Jerry Tillery showcases quarterback-terrorizing potential in Chargers’ win

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) is hit by the Chargers' Jerry Tillery.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is hit by Chargers defensive tackle Jerry Tillery during the first half.
(Bryan Woolston / Associated Press)

The Chargers sacked Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow three times Sunday during their 16-13 win.

Joey Bosa had a sack and so did Uchenna Nwosu, neither development particularly surprising since both players previously have been recognized for possessing the ability to chase down opposing quarterbacks.

But the first sack came from Jerry Tillery on the Bengals’ second possession. He burst through and dropped Burrow for a 14-yard loss.

It was the just the second solo sack of Tillery’s career, the other coming against Denver and Joe Flacco last October.

“Jerry’s potential is so high,” defensive end Melvin Ingram said. “I feel like more and more he gets reps … he’s really going to become a player in this league.”


Tyrod Taylor struggles to generate offense, but a late touchdown coupled with a missed Bengals field-goal attempt gives the Chargers a 16-13 win.

Sept. 13, 2020

Tillery, a defensive tackle, struggled most of last season after being a late first-round pick. He had a shoulder injury at Notre Dame that slowed his development after joining the Chargers.

But Tillery emerged in August during an impressive training camp. He repeatedly found his way into the backfield during practice and also showed an ability to play the Chargers’ bigger end spot normally occupied by Bosa.

His continued progress only can help a defense already missing All-Pro safety Derwin James and now without linebacker Drue Tranquill, who suffered a significant ankle injury Sunday.

Beyond his sack, Tillery had another tackle and also managed to give Burrow a second shot on a running play.

“I seen Jerry grow right before my eyes,” Ingram said of the latest performance. “It was a great thing because Jerry’s been working so hard. … To see him be awarded for his hard work, it was dope. … He’s only going to get better.”

Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, the top pick in the NFL draft, impressed the Chargers but Los Angeles’ defense came up with enough plays in a 16-13 win.

Sept. 13, 2020