Two of the NFL's best young quarterbacks were left to duel it out in a back-and-forth Week 5 game that consisted of seven lead changes.
The offenses combined for 1,025 yards, with each team averaging over 7.0 yards per play.
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Everything the Browns offense did, Justin Herbert matched it. The Chargers passer completed 60% of his passes and threw for 398 yards and four touchdowns, two of which were on 40-plus-yard attempts.
Herbert completed seven of his 15 passes that traveled beyond 10 yards and averaged 9.3 yards per attempt. Herbert also scored on the ground to cap off a five-touchdown performance.
Justin Herbert on throws 10 or more yards downfield
|Passing grade||Completions||Attempts||Yards||TD||Passer rating|
Austin Ekeler ran the ball 17 times and scored three second-half touchdowns to help catapult his team to victory. He ran the ball for 66 yards and two touchdowns while catching five passes for 53 yards and a score.
Ekeler did fumble toward the end of the first half, but the late-game heroics overshadowed this small misstep.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Mike Williams was the focal point of the passing attack, as he was targeted 16 times. He hauled in eight catches for 165 yards, two touchdowns and averaged an impressive 4.7 yards per route run. Seven of his eight receptions went for a first down or a touchdown.
Keenan Allen caught six of his nine targets for 75 yards despite being targeted just 8.4 yards downfield on average. Donald Parham ran 15 routes but did account for a 22-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
|Player||Routes run||Yards||TD||Yards per reception||Receiver rating|
The Chargers' offensive line contained the Browns' pass-rush for most of the game but started to slip up as the game went along. The unit combined to allow 13 pressures and two sacks on Herbert. Storm Norton accounted for a team-high five pressures.
Rookie tackle Rashawn Slater faced off against Myles Garrett for most of the game and allowed four pressures and two sacks. Slater is set to finish with season-lows in pass-blocking (50.1) and overall grades (56.7).
|Player||Pass blocking grade||Pass blocking snaps||Sacks allowed||Pressures allowed|
|Michael Schofield III||78.8||45||0||1|
Coming off one of his best performances of the season, Joey Bosa couldn’t replicate his success in Week 5. He created just two pressures on 19 pass-rushing snaps and finished the game with a season-low 52.0 pass-rushing grade upon first review.
The Chargers pass rush disappointed as a whole, as the unit combined to create just five pressures and zero sacks in the game.
Drue Tranquill and Kyzir White each saw over 40 snaps, with Tranquill finishing the game with seven tackles, two defensive stops and one tackle for loss against the run. Tranquill gave up four receptions for 50 yards in coverage, however.
Rookie corner Asante Samuel Jr. was picked on throughout the game, as he allowed five receptions on five targets for 68 yards and a touchdown. He was the only member of the secondary to give up more than 40 yards in coverage.
Derwin James led the team in tackles with 15 while creating four defensive stops and two tackles for loss. James blitzed Mayfield just once but made the most of it, as he earned the team’s lone sack in the game.
The Browns focused on running the ball, but Baker Mayfield still moved the ball effectively through the air. He completed 23 of his 32 pass attempts for 305 yards and two touchdowns, mostly due to his receivers, who worked up 66% of his yardage after the catch.
The former No. 1 overall pick didn't sling the ball down the field because of his nagging shoulder but still managed to complete 50% of his passes thrown 10 yards or further.
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt continue to cement themselves as the best running back tandem in the NFL. Chubb ran the ball for 161 yards and a touchdown, with roughly 144 of those rushing yards coming after contact. Chubb also ran for a game-high four explosive plays.
Meanwhile, Hunt ran the ball 12 times for 61 yards and two scores. He also caught five passes for 28 yards. Both backs averaged over five yards per carry while combining to force 12 missed tackles.
|Player||Touches||Yards||TDs||Yards per touch|
Wide Receiver/Tight End
David Njoku matched his season numbers against the Chargers, as he caught seven passes for 149 yards and a career-long 71-yard touchdown reception. Donovan Peoples-Jones finished second in receiving yards, with 70 on five receptions.
Odell Beckham Jr. had a relatively quiet day, catching just two passes for 20 yards despite running the most routes on the team. He also dropped a ball on fourth down in the red zone.
David Njoku stats by week
|Week 5 vs. Chargers||7||149||1||76||2||5.62|
The Browns' offensive line played their best game in pass protection, as they combined to allow just three pressures and no sacks. Wyatt Teller and Jack Conklin were the only two linemen to play more than 20 pass-blocking snaps and allow zero pressures. Joel Bitonio was the best run-blocker on the team and is set to have the highest overall grade (77.4) among Browns' offensive linemen upon first review.
Despite creating just two pressures in the first half, Myles Garrett stepped up as the game went on. He finished the game with six pressures, one sack and the highest pass-rushing grade on the team (80.5) upon first review.
The Browns' defensive line combined for 15 total pressures. Malik McDowell created just one pressure on 31 pass-rush snaps but the pressure resulted in a sack.
Rookie standout Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah played the most snaps among Browns linebackers and accounted for five tackles and two defensive stops. He played 39 coverage snaps and allowed two receptions for 12 yards, but neither reception led to a first down or touchdown.
The Browns' secondary struggled to contain the Chargers' explosive passing attack, as the unit combined to allow 364 yards and all four passing touchdowns. Safeties Ronnie Harrison and John Johnson III combined to allow 97 yards and three touchdowns.
A.J. Green had the most lopsided performance, as he allowed a team-high 111 yards and one touchdown while also forcing two incompletions.
Greedy Williams received the highest coverage grade at 82.4 despite allowing seven receptions for 43 yards.
|Player||Targets||Receptions allowed||Yards allowed||TD allowed||Passer rating allowed|
|John Johnson III||2||2||56||1||158.3|