Mike Williams’ chemistry with Justin Herbert helping Chargers reach new heights


COSTA MESA, Calif. — When you have a celebrity quarterback you want (a minimum of) one huge, robust and good receiver who can haul within the lengthy ball.

The Los Angeles Chargers have “Large Mike” to fill that function … as in Mike Williams. They name him Large Mike as a result of he is all of the above qualities rolled into one. He is 6-foot-4, 218 kilos (possibly much less now that he reduce off his dreadlocks) and has provide you with a number of the most wide-open, game-changing receptions of the season to this point.

Take a look at this previous Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns, when Williams had two monster landing catches — one for 48 yards, which gave the Chargers a 28-27 lead early in a wild fourth quarter and an earlier landing during which he danced on their own into the top zone after a 72-yard cross from Justin Herbert.

Add in a third-and-10 reception for a primary down and a drawn cross interference name on a fourth down throughout a game-tying drive within the fourth quarter, which finally led to the primary of operating again Austin Ekeler’s two fourth-quarter landing runs (the one during which the Browns did not carry him in the long run zone), and “Large Mike” was huge time.

Williams set a career-high with 165 yards receiving on eight receptions and was fast to go with his rising celebrity quarterback, Herbert, who threw for 398 yards and 4 landing passes whereas dashing for one more landing.

“We obtained to attain each time we’ve the ball,” Williams recalled Herbert saying within the huddle. “And we have been like, ‘Yeah, we obtained you.’ … Herbert brings management. An incredible quarterback. Poise.”

Herbert’s success relies on his means to place the ball proper on the cash to a wide range of pass-catchers — Ekeler, receivers Keenan Allen and Jalen Guyton together with tight ends Jared Cook dinner and Donald Parham Jr. And, in fact, “Large Mike,” who not solely has helped Herbert change into a major MVP candidate however is setting himself up for a giant payday when he turns into a free agent after the season.

Regardless of his huge dimension and larger manufacturing, Williams shouldn’t be precisely the largest talker, so throughout video games he counts on Allen to maintain him fired up. After certainly one of Ekeler’s fourth-quarter scores Sunday (not that one) Allen leaned over on the sideline bench and stared at Williams, who was sitting subsequent to him.

“What?” Williams requested Allen.

“It do not imply nothin’ with out the dub,” Allen mentioned.

“Huh?” Williams responded.

Allen yelled again: “IT DON’T MEAN NOTHIN’ WITHOUT THE DUB.”

“For certain,” Williams responded.

They obtained the dub, placing the Chargers at 4-1 and atop the AFC West heading into Sunday’s recreation on the 4-1 Baltimore Ravens (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

Williams’ success this season shouldn’t be utterly sudden. He is proven flashes of it since being drafted with the No. 7 general choose by the Chargers in 2017. After combating accidents as a rookie, Williams led the workforce with 10 landing catches in 2018 and had a 1,000-yard season in 2019. Final season he had 48 catches for 756 yards and 5 landing receptions.

However this 12 months feels completely different. Herbert and Williams have related on an virtually surreal foundation. He is caught 31 passes for 471 yards and 6 touchdowns (yet another than final season). He is been a distinction maker and on tempo to shatter his earlier career-highs in a number of classes.

“We have completed a significantly better job of spreading it out and getting him [Williams] the ball,” Herbert mentioned. “Noticing that he is a matchup nightmare and what he has been constructed to do, that is not luck. He is labored laborious and completed a variety of work within the offseason. All these instances we have thrown within the offseason are paying off.”

Williams is a nightmare matchup. Think about being a 5-10 security and seeing the Unimaginable Hulk bounce proper over you.

“The man’s a incredible receiver,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley mentioned. “He can beat you within the deep a part of the sphere, he can beat you within the first or second stage. He can transfer you all through the formations and what you are seeing is a man who, whenever you want a win, can. He can.”

The chemistry between Williams and Herbert has solely grown stronger each week. They’re going to want it Sunday in opposition to the Ravens, who’ve a red-hot quarterback of their very own in Lamar Jackson, who led the Ravens to a 16-point come-from-behind victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday.

Williams did not apply on Wednesday on account of a knee harm however is predicted to be fantastic for Sunday.

“We consider in him,” Herbert mentioned of Williams. “He is among the finest to do these bounce ball-type performs.”

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