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LA Chargers Week 12 Overreactions: Justin Herbert figured out?

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 29: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers releases the ball during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 29: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers releases the ball during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers lost with an embarrassing sequence of errors to tend the game 17-27 against the Buffalo Bills.

The Los Angeles Chargers lost by failing to take advantage of Josh Allen turnovers and through horrid clock management, 17-27 against the Bills.

For the sake of this article, we will no longer be revisiting whether or not coaches should be fired, as it is becoming a situation of when, not if, that will occur. Instead, we will take you through some more controversial overreactions, starting with the one below.

Overreaction #1: Defenses are figuring out Justin Herbert

In Week 12, Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers offense put up one of their worst performances. However, underwhelming performances from Justin Herbert and the offense have occurred two of the last three weeks, with the lone exception being against the New York Jets.

In Week 12, the Chargers scored only 6 points in the first half, which is the worst first half under Justin Herbert in point output. The 17 points total is second-lowest to a 16 point output against the Carolina Panthers.

Furthermore, Justin Herbert as an individual did not look fantastic. He frequently just missed receivers, completing below 60% of his passes. Furthermore, he committed a turnover again in this one. While he was able to achieve 316 passing yards, many of those came in garbage time, including an incredible 55-yard hail mary to Tyron Johnson.

Can this be attributed to defenses figuring out how Justin Herbert plays or has it just been a tough couple of games?

If we are being completely honest, it is likely a little bit of both.

Defenses, including that of the Buffalo Bills, have been mixing up their coverage post-snap against Herbert, and it seems to be causing him just a bit of trouble.

Some rookie quarterbacks struggle when more pressure is brought while some struggle more when coverages are better disguised. That is to be expected, and Justin Herbert will need some time to improve in reading coverages post-snap. He has been decent thus far against disguised coverages, so I do not expect this to be a major problem long-term.

The more critical causes of the offenses’ struggles in recent weeks have been opposing pass rushes and dropped passes.

The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins both got excellent pressure on Justin Herbert, and the Bills even caused a few near-fumbles. The sacks this week were clearly the fault of the line and not Herbert, as the pass rush got to him too quickly to make any decisions.

Furthermore, several receivers committed drops this week. Keenan Allen and Jalen Guyton both had drops in critical situations.

So, to conclude, defenses have figured out that mixing up their coverage post-snap is a slight disruption to Justin Herbert, and this has hurt the offense a bit. Saying that defenses have “figured out” Herbert is oversimplifying the struggles that the offense has had.

Verdict #1: Slight overreaction

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