Justin Herbert Grade: C
It’s been a lot of fun seeing Justin Herbert burst on the scene and leave fans in awe with his arm strength and accurate deep ball. But today was not the day for all that jazz. The Patriots lone elite facet, the secondary, came to play today keeping Keenan Allen and company from blowing the lid off the defense.
Couple that with New England’s spotty front seven surprisingly balling out for the second straight week, taking advantage of a porous Charger o-line and generating pressure on a young Herbert all day.
In the first couple of opening drives, Herbert handled the onslaught of pressure well by hitting his check-downs and taking care of the ball. He had a nice 3rd down pickup on an extended broken play completion rolling to his left.
But unfortunately for Los Angeles, special teams is still the third phase of football. And the solid drive was foiled though by missed Michael “Money Badger” Badgley 46 yard field goal. Classic.
The Patriots’ D really pinned their ears back from there and the Chargers didn’t reach scoring position again until the very end of the half. When another Badgley field goal attempt was promptly blocked and returned for an easy ‘tubby’ for veteran Devin McCourty.
That effectively ended this slaughtering as the Pats took a 28-0 lead to half with Herbert playing poorly, but at least mistake-free up to that point. Then the second half began and Herbert basically said ‘forget it, it’s a lost season I’m throwing caution to the wind.’
He threw two careless picks in the first two second-half series’ to Chase Winovich and JC Jackson. Then a quick punt and three series resulting in a turnover on downs ensued, as the handful of Charger fans still watching were finally spared from the nightmare.
Though Herbert played poorly, no one will indict the 22-year-old with all the deeply rooted issues this team has. Though he only averaged 3.9 yards a completion, posting 209 passing yards and 26 completions is good enough for a C with meh run production, an unimpressive defensive performance, and historically awful coaching and special teams display.
Again, for the Chargers as a whole: get Anthony Lynn and his staff out of that facility and circle draft day on your calendars. Not much else to say from a long term, big picture standpoint.