There were some positives in the LA Chargers’ loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The LA Chargers lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4 by a score of 38-31. This was a close game, but there were many positives on the offensive side.
Sunday’s game saw many rookies stand out amongst the rest.
Here are the standouts from the Week 4 loss.
We see him every week, but this LA Chargers team wouldn’t have been in this game if it wasn’t for an impressive performance by rookie quarterback Justin Herbert.
After a decent performance last week against the Panthers, Herbert went toe-to-toe with Tom Brady yesterday showing fans the potential he has. The rookie finished the day with 290 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, one interception, and a passer rating of 137.9.
Herbert showcased many abilities during this game, but one that stood out the most was how powerful of an arm he has. Two of Herbert’s three touchdown passes in the game were for 50-plus yards. Both touchdowns also were to Tyron Johnson and Jalen Guyton who didn’t have any other catches other than their touchdowns.
Another way Herbert showed improvement was in limiting many of his mistakes. A lot of the game saw more of the rookie being composed in the pocket and not forcing the ball. Even with an elite Buccaneer defensive line and banged up Chargers’ offensive line, Herbert seemed calm and was only sacked twice.
One of those sacks Herbert let happen instead of trying to force anything. Taking sacks, running with the ball, or even throwing the ball away, Herbert seemed to be more comfortable taking NFL snaps.
The only fault Herbert had was during the last offensive play which saw Herbert throw a game-ending interception. It could be argued that Herbert shouldn’t have even been in that situation, but an interception is still an interception.
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It’s something that the rookie just has to get better with and just better himself every week. Though, it’s good to note that Herbert every game seems to be more careful with the ball and has limited his turnovers.
Overall, this game showed Chargers fans and the NFL world what Justin Herbert has to offer. Even with the disappointing outcome, every play Herbert has been getting better and showed that he can be a solid quarterback in this league.
It would be amazing to see the rookie go up against Drew Brees on Monday night football, but Lynn has said he’s unsure about the quarterback situation. I guess we will have to wait until the end of the week and see.
Keenan Allen and the receiving corps
While Keenan Allen was the highlight of the receiving corps in this matchup, there were many moments that should make all of us appreciate this young group.
With Mike Williams out for the game, many were concerned about how this receiving corps would play against this defense. Even with rookie Joe Reed being a healthy scratch, many were scared about how they would perform. This game though saw no problems in this receiving corps, as the Chargers had three receiving touchdowns and nine different players make a reception.
Keenan Allen had arguably the best performance on the receiving corps, finishing the day with eight catches for 62 yards. While Allen didn’t finish the day with a touchdown, he came clutch in many situations during the course of the game. He had three first-down catches and made many stunning catches, but that’s usually not a surprise to LA Chargers fans
The biggest upside of all was the impressive performances by the young guys. All three receiving touchdowns were caught by guys 24 years or younger. The first touchdown pass was caught by Tyron Johnson, who was brought up from the practice squad this week. The 53-yard touchdown by Johnson was his only catch all game.
The same thing can be said for Jalen Guyton, who also had only one catch all game for a touchdown. His 72-yard touchdown catch was a momentum change in the game which kept the Chargers in it late in the fourth quarter.
While it may be underwhelming that these were the only catches by the young wide receivers, it showed how young and talented this group can be. With a healthy Mike Williams and both rookies Joe Reed and K.J. Hill improving with more playing time, this could be a fun receiving core to watch. Especially with Herbert at quarterback.
It wouldn’t be a receiving corps piece if I didn’t talk about Donald Parham Jr.’s touchdown. The 6’8 young tight end caught a 19-yard touchdown pass just over a defender. The LA Chargers should feed him a lot of playing time not only because of him being younger but the lack of tight ends in the future.
Both Hunter Henry and Virgil Green will be free agents following this season. If Henry can stay healthy and re-sign with the Chargers this offseason, the duo of Henry and Parham will be deadly for all defenses around the league.
Lastly, this receiving corps was very impressive overall. If this group can get better each game along with Herbert, the LA Chargers could have a strong and deep receiving core in the future. Hopefully, we can see all of these guys shine even more during Monday night football against the Saints.