This is the reason why the LA Chargers lost this game and it is beyond frustrating. It is beyond frustrating because this offense is so obviously better with Justin Herbert under center than Tyrod Taylor. They can move the ball, and for the most part, they did so as they pleased in this game.
The Chargers only had one three-and-out and it came on the opening drive of the game. The Chargers had four three-and-outs in the one start that Tyrod Taylor made for the team this season.
Despite that and despite a relatively solid game from Justin Herbert, we just cannot ignore the turnovers. The M-O heading into this year is that the team would win because they would not turn the ball over as much and this game felt like the good old Chargers.
Justin Herbert fumbled on a pass attempt on the second drive of the game and it was not really his fault. Bryan Bulaga got absolutely torched on the right side and Herbert got pressured right away. He did not sense the pressure and the ball was knocked loose as he was attempting to throw.
Then after scoring a touchdown and starting the next drive off really well, Joshua Kelley fumbled after a 16-yard run. The Chargers went 30 yards in three plays. Kelley just could not hold onto the ball.
Then finally, Herbert had a really bad interception that ultimately became a six-point swing as the team could have been in field goal range but instead allowed the Panthers to be in field-goal range at the end of the first half. That was huge.
But in Herbert’s defense, the team should not have even been where they were, they should have been more upfield. There was a horrendous offensive pass-interference call on Mike Williams right before that pick.
I know it is easy to blame Herbert and it definitely is his fault, but it comes with the territory. The best quarterbacks in the league still throw interceptions. He will learn from it and move on.
It was the turnovers that cost this game and the only reason why the offense did not get an F is that the team was able to move the ball when they weren’t turning it over.