A win over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10 would have been absolutely massive for the LA Chargers. The Bolts would have maintained control of the AFC West crown and a 6-3 record would have put them in a great position for the rest of the season.
Instead, the Chargers are 5-4 and have a lot of work to do as the year goes along. This team is definitely capable of going on a playoff run, especially in the wonky AFC, but they have to play better than they did in Week 10.
They have to clean things up quickly.
It was an ugly game for the Bolts in Week 10 and we definitely can pinpoint the sources of blame for the loss, even if some fans don't like the idea of blaming certain players on the team.
The 3 things to blame for the LA Chargers Week 10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings:
1. Justin Herbert had a bad day
I know that it is sacrilegious to say anything negative about Justin Herbert. Herbert is a great young quarterback that is good enough to one day lead the Chargers to the Super Bowl. That being said, he is in his second season and is going to have hiccups.
This was one of those days. Herbert made a few key mistakes in this game that changed the tide of things. Whether it was slipping on the first drive while having a receiver open deep, or locking on to Keenan Allen before throwing a pick to Eric Kendricks, or throwing some misplaced balls, Herbert was not great.
I know, I know. You are reading this and thinking "if a ball hits a receiver's hands they should always catch it!". That is not always true. Timing, throw velocity and placement all matter. That is why being an NFL quarterback, and being a great one, is so dang hard.
Not all of the drops were Herbert's fault, but it is worth raising the question: if an entire team full of professional pass-catchers are dealing with drops then perhaps there is an underlying issue? There are definitely areas for Herbert to improve.
Some will also turn to Joe Lombardi. While Lombardi is not some revolutionary play caller, I'm not sure you can pin Week 10 on him. There were no egregious play-calling mistakes that stood out. The guys didn't execute, and it starts with Herbert.