3. Operating a two-minute offense
Once again, we cannot put all of the blame on Justin Herbert for this one. Anthony Lynn is one of the worst game managers in recent NFL history and he definitely did not do the Chargers any favors. It was atrocious. He, unfortunately, put Justin Herbert in positions to fail in two-minute situations and more often than not Herbert could not get it done.
It is hard to blame a rookie for not putting up great numbers in must-win situations when the coaching staff is not doing him any favors. However, at the end of the day, it is still an area for him to improve in 2021, regardless of if he is the main culprit for why it was an issue.
Herbert was a combined 22-35 passing for 262 yards, no touchdowns and one interception when he was trailing or tied with two minutes left in the game. Those are far off of his overall numbers and showcase the struggles he had when the game mattered most.
Of course, there are examples of him getting it done in the clutch. Perhaps the best moment of last season was Justin Herbert sneaking it into the endzone in overtime to end the Raiders’ playoff hopes, all while proclaiming “I was in!” There were several examples of when it didn’t work out.
- The time management and urgency against Carolina forced the team to try a desperate hook and ladder
- Justin Herbert threw an interception on the first play of a game-tying drive against the Buccaneers
- The Chargers settled for a long field goal in New Orleans that Michael Badgley missed
- Two dropped goal-line fades against the Raiders resulted in a last-second loss
- Herbert threw an interception in a game-winning drive attempt vs. Atlanta, who gave the ball right back
Again, there are a lot of factors in each of those games and most of it was not Herbert’s fault. The hope is that a better coaching staff and a better situation for Herbert will result in more of those games being wins, not losses.
I think it is inevitable that Herbert will improve in this regard with the coaching stage, but as we know, nothing is guaranteed in the NFL.