Justin Herbert made his NFL debut for the LA Chargers in Week 2 in place of Tyrod Taylor.
The LA Chargers Week 2 showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs did not go as expected. The Chargers nearly won the game, taking the Chiefs to overtime (and could have won with better coaching) and saw the debut of Justin Herbert.
Herbert got a spot start right before the game after Tyrod Taylor suffered chest pains. Taylor was taken to a local hospital for evaluations.
Before we get into the football side of this — Taylor’s health is the number one priority. All of us here at Bolt Beat wish the best for Taylor. The exact details of the situation have not been released, but chest pains are always scary.
Herbert looked great in his first game. He completed 22 of 33 passes for 311 yards, a touchdown and one pick. He also added a rushing touchdown. However, he did make some rookie mistakes — firing a ball downfield into double coverage when he had the first down with his legs and turning to the wrong side of a play-action.
However, it is learning curves. Rookie mistakes are going to happen.
All in all, though, Herbert looked fantastic. Yes, I am on the record of saying Herbert should not start soon. I thought he would not be ready. By everything we saw in this game, be might just be ready enough. I was wrong.
You would think that this would give him the job the rest of the season, similar to Baker Mayfield in 2018, right? Well, maybe not. Anthony Lynn told reporters after the game that if he is ready to play then he will start in Week 3.
The LA Chargers starting Tyrod Taylor over Justin Herbert is asinine
Look, this very well could simply be coach talk with Lynn giving the media the right answer to avoid committing to one guy or to make it seem distasteful towards Tyrod. However, he also said that Sam Tevi was starting at left tackle at the beginning of camp and he was not necessarily lying about that one.
I do think that the staff will legitimately decide between Taylor and Herbert and if that choice goes to Taylor… well… we should be upset.
Look: Taylor is a great leader but he is a game-manager. Herbert already showed in his first game the ability to lead a drive downfield, look past his first option and even used his legs better than Taylor did in Week 1.
Ask yourself this: who do you feel more comfortable with on third and seven — Justin Herbert or Tyrod Taylor? To me, that answer is now Justin Herbert, 10 times out of 10.
Sure, he will make some mistakes. That should not go without mentioning. But Taylor is not someone who is going to maximize the potential of the team. Sure, he is someone who can help the Chargers beat the lesser teams that they should beat, like the Bengals, but I highly doubt the Chargers even score 17 points in this game with Taylor under center.
It is not like the offense was humming on all cylinders, but they were much better in Week 2 than Week 1, that is a fact. The LA Chargers had 479 yards of offense opposed to 362 (in three fewer drives!!!). They also averaged an entire yard more per play.
I get those that are in the boat of staying with the veteran but giving him a really short leash, but look, I simply disagree. My two reasons against Herbert starting this soon were him not being ready and the offensive line being poor.
He showed he is ready to be an NFL quarterback (albeit with some bumps along the way) and the offensive line has been playing exceptionally despite not being the most naturally talented (thanks James Campen!).
Sure, Tyrod Taylor might not throw that pick into double-coverage, but if the kid is ready then you have to play the kid. He is the future of the franchise after all. Get him in there, and if he really struggles that bad, go back to Tyrod.