The Chargers are 1-1 on the season after a great game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Through the first two weeks, one player has stood out, and its 2019 first-round pick Jerry Tillery.
The Chargers selected Tillery with the 28th pick in the first round from Notre Dame University. He was injured for a good portion of the season and didn’t make much of an impact for the Chargers.
Anthony Lynn said that Tillery “worked his butt off” this offseason and has put on a lot of muscle and it has paid off through the first two weeks of the NFL season.
Tillery has looked like a different player and is living up to the hype of a former first-round pick.
The Chargers planned to utilize him differently this year, he is getting work at defensive end and defensive tackle which makes Tillery even more versatile for the Chargers.
Tillery played a fantastic game against the Bengals in week one, he made a big impact early in the game. He got a sack and a couple of QB hits. This was Tillery’s coming out party this year, he has been able to get consistent pressure on rookie Joe Burrow and that takes the pass rush to a whole new level when offenses can’t simply focus on Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram but have to worry about the interior defensive line. Tillery made what could have been the game-saving play in the Chiefs game when he blocked their PAT attempt, and the Chiefs had a missed call that allowed them to get a two-point conversion the following drive.
Tillery had more quarterback pressures against the Cheifs on Sunday than he did the entire 2019 season. He has had a complete turn around this season, for instance, he is one of the league leaders in QB pressures among Defensive Tackles, he is tied with All-Pro Aaron Donald with 6 on the season, and ahead of several other prominent interior linemen. Now, this of course is not saying that he’s on the same level as Donald, but it is a very promising sign for his development and what he can bring to the Chargers for the next couple of years. That makes some good company for Tillery, even his veteran teammate Linval Joseph, was quoted calling him “scary, scary man” which is high praise from such a well-respected defensive lineman. Through the first two weeks of the season Tillery has ranked 7th in the ESPN new stat PRWP (pass rush win percentage), with a 22% win rate, and his Chargers teammate Justin Jones is 9th with a 19% win rate.
The Chargers will now have the 0-2 Carolina Panthers travel to Sofi Stadium for their Week three matchup. The Panthers are without superstar Christian McCaffery for the next couple of weeks, however, the Panthers led by Teddy Bridgewater and new head coach Matt Rhule have lots of weapons on the offense and it will be up to the Chargers pass rush to make Bridgewater unconformable if the Chargers want to win this game.
This will include the interior presence from Linval Joseph and Jerry Tillery to slow down the Panther’s rushing attack from Mike Davis and Trenton Cannon.
This will also be the Charger’s first game against former Charger Russel Okung who was traded in the offseason to the Panthers in a player swap for Trai Turner.
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