Morgan Fox claps back at erroneous Justin Herbert knock from former Chargers teammate

Los Angeles Chargers v Minnesota Vikings
Los Angeles Chargers v Minnesota Vikings / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is one of the best quarterbacks in the league but he has not yet won a playoff game. The Chargers' signal-caller has made the playoffs just once do to a myriad of reasons that include bad coaching, not-so-great supporting casts and bad injury luck.

Herbert having a goose egg in the playoff win column has made him the subject of scrutiny in the NFL world. It isn't just pundits who are criticizing Herbert, though, as his own former teammates are doing so in the media as well. When discussing where Herbert can improve, former Chargers cornerback Chris Harris recently broke down Herbert's "lack" of a clutch factor in close games that other great quarterbacks have.

It didn't take very long for one of Herbert's current teammates to come to his defense on the very same show. In an appearance on the "Up & Adams" show, Chargers defensive lineman Morgan Fox admitted that the defensive side of the ball has let Herbert down in the past.

Morgan Fox defends Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert

Morgan Fox said exactly what Chargers fans were saying after Harris' comments about Herbert in the clutch. More often than not, Herbert was elevating the Bolts to be in situations that the team had no business in. Sure, Herbert was delivering in every single clutch moment, but most of those games would not have even had clutch moments at all if it was not for Herbert.

The simple fact of the matter is that Herbert's defense has let him down. Does this mean Herbert has been absolutely perfect? Not at all. He has had bad games and he will have bad games in the future. He has had ugly moments in clutch spots and will have ugly moments in the future.

But there is a very simple stat that most Chargers fans know very well by now and it revolves around a very specific number: 27. The Chargers have allowed 27 or more points in 31 of Herbert's 62 career starts (50%). In those games, the Chargers are 6-25. In games where the Chargers allowed 26 or fewer points, Herbert has a 24-7 record as a starter.

Defenses are going to have bad games, to expect every single game to be under 27 points is silly. That being said, the Chargers still allow 27 or more points more than other teams who have elite quarterbacks.

Here is how other elite quarterbacks compare in this same category since Herbert came into the league in 2020:


Games with 27+ points allowed (% of total)

Record in games with 27+ points allowed

Record in games with fewer than 25 points allowed

Justin Herbert

31 (50%)

6-25 (.194)

24-7 (.774)

Patrick Mahomes

19 (29.2%)

11-8 (.579)

39-7 (.848)

Josh Allen

12 (18.2%)

4-8 (.333)

44-10 (.815)

Joe Burrow

14 (26.9%)

2-12 (.269)

28-9-1 (.750)

Lamar Jackson

13 (23.6%)

5-8 (.385)

34-8 (.810)

Herbert's winning percentage in games where his defense allowed 27 or more points is much lower than the rest of the pack, but it also happens far more often. No other elite quarterback that he is compared to has a defense that has allowed 27 or more points 30% of the time. Meanwhile, it has happened in exactly half of all Herbert's starts.

Sure, Herbert's winning percentage in games with 26 or fewer points is lower than all but Burrow, but it is at least in the same ballpark as those other elite quarterbacks. And considering his team allows 27 or more points far more often than these other teams, it is safe to say that he is doing so with a worse supporting cast.

In the 238 combined starts by the other four quarterbacks in the table above, their respective defenses allowed 27 or more points in 58 games (24.4%). If Herbert's defense allowed fewer than 27 points in only 24.4% of his starts, and he had the exact same winning percentages for both types of games, then his career record as a starter would be 39-23 instead of 30-32.

A 39-23 quarterback is someone who averages 10-11 wins a season, while a 30-32 quarterback is someone who averages eight wins a season. It is safe to say that Fox is right, and this falls on the defense.