2. The right side of the offensive line and lack of depth at running back
I am going to combine this into two points because they do relate. The LA Chargers have a much improved offensive line from last season but it still has a massive hole because of injuries. The right side of the O-line is a legitimate problem and that has made an impact in the passing game.
Popper made the point in the video that I embedded at the beginning of the article. When there is a massive hole like the Chargers have they are not going to be able to go down the field as often as they like as Herbert will start taking too many sacks.
Not only that, but it hurts the run game. The Chargers cannot really run the ball to the right and either have to run it up the middle, often with the left side of the line pulling across, or pitch it outside to the left (less pitch plays, please).
While the Chargers are better when they throw the ball the lack of talent in the running back room is really hurting the team. Austin Ekeler is the only consistent presence in the running back room and they cannot run him to the ground all game.
They have to give the other backs snaps and it simply has not been good. Sure, Larry Rountree scored a touchdown in Week 10 but that does not change the fact that he has been bad all year. Joshua Kelley has also been bad and Justin Jackson cannot stay healthy.
Want to know why the Chargers are throwing a lot of passes near the line of scrimmage? Because they cannot comfortably run the ball for positive yardage in early-down situations. Thus, the team is forced to get creative on early downs to pick up 3-4 yard chunks, which only infuriates the fans because it is not a deep shot.
The running backs are also horrible in pass-blocking, which made an impact on key plays against the Vikings in Week 10.
When the entire right side of the line is struggling and there is no depth at running back of course the offense is going to struggle. You are forcing a second-year quarterback to be perfect and make perfect reads at the line of scrimmage. As good as Herbert is, that is not going to happen.