruitt: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 6 Yards
Avery Williams: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 2 Yards
Damiere Byrd: 1 Target
Kyle Pitts struggled to get open against the Chargers, shadowed by Derwin James for most of the day. Derwin is one of the best in the game at covering tight ends so this shouldn’t come as a massive surprise. Pitts should’ve had a touchdown in the 4th quarter, but Nasir Adderley got away with a hold. With 4 and a half minutes left, Pitts was wide open for a long touchdown, but he and Mariota couldn’t link up, as Mariota overthrew him by several yards.
Drake London was quiet again but showed strength in space. That is until he got bum-rushed by Khalil Mack, who simply ripped the ball away from him for a crucial turnover in the play below.
KHALIL MACK JUST TOOK IT FROM HIM 😳
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 6, 2022
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert: 30/43, 245 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT | 1 Carry, 3 Yards
All things considered, this was a good game for Justin Herbert. Let’s remember the context: Keenan Allen? Out. Mike Williams? Out. Starting left tackle? Out. Starting right tackle? Hurt in the third quarter. Second tight end? Out. And still, he made the plays when it mattered. Despite up-and-down play by his receiving corps for most of the day, he found Carter and Palmer for big pickups when it mattered. As he has for most of the season, he took very few deep shots down the field in this one because A) he has no receivers who can threaten the top of a defense and B) his offensive line is too injured to give him time for those routes to develop anyway. The big takeaway though? Herbert looked healthy.
Austin Ekeler: 14 Carries, 47 Yards, TD | 9 Targets, 7 Receptions, 24 Yards, TD | 1 Fumble (Lost)
Sony Michel: 1 Carry, 12 Yards | 1 Target
Isaiah Spiller: 7 Carries, 29 Yards
Remember when we were panicked about Austin Ekeler finding the end zone? Ekeler showed again on Sunday that he’s one of the best dual threats in the game. He picked up important yardage in this one but nearly cost them the game with one of the craziest plays you’ll see outside of Madden.
Chargers ball still pic.twitter.com/hDUbMmWjwI
— Alex 👋 (@Dubs408) November 6, 2022
Sony Michel rotated in early, but after a penalty followed immediately by a BAD drop, he struggled to find playing time. Isaiah Spiller finally got into an NFL game and looked okay, but we did not see enough to really make any assessments. He looked like the backup to Ekeler though, at least until Joshua Kelley returns.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Joshua Palmer: 10 Targets, 8 Receptions, 106 Yards
DeAndre Carter: 6 Targets, 5 Receptions, 53 Yards
Gerald Everett: 1 Carry | 8 Targets, 5 Receptions, 36 Yards
Michael Bandy: 8 Targets, 5 Receptions, 26 Yards
Richard Rodgers: 1 Target
Justin Herbert has no speedy deep threat to take advantage of his arm strength, so he’s forced to live in the short to intermediate game. The hope was that Josh Palmer would step up and fill the Keenan Allen role in the offense, and despite some hiccups, he did. The big mistake? After Khalil Mack’s takeaway, Palmer dropped a bullet pass thrown right at him.
Can’t wait for someone to bring up this interception against Herbert on some clickbait TV show on Monday pic.twitter.com/eDU6iq44H6
— Carter Donnick (@CDonnick3) November 6, 2022
There are a few things going on here. First, Palmer needs to pull that in. Plain and simple. It’s thrown right at his face. Second, Herbert needs to not throw it as if he’s aiming 30 yards downfield. If Herbert took something off it, he could easily still get it there without forcing Palmer into a difficult catch. Down the stretch, Palmer pulled out major conversions, including the game-winning reception with under a minute to play.
Nobody else really existed for the Chargers in this one. Gerald Everett got a few early screens but wasn’t a big factor in the second half. DeAndre Carter again had a few decent plays and was regularly open on 3rd down and short for a few important catches but couldn’t put up any big yardage plays. This is an offense lacking explosive playmakers that desperately needs guys to get healthy.