The LA Chargers are already the leading candidate to have the unluckiest 2022 season of any NFL team. The injuries have piled up for the Bolts and the team is seemingly getting no relief from said injuries, which has turned a promising season into a disappointing one.
Offensively, the Chargers have not been as explosive as anyone would have hoped. There are big factors that are playing a role in this stagnant offense that are all happening at the same time.
The offensive line is banged up and that has hurt the running game and has gotten more pressure on Justin Herbert, who is dealing with fractured rib cartilage that is obviously hindering his play. Add in the fact that Keenan Allen, the team's most reliable outlet receiver, has been hurt and the Bolts cannot do much of anything with a receiving corps that lacks the ability to gain separation.
The man in the spotlight the most, however, is Joe Lombardi. Chargers fans were already disappointed with Lombardi's style last season and this slow start hasn't done anything to shift the public opinion in his favor.
Ironically enough, Lombardi himself is agreeing with a lot of sentiments that Chargers fans are having about his passive play-calling. The offensive coordinator admitted that in Week 3 against Jacksonville, he was a bit conservative due to Herbert's rib injury.
It was expected that the Chargers would be cautious in this game with Herbert's injury. That should not have been a surprise to anyone. That being said, the fact that Lombardi himself admitted that he was too cautious probably indicates that the team could have been far more aggressive.
At some point, the rubber needs to meet the road with Chargers' OC Joe Lombardi.
I personally am not as outraged with Lombardi's play-calling as most Chargers fans are on Twitter. I think it is an effective offense that raises the floor of anyone that is out there. That being said, the Chargers are not trying to raise the floor, they are trying to raise the ceiling and they have to maximize Justin Herbert's talent, not hold his hand like they don't trust him.
What is concerning is the fact that this is the second time this season that Lombardi has admitted that he was being too cautious. After the offensive essentially shut down in the second half of Week 1 he admitted that they should have been more aggressive to put away the win.
What is particularly frustrating is that the offense looked so good in the first half and then the first drive of the second half. I am not in the camp that Lombardi's offense is going to fail no matter what and that the Chargers should can him before it is too late.
There is a lot of potential in this offensive scheme when it is operating as it should be and we saw that for the first 40 minutes of game action in Week 1 and we saw it a lot last year as well. The Bolts were a top-five offense, after all.
But things are supposed to get more explosive and more complex in the second year of an offense. Instead, it seems like the team has taken a step back and has gotten more vanilla. While there is more factors as previously mentioned, the fact that Lombardi himself has admitted guilt twice in three weeks is not ideal.