1. The wide receivers are underperforming
There is not a wide receiver on the LA Chargers that is safe from this fact. While Keenan Allen has been more reliable for the most part, even he has come up with some key drops in big moments that would have swung some of these games.
The wide receiver room is struggling and there are multiple reasons why that is the case. Here are the several compounding factors that has resulted in a bad season for the wideouts in LA:
1. The drops
Charger fans have seen them time and time again. The Chargers are among the worst in the league in dropping the football and as always, they seem to come in the worst times. Whether its Allen, Mike Williams, Jalen Guyton or even the tight ends and Austin Ekeler, drops have been a problem.
Now, this is a point that not a lot of fans are going to be happy with: Justin Herbert deserves blame for this as well. The "the ball hit his hands so he should catch it every time" argument is so flawed. There are so many things that go into an elite passing offense — timing, rhythm, velocity of throws, precisions of routes, communication, etc — and sometimes the fault lands on Herbert.
Most drops are the receiver's fault. However, whether it was a slight hesitation that threw his receiver off or a ball thrown behind someone when they are running an out route, Herbert has caused some of these drops. When every single pass-catcher is struggling with drops then the quarterback obviously has some sort of impact.
2. Mike Williams isn't the same
This is a big one. Mike Williams was nuclear to start the season and the Chargers' best games have been when Williams played great. Go back and watch Week 3 and Week 4. Williams has all but disappeared since then and there are multiple theories why.
First is that he isn't fully healthy, and that is a logical theory. Williams hurt his knee against Cleveland and hardly played against Baltimore. While he has not missed any games, there could be a nagging thing there.
The second theory is that teams know how to attack him. That is also partially true as teams have taken away the deep routes from Williams. That being said, he has not helped his own cause.
The reality is probably this: Williams is a good receiver but he was over-performing to start the season. While he is absolutely better than he is playing now, we should have known after the first month of the season that he would not sustain his level of play. Williams has never been consistent in his career.
3. The depth isn't great
Jalen Guyton isn't good and Joshua Palmer is coming into his own but is still making rookie mistakes. Cutting Tyron Johnson was a mistake back when it happened and it continues to look like a mistake today.