The LA Chargers suffered an ugly loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 12 that significantly hurt the team's chances to win the AFC West and made the team's path to making the playoffs much tougher. Suddenly, the Bolts' Week 13 game against the Cincinnati Bengals feels like a must-win.
The Chargers should not have lost in the manner that they did to a team like the Broncos. Quite frankly, this game should have brought every fan back down to earth with the expectations for the 2021 season.
It was ugly and there are players that we can point the finger at for blame.
3 LA Chargers who deserve the most blame for the Week 12 loss to the Denver Broncos:
1. Justin Herbert
Charger fans don't like to blame Justin Herbert for losses and I get why. He is the definition of a franchise quarterback and does some truly remarkable things that has improved this team and its timeline of winning a championship.
That being said, being an elite quarterback is a double-edged sword. He is great but the expectations are high and we cannot sit here and call him elite and then not blame him for a bad game. While there were definitely other factors that led to his poor play (more on that later) we cannot sit here and pretend like he had a good game. He didn't. The defense actually held the Broncos' offense in this game and Herbert and the offense could not capitalize.
Herbert completed 28 of 44 passes for 303 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. A good chunk of those yards and the second touchdown were in garbage time. He did not play well and made some bad throws and decisions that cost the team. He definitely could have gotten more help from his playmakers and from the offense line but he also could have played better himself. We just saw him play better last week.
If Justin Herbert has a normal Justin Herbert game then the Chargers win this game, plain and simple.