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Old 30th April 2019   #1
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Pro Football Focus spent the past week releasing its’ Top 101 Players of 2018 and the Chargers landed a five players on the list Tyrell Williams Color Rush Jersey , four of them within the top 35 and three of the five making their..."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections San Diego Chargers Daily LinksSan Diego Chargers NewsSan Diego Chargers OffseasonSan Diego Chargers HistorySan Diego Chargers HumorLatest NewsChargers StatisticsLos Angeles Chargers NewsKing, James among five Chargers on PFF’s Top 101 of 2018New,2commentsPSTShareTweetShareShareKing, James among five Chargers on PFF’s Top 101 of 2018Geoff Burke-USA TODAY SportsPro Football Focus spent the past week releasing its’ Top 101 Players of 2018 and the Chargers landed a five players on the list, four of them within the top 35 and three of the five making their first appearance on the list.After the spectacular 2018 season in which the team posted a 12-4 record and made it to the divisional round of the playoffs, it’s only right that the Bolts were well-represented.Without further ado, here are those players, starting out with the team’s highest-ranked player, a second-year cornerback with a knack for making plays when he the team needed them the most.28.) CB Desmond KingIt took only two years for King to find his way onto this list and supplant himself into a number of “best in the league” conversations. The former-fifth round pick tied for the team-lead in interceptions with three and was fifth on the team in total tackles with 62. King played a huge role in keeping the Chargers’ secondary intimidating during a year that saw interceptions and big take a dip from the last two years. His interception against the Seahawks was a game-sealer and set the tone for the rest of the season. It was a statement that said “we finally turned the corner and know how to finish the games we need to.”Per PFF:32.) S Derwin JamesThere are plenty of people who will fight and claw until the very end that James should have won the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Award over the Colts’ Darius Leonard. He led the team in tackles (105), tied for the lead in interceptions (3), tied for fifth in sacks (3.5, also tied rookie DB record), posted 19 total pressures (2nd in the league), and played just about every position on the defense besides defensive tackle. PFF, however Derek Watt Color Rush Jersey , loved James so much that they actually made him their Defensive Rookie of the Year.Rightfully deserved, in my humble opinion.Per PFF:33.) WR Keenan AllenIf you look at the numbers only, you may have thought Allen had himself some minor regression. In fact, I’d say he had a good of a season as ever when you take in the fact that Mike Williams was a legitimate threat to his target share in his breakout season. Allen stilled doubled the number of catches of the next closest receiver (43, M.Williams), and fell just four yards short of 1,200 yards receiving.Per PFF:34.) QB Philip RiversOld Man Rivers took everyone by surprise in 2018 by having a career-year at the age of 37. His 105.5 QB rating tied his 2013 season for the highest in his career after he threw for 32 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions. He didn’t end the year as well as fans would have liked as he threw six of those 12 interceptions in the final three games of the regular season. As the team moves forward, it’ll be interesting to see if Rivers continues his resurgence behind the numerous youngsters that now share the locker room with him.Per PFF:62.) RB Melvin GordonIf Gordon were to have stayed healthy, he was well on his way to recording the best season of his career, rushing and receiving. At one point during the season, Gordon tied a record, set by former Chiefs running back Jaamal Charles, when he compiled 150 yards from scrimmage in five-straight games. The fourth-year pro was also second on the team in catches with 50 and totaled 1,375 total yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns in just 12 games. His 16-game pace would have put him at 1,180 rushing yards Travis Benjamin Color Rush Jersey , 653 receiving yards, and almost 19 total touchdowns.Per PFF: Derwin James was one of the nation’s top defensive players the past three seasons at Florida State. He is quickly establishing the same reputation in his rookie season in the NFL.The Chargers safety leads Los Angeles in tackles (30) and sacks (3.0) going into Sunday’s game against Oakland. James, who was the 17th overall pick in this year’s draft, is also the first defensive back since the Jets’ Kerry Rhodes in 2006 to have three or more sacks and an interception in the first four games of a season.“I feel like I’m right where I need to be at,” James said. “I’m doing good in coverage but there are other small things that I can still get fixed.”James was considered one of the most versatile defensive players in college because of his coverage skills and ability to rush the quarterback. Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is putting those skills to good use.The 6-foot-2, 215-pound James leads NFL rookie defensive backs in sacks, passes defensed (six) and quarterback pressures (seven). James has mostly lined up at free safety, but he has also played at slot corner and linebacker.James played mostly safety in Week 1 against the Chiefs and two weeks later against the Rams. In the other two games, against the Bills and 49ers, whose offenses aren’t as dynamic, he was used at linebacker and safety.Another factor in James’ strong start has been his confidence. He admitted he didn’t feel that at times as he was still working his way back from an injury to his left knee that occurred in Florida State’s second game in 2016 and kept him out the rest of that season.“I was 100 percent once I came back but the flow and speed of the game is faster,” he said. “You may feel 100 percent but then it was getting over the fact in my mind that the knee was fine and not babying it.”Where Bradley lines up James this week will be one of the more interesting matchups. The Raiders are second in the league in total offense, averaging 441.8 yards per game, and fourth in passing (333 yards per game).Oakland, which got its first win last Sunday against Cleveland in overtime Keenan Allen Color Rush Jersey , has had a 100-yard receiver in each game this season and is one of only three teams to do that. The Chargers are 2-2 after beating San Francisco last week.Raiders coach Jon Gruden said they scouted James extensively before the draft, but after drafting a safety in high rounds in 2016 and ’17, it was difficult to justify taking another one.During a conference call Wednesday, Gruden compared James to Rodney Harrison and Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott.“He’s an intimidating player,” Gruden said. “He has the physical presence, the range to play deep, coverage ability and he can run through you, around you and over you. He’s good in any generation. He can play in high top cleats and leather helmets.”Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has also lauded James for having the demeanor of a player who has been in the league for a long time.“I know what type of player I am. I didn’t get to show it a lot in college a lot because coaches would scheme and not come my way. I know what I can do,” James said.Notes: Coach Anthony Lynn said left tackle Russell Okung is likely to be a game-time decision after he strained his groin during the first half of Sunday’s game against San Francisco. If Okung is unable to play, Sam Tevi will move to left tackle and Trent Scott will be at right tackle. … Lynn said the decision to release punter Drew Kaser and sign Donnie Jones had to do with chemistry issues on extra points and field goals, where Kaser was the holder for kicker Caleb Sturgis, who has missed three extra points. “Drew is an outstanding punter. It was a hard cut, but you look at the big picture. Just wanting to change the whole direction right there with the holder and the kicker and make an extra point.”___Follow Joe Reedy at聽
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