LA Chargers Mailbag: Is it already Justin Herbert time?

(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /

The most-asked question about the LA Chargers has to do with the quarterback position.

The LA Chargers opened the 2020 season with a win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Randy Bullock shanked a chip-shot field goal at the end of regulation to tie the game and the Chargers emerged victorious 16-13.

The defense was incredible for the Bolts in Week 1 but the offense was not as potent. In the first game with Tyrod Taylor under center, the Bolts struggled to get past mid-field and had four three-and-outs in the game.

A win is a win but a win like this leaves a lot of questions to be answered. We decided to help answer some of these questions with our weekly LA Chargers mailbag. The most common question had to do with the quarterback position

LA Chargers mailbag questions:

“After Tyrod’s poor performance do you think we will see some Herbert action?” – @cpreddin

No. The LA Chargers have committed to Tyrod Taylor as the starting quarterback and it is going to take quite a bit for him to lose the job. I think this is what the coaching staff expected and it is going to take much worse play out of this from Tyrod to lose that starting job.

“Do you think we start Herbert after the Bye week if we’re out of the playoff race?” -@Miguel17_IDGAF

Realistically, barring an injury, I still don’t think we see Justin Herbert under center as the starter until the 2021 season.

“Why are fans being so critical of Tyrod after embracing Phil for 14+ years?” – @Tyrod2020MVP

I think it is because the core of this team is so talented and we just saw two years ago that with good quarterback play this team can accomplish a lot of great things. That great play is no longer coming from Philip Rivers, but when there were other options out there (such as Cam Newton), Charger fans are going to be a little bit more critical of Taylor.

Whether certain fans wanted Cam, want to see Justin Herbert, or wanted to see Philip RIvers back, any bad play from Taylor is going to fuel that criticism.

I agree that Rivers probably would not lead this team to the playoffs in 2020, at least if he played like he did in 2019. However, Rivers also had a lot of really great years, let’s not act like he was always mediocre.

“With Derwin James and Drue [Tranquill] unavailable do you think the defense can still keep Travis Kelce contained like the past couple of seasons?” – @jadenhester_17

Kelce is probably the player I am most concerned about heading into Week 2. We saw some breakdowns in coverage in Week 1 that led to C.J. Uzomah having four receptions fo 45 yards. Obviously, if that is Kelce’s output then the Chargers are going to be extremely happy, but Uzomah is no Travis Kelce.

Quite frankly, and this might be a bit pessimistic, I am not confident that they can be as successful without James and Tranquill, especially with the focus on the receiving corps as well as a new wrinkle at running back.

I don’t think Kelce will have a massive game, but I do think the Chiefs will have a bit easier of a time getting him involved against the Bolts than in previous years.

“What does the offense have to do to get going? Better play calling? Or do you think the fact that they don’t have a lot of chemistry was to blame for its poor Week 1 performance?” – @Brozzeph

I think it all boils down to the play calling. I do not think chemistry was really an issue, although I can see how that can have some impact.

Simply put: Shane Steichen did not call enough plays to help Tyrod Taylor succeed. There were far too many times that Taylor was asked to sit in the pocket like a traditional passer and that just is not his strength. Taylor needs to be better in that department, too, as he was staring down his first target every single time.

Look at the Buffalo Bills. Josh Allen is not a great quarterback but the team does a really good job of masking his weaknesses and playing to his strengths. That is what the LA Chargers need to do with Tyrod Taylor.

I am hopeful that perhaps the Bolts did not want to show too much of the playbook in Week 1 ahead of the Chiefs, so maybe we will see more creativity in Week 2.

Next. Joshua Kelley made history in Week 1

If you want to ask a question in next week’s mailbag be sure to follow us on Twitter!