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Los Angeles Chargers 2018 Season Recap | NFL Analysis

Los Angeles Chargers 2018 Season Recap

By PFF Analysis Team •

Feb 18, 2019

Oct 7, 2018; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) celebrates after a touchdown in the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders at StubHub Center. The Chargers defeated the Raiders 26-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

During the NFL season, our team of 300-plus staff spend around 20,000 man-hours grading and analyzing every play of the NFL season, from the kickoff in the Hall of Fame game to the final play of the Super Bowl.

Now that the 2018 season is officially in the books, we can now take a look back at the season through the eyes of each NFL team and using the grades and statistics that we have compiled, we and detail what went right, what went wrong, and explain what that team has to look forward to.

Below is the 2018 season recap for the Los Angeles Chargers.

Overview

The Los Angeles Chargers had an outstanding regular season, tying for the best record in the AFC at 12-4 before defeating the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card round. Their playoff push ended in a lopsided loss to the New England Patriots, but the pieces are in place for another impressive run.

What went right?
  • Philip Rivers had an MVP-caliber season as he earned his highest season grade since 2010 at 90.8 overall, ranking fourth in the among quarterbacks.

  • Los Angeles had a dangerous ground attack behind the duo of Melvin Gordon III, who graded at 86.2, and Austin Ekeler who finished at 85.1. They led the NFL with a team rushing grade of 90.9.

  • Keenan Allen continued his success as he earned a top-six grade among wide receivers for the third season in a row, finishing at 90.0 overall.
What went wrong?
  • The Chargers’ offensive line woes continued in 2018 as they earned the second-lowest pass-block grade in the NFL at 60.3 and the third-lowest pass-blocking efficiency in the league.

  • Injuries to Joey Bosa hurt the Chargers’ pass rush early in the season as his replacement, Isaac Rochell, earned a 55.4 pass-rush grade, 96th among edge defenders.

  • Kicker Caleb Sturgis went 9/13 on field goals and 9/15 on PATs before Michael Badgley took over and missed just one FG and PAT.

Highest-graded player on Offense

QB Philip Rivers – 90.8

Rivers was the highest-graded player on offense with his 90.8 grade, and he also ranked seventh in the league with a passer rating of 83.8 when under pressure during the regular season.

Highest-graded player on Defense

CB Desmond King II – 90.4

Second-year corner Desmond King posted the top grade on the defensive side, and his 90.4 overall grade ranked second in the league. He broke up six passes and intercepted three more.

Breakout Player/Secret Superstar

Mike Williams bounced back following a disappointing rookie season where he only saw 23 targets and a 52.6 season grade. In 2018, Williams earned an 81.8 grade on 64 targets.

Key Rookie

Derwin James earned the highest grade in the 2018 draft class among qualifying defenders at 88.3. James ranked second among all safeties in quarterback pressures (19) and defensive stops (40).

In conclusion

The Chargers turned a corner in 2018 with an excellent regular season, and they have the pieces to contend for a Super Bowl heading into next year.

PFF Edge & Elite

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