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Tricks and treats of 2018 season

The Los Angeles Chargers have many things to “Boo”, and also some players that have been pretty sweet. Here’s a few at the midway point of the year.

It’s Halloween, so what better time to look at some of the best and worst of the Los Angeles Chargers than making it a “Trick or Treat” edition of the proceedings.

Entering Week 9 of the 2018 regular season, the Chargers are coming off of their bye week looking to build upon a four-game winning streak and a 5-2 start to the season. They’ll do so on Sunday as they head on the road to face the Seattle Seahawks.

But before then, let’s get into the tricks and treats of the Chargers 2018 season to this point

Treat: Offensive line

Per Pro Football Focus (subscription required):

  • LT Russell Okung: 68.7, “Good” Rating, Ranked 32nd
  • LG Dan Feeney: 39.6, “Below Average” Rating, Ranked 73rd
  • C Mike Pouncey: 72.7, “Good” Rating, Ranked 9th
  • RG Michael Schofield: 67.9, “Above Average” Rating, Ranked 22nd
  • RT Sam Tevi: 60.2, “Above Average” Rating, Ranked 54th

Buoyed by the addition of former Pro-Bowl center Mike Pouncey, the Chargers offensive line is playing solid-to-great football. The rushing attack is outstanding, boasting two running backs with over five yards per carry.

Per Football Outsiders, the Chargers rank seventh in pass protection and have given up only ten sacks thus far, a number only one team can say is better. A strong offensive line with a dominant center makes the Bolts a safe pick to cruise into the playoffs.

Trick: Uchenna Nwosu

What do you do with the team’s preseason standout and second round pick, in a period where you’re missing elite defensive end Joey Bosa? Give him 70 defensive snaps in seven games, apparently.

Nwosu has been the team’s biggest mystery player all season, as he has yet to crack the starting lineup and make a significant contribution. The team immediately injected Derwin James and Kyzir White into the defense, so it’s not as if they are hesitant to bring on rookies who are outplaying starters.

With Forrest Lamp, a similarly healthy but relatively unused player, the Chargers have Michael Schofield playing good football at guard so there’s no need to switch. This one’s a trick, and I feel like we’re all being duped.

Treat: Desmond King

Why doesn’t Tom Telesco trade all of his Day 3 picks anymore? For guys like King, who in just his second year is currently Pro Football Focus’ (subscription required) fifth ranked corner and team leader in interceptions. Sounds good right? How about also being the fifth best punt returner in the NFL with 13.92 yards per return on average, which by comparison is just about half a yard below Tyreek Hill’s 2018 average on the same amount of attempts.

Smell my feet: Overpaid players

2018 salary per

  • Travis Benjamin, WR: $7.0 million cap hit
  • Joe Barksdale, RT: $5.78 million cap hit
  • Jahleel Addae, S: $5.5 million dollar cap hit

Here’s a fun one: Benjamin makes more money this season than Casey Hayward and Mike Pouncey and is the sixth-highest paid player on the roster. Yikes.

Next: 20 Bold predictions for NFL Week 9

The numbers? Benjamin has three catches for 16 yards, no touchdowns. Barksdale has played 27 snaps. Addae is (generously) Pro Football Focus’ 67th “best” safety. That’s $2.33 million per catch, $214,000 per offensive snap, and one incredibly under-performing safety, respectively.

For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, subscribe to PFF’s EDGE or ELITE subscriptions at

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