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LA Chargers: Six overreactions from Week 1 win over Bengals

CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 13: Quarterback Tyrod Taylor #5 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to pass against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium on September 13, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 13: Quarterback Tyrod Taylor #5 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to pass against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium on September 13, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

Which reactions from the LA Chargers’ Week 1 win are justified and which are overreactions?

The LA Chargers beat the Cincinnati Bengals by way of a missed field goal. Clearly, as the low score indicates, there is plenty of room for improvement, particularly on the offensive side.

That has left Chargers fans with plenty of questions and concerns. With a unique offseason and no preseason games, that has made plenty of room for overreactions.

What reactions to Week 1 are warranted and which are too early? Read below to find out.

Overreaction 1a: Tyrod Taylor needs to be benched. Overreaction 1b: Tyrod Taylor will not be more than a bridge quarterback in the NFL.

While stats are not everything (you can read here if you want a deeper discussion on Taylor’s performance), Tyrod Taylor’s stats tell you about everything you need to know about his performance in Week 1.

Taylor had 16 completions on 30 attempts for 208 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. His rushing output was of little value for the team, as his 6 rushes went for 7 yards. A blunt, single-word assessment of his performance would be “meh.”

The offense was highly limited in Week 1 with Taylor at the helm. Sixteen points were enough to win this week, but we all know that is not going to get the job done against a team like the Kansas City Chiefs, the Chargers’ Week 2 opponent.

However, before we go ahead and stick Taylor on the bench, there is a lot of context to consider.

First, we need to note that this is Week 1 of a full game with Taylor playing with the starters, in a completely new offense, without a preseason. Offenses around the NFL were a bit out of tune, especially the ones going through a transition like the Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Another reason for optimism is the improvement that occurred throughout the game. Starting with the two-minute drill at the end of the first quarter, the offense looked substantially better, and Taylor began to hit more of his targets.

One more reason to not bench Taylor is his backup. Justin Herbert has incredible arm talent, but his main problem in college was reading defenses quickly and making correct decisions. If that was his problem in college, do we really want to stick him into an offense in transition now and destroy his confidence?

While it does not make sense to bench Taylor, it is fair to be critical of his performance. Some (myself included) expected dynamic play out of Taylor, who finally has some dynamic weapons to utilize.

After another lackluster start in a third organization, it seems that Taylor may never emerge as a quarterback who can consistently be a starter and not a conservative, game-managing bridge quarterback.

Taylor deserves another chance given the growth we saw in the second half, but it is fair to call Taylor a career bridge-quarterback at this point.

Verdict 1a: Overreaction. Verdict 1b: Probably not an overreaction

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