Justin Herbert was wowed for the Los Angeles Chargers through three starts.
The Los Angeles Chargers selected Justin Herbert with the No. 6 overall pick in this year’s draft and there wasn’t much buzz surrounding Herbert prior to the 2020 season. A lot of that probably had to do with the fact that it was a foregone conclusion that NFL journeyman Tyrod Taylor was going to be the starter. Fans didn’t really expect to see Herbert for awhile this year because Taylor supposedly gave Los Angeles the best chance to win.
Due to an injury, Taylor was pulled last minute from the Chargers’ Week 2 match-up against the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, forcing the rookie Herbert into his first NFL game. One might have thought the idea of a rookie going up against the reigning Super Bowl champions would be enough for Herbert to struggle, but he impressed big time.
Herbert has continued to look solid in his other two starts, but Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn still is telling the media that he plans to go back to Taylor when he’s healthy again. This can’t happen for the Chargers for many reasons.
As Jason B. Hirschhorn mentions above, how on earth would Lynn explain his decision to sit Herbert to the locker room? Here’s a kid who was thrust into his first game with little to no preparation and dominated. Not only that, but he’s continued to dominate.
The Chargers are 1-3 and while the one victory did come in Taylor’s lone start, he wasn’t the reason they won the game. In the three losses, Herbert hasn’t been the reason the Bolts have lost and he kept them alive in all three of them. If the ball had bounced differently in those games, he could very easily be 3-0 as a starter.
The reason Los Angeles planned to have Taylor as the starter throughout the season was to give Herbert to sit and learn behind a veteran quarterback. The Oregon product has shown that he doesn’t necessarily need the mentoring, throwing for 931 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions through his first three starts. He’s exposing good defenses too, slicing through the Chiefs defense with ease and giving Tampa Bay’s D all they could handle.
Herbert might not be winning games, but the Chargers didn’t necessarily have playoff aspirations this year anyway, so just getting him valuable reps and him showing improvement is the best-case scenario for Los Angeles in 2020. If Lynn does indeed pull Herbert for a healthy Taylor, then his hot seat will deservedly get even hotter.