The LA Chargers lost an intense overtime battle with the Kansas City Chiefs 23-20 on Sunday at SoFi Stadium. Here is how Justin Herbert performed.
In what was an absurd turn of events on Sunday, LA Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert was thrust into the spotlight prior to kickoff as veteran Tyrod Taylor was declared out with an undisclosed chest injury.
The sixth overall pick of this year’s NFL Draft looked great in his NFL debut, however he also had his bumps in the road which may have ultimately cost the team the game. Herbert finished the day going 22 for 33, for a 311 yards, one touchdown and one interception. On the ground, he added four carries for 18 yards and one touchdown.
For Herbert’s game grade, my heart says A++ because of how exciting this game was (even taking into account the inevitable heartbreaking loss). However, I’m gonna give Justin Herbert a B+. Given it was only his first start, and it was completely unexpected, I am more than happy with his performance and that grade.
Breaking down Justin Herbert’s B+ grade:
As stated before, watching Justin Herbert lead this offense had my heart (likely yours too) racing for the entirety of this game. He seemed to bring the offense to life in ways Tyrod Taylor just could not last week.
One positive of Herbert’s game was his willingness to take shots down the field. While he may have been completing a lot of short passes, when Shane Steichen looked for him to sling it down the field it appeared Justin Herbert was as cold as ice and completely willing to do so. His touchdown pass to receiver Jalen Guyton was not a 50 yard bomb, but it was around 23 or so air yards, and was a perfect throw.
One negative of the game for Justin Herbert was simply the fact that he made some mental mistakes which can be expected of a rookie in a very unexpected first start. Two that stick out are the interception thrown while staring at the first down marker and the handoff to the wrong side when the LA Chargers were within striking range for a go ahead touchdown. The interception was so avoidable, as the team could’ve went into the fourth quarter marching with the lead. Instead, they ended up giving the ball to Kansas City who would then tie it early in the fourth.
Overall, Justin Herbert made the majority of throws that he was supposed to make, while also adding some throws we may not have expected. There was a lot to like about his play, and the offense overall in this game. Justin Herbert is the future of the franchise. After this start, it may be difficult to argue that he should not start Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers.