Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert has a Strong Debut
Justin Herbert wasn’t even supposed to be the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday afternoon at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Tyrod Taylor dealt with a chest injury and Head Coach Anthony Lynn told Herbert that he was starting like three minutes before the game. He looked sharp in his NFL debut, but Harrison Butker‘s game-winning 57-yard field goal with 1:58 remaining in overtime gave the Kansas City Chiefs a 23-20 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Justin Herbert was the sixth overall pick out of the University of Oregon in the 2020 NFL Draft. Many people wondered if he was worth the risk considering the fact he had so many questions about his accuracy in the college rankings.
Herbert was athletic enough to make plays in this game despite the loss. With the Denver Broncos having reeling injuries and the Las Vegas Raiders not knowing potentially what they are this season, the Los Angeles Chargers could go 10-6 and 11-5 with Justin Herbert and lead them to the postseason.
Kansas City was kind of off guard with Herbert defensively. Patrick Mahomes outplayed him when it mattered the most, but Justin Herbert is only 22 years old and has a lot of years ahead of him.
He completed 22-of-33 passes for 311 yards passing one touchdown and one interception. Herbert also rushed for 18 yards rushing on four carries and one touchdown.
Justin Herbert had a 4-yard rushing touchdown on the first drive of the game. It put the Chargers up 7-0.
When they were up 7-6 in the second-quarter, Justin Herbert threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Guyton to go up 14-6.
Herbert is the heartbeat of the Los Angeles Chargers moving forward. He should not be benched in favor of Tyrod Taylor.
This Taylor injury is exactly how Baker Mayfield‘s career started with the Cleveland Browns on a Thursday night against the New York Jets in Week 3 of the 2018 regular season though.
Keenan Allen caught seven passes for 96 yards receiving. Hunter Henry caught six passes for 83 yards receiving. These two players will be his top receiving options moving forward. Mike Williams will also be a top wide receiving option moving forward as well, but he only caught two passes for 14 yards receiving though.
Austin Ekeler rushed for 93 yards on 16 carries. Ekeler also caught four passes for 55 yards receiving.
Joshua Kelley rushed for 64 yards on 23 carries. Kelley also caught two passes for 49 yards receiving.
This is becoming a solid running back tandem for the Los Angeles Chargers moving forward after Justin Jackson was going to be the second or third running back on the roster and also Melvin Gordon II leaving in free agency to the Denver Broncos this past offseason though.
The Los Angeles Chargers will be in good hands with Justin Herbert at quarterback moving forward.
The Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) will be on the road against the Baltimore Ravens (2-0) next Monday at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) will be at home next Sunday against the Carolina Panthers (0-2).
What did you think of the way Justin Herbert played during his first game in the NFL after being called upon at the last second? Leave a comment below.
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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.