At least quarterback Justin Herbert establishes star credentials despite becoming the starter earlier than planned because a team doctor pierced Tyrod Taylor’s lungs while giving him an injection. And yet the chargers lost. In overtime. Again.
LA couldn’t stop Drew Brees from making the biggest comeback of his career, from 17 points to a 30:27 win. The chargers fell with their losses by a total of 18 points to 1-4. Since the beginning of last season, they are 3-13 in one-score games and 6:15 overall, although they were only exceeded by 23 total points.
The Saints celebrated the third biggest comeback win on Monday Night Football since 2010. In 2012, the Broncos rallied from 24 to 24 to beat the Chargers. The 2013 Texans have recovered from 21 to 21 – do you see an issue here? – the chargers; The Steelers also rallied from 17 to 2017 to beat the Bengals.
It’s more than a little daunting for Chargers fans, but there’s reason to be hopeful and it comes in the form of the Oregon rookie quarterback. Herbert has passed seven touchdowns in the last two games. At 22 years and 216 days, he became the youngest quarterback with four touchdowns on Monday Night Football.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he has passed the first four career games by a player in NFL history over 1,195 yards, the third most yards. In short, Herbert gives them a chance to win, but the chargers usually fail to convert those odds into wins.
On Monday they took the lead 20-3 in the first half and, despite the Saints comeback, had a chance to win in regulation after Herbert Mike Williams with a 29-yard pass to the Saints 32-yard line scored with 8 seconds ahead of the scored had a draw. But Michael Badgley’s 50 yard field goal attempt cut the right post and the teams worked overtime. After the Saints won the coin toss, Brees drove his team for a field goal and gave the Chargers one more chance to win it with a touchdown. But Williams was tackled by Marshon Lattimore just before a first loss on the team’s final run. Game over.
The sobering conclusion is that Herbert, despite all his star power and his dazzling statistics, is 0: 4, with two overtime losses by three points and the others by five and seven points.
One problem is protection. “My quarterback,” said trainer Anthony Lynn, “ran for his life.”
Despite being praised for his potential by Brees and Saints coach Sean Payton, Herbert wasn’t happy. “To be so close in these last four games,” he said on Monday evening, “it hurts a lot.”