3. Involve Herbert on the ground game
Losing Ekeler was devastating for the LA Chargers offense. With him on the field, the Chargers might have fared better against a defense that had allowed 24 receptions to running backs in just three weeks.
With Mike Williams also likely out, it’s crucial for the team to find ways to keep attention off Keenan Allen. Hunter Henry has displayed chemistry with the young rookie and has made some plays, but even after Sunday’s showing where Jalen Guyton and Tyron Johnson both caught long touchdowns, they still can’t bank on relying on them on offense.
Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson have both proved to be efficient receivers, but if they truly want to keep the defense guessing, they need to start unleashing Herbert’s true potential as a runner. That can help leave more space for running backs on screens and might divide a defense’s attention if they can let them know Herbert is a threat on the ground.
4. Clean up the turnovers
After a turnover-free Week 1 game against the Bengals, the LA Chargers then proceeded to commit 1, 4 and 2 turnovers. Some are excusable, while some are mistakes.
It’s going to be the fourth week with the rookie Herbert at the helm, however, and he needs to show he can fully implement Coach Anthony Lynn’s vision for the team and deliver his first turnover-free game of his career against a defense that won’t make it easy for him at all.
He was characterized by many things after his college career in Oregon, and one of those characteristics was that he was careful with the ball. He has looked like a completely different quarterback with the Bolts, much to his and the coaching staff’s credit.
While his newfound aggressiveness with the ball might be a reason for some of the turnovers, he has shown he is learning from every mistake he makes on the field. After getting picked against Kansas City on a deep throw where he could have run for a first down, he has tucked it and run since when he gets a chance.
He also received a tough hit in a scramble and has now learned to try and not take a hit. Every single rep Herbert gets is a new opportunity for improvement that is turning him into a better quarterback, and he needs to show he can evade costly mistakes from now on.
While the focus was on the quarterback, this goes for the rest of the team too. Kelley’s fumble likely cost the team the game, and turnovers on downs have also hampered the team.