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The Chargers’ rookie quarterback had another banner night, guiding the team to an overtime win over the Thief. But it’s becoming clear that L.A. needs a change at the top to unlock this squad’s potential.
Every time the Chargers win a football match, it feels like they have to overcome two teams: their antagonists, and themselves. That was certainly the example Thursday night, when L.A. eventually prevailed over the Raiders, 30 -2 7, in a tumultuous overtime play that peculiarity a number of miscues, bad decisions, and bizarre instants that roughly fluctuate the ebb in favor of Las Vegas.
Los Angeles feels like they should be a better football crew than their now 5-9 record would indicate, and that’s largely due to the play of quarterback Justin Herbert. Herbert is having one of the best rookie seasons in league history, and he shined again tonight. Without receiver Mike Williams, and with star wideout Keenan Allen restriction, Herbert had to spread the ball around more than customary. No receiver had more than five catches, though Herbert concluded the product he needed in Jalen Guyton( four catches, 91 gardens ), Hunter Henry( five catches, 65 gardens, one touchdown ), and Tyron Johnson( three catches, 61 grounds, one touchdown ). Herbert finished video games with 314 overtaking yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score on the ground.
Yet the Chargers are reluctant to unleash Herbert. Head coach Anthony Lynn never certainly wanted to start the rookie, instead demanding for weeks that Tyrod Taylor would return to the job as soon as he got healthful, even as Herbert continued to tear up protections on the field. He didn’t commit to Herbert until after Week 4. That reluctance–and controversial in-game coaching decisions all year–have combined to acquire Lynn’s seat warm. And despite Thursday’s win, the Chargers’ performance against the Raiders did nothing to make the temperature down.
The Chargers aren’t truly cursed, they just conclude tons of mistakes. In this activity, the errors began with a reluctance to unleash Herbert. Los Angeles carried a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter, and seemingly came self-complacent. Herbert had just three dropbacks in that one-quarter, and only got a pass off on one of them( the other two ended in a rushing attempt and a bag ). L.A. missed a would-be go-ahead field goal midway through the fourth part, and on their next self-possession they … too apparently played for a field goal, announcing two passages in a row before Herbert was sacked on third down. They adjudicated for the field goal( though not before Lynn frosted his own kicker) and missed that one too. The Chargers came into tonight with the worst special teams DVOA in football by a very large margin–the team should know by now to never trust its kickers.
The second field goal miss gave the Raiders a chance to win in the fourth quarter, entrust the dance back to Las Vegas with 53 seconds away. But the Looters meandered down the field with little urging before stringing up for a would-be 65 -yard attempt. Then this happened 😛 TAGEND
Os @Raiders iam tentar acertar o Field Goal mais longo da historia da NFL, mas o Punter( e Holder) AJ Cole sofreu o Fumble emblem no Snap e NOS VAMOS PARA A PRORROGACAO! #NFLBrasil #LACvsLV #NFLnaESPN pic.twitter.com/ Pypl5XbwB 1
— NFL Brasil (@ NFLBrasil) December 18, 2020
It was like the Raiders were trying to pull their best impression of the Chargers, who were already acting like themselves and frankly did not need the company. All in all, the fourth one-fourth was a masterpiece in how not to triumph a football game.
Overtime wasn’t much better. The Raiders started with the projectile, and were able to dink and dunk their style late into Chargers territory. After 13 – and 17 -yard ranges from Marcus Mariota, who was filling in for the injured Derek Carr, Las Vegas found itself with first-and-goal from the Chargers’ 4-yard word. But rather than stick with the read-option represents that were gashing the L.A. protection( Mariota finished the darknes with 88 rushing yards ), the Raiders opted to give the ball to Josh Jacobs … and he proceeded to run into a brick wall of blue-and-yellow-clad supporters. Jacobs gained negative-1 grounds on two charges, and on third-and-goal Mariota’s pass fell incomplete( during all of this, the Chargers give potentially crucial seconds tick off the clock before Lynn recognized he needed to call a timeout ). The Raiders kicked a 23 -yard field goal and yielded the ball back with more than three minutes left on the clock.
Two plays into the Chargers’ drive, the Raiders committed a pass-interference penalty that endowed L.A. 20 grounds. Then Herbert noticed Guyton for 53 😛 TAGEND
— Bleacher Report (@ BleacherReport) December 18, 2020
That set up the Chargers with first-and-goal, but this game wasn’t done with the theatre. The Chargers called a quarterback scope on first down, and a questionable penalty endowed the Chargers another first. Then Herbert fumbled the football on a QB sneak that failed to find the end zone( it was recovered by a Charger in the end zone, but due to the Holy Roller rule, only the offensive player who fumbled can advance a football–as both the Raiders and Chargers know well ). The next comedy was also a smuggle, but this time Herbert determined paydirt–barely.
Herbert was able to overcome the questionable in-game decisions of his head coach tonight, but the mismanagement happens regularly. The Chargers are out of playoff polemic, and now the big question is whether Herbert and Co. can win enough games to save Lynn’s job. It is likely to be best for the Chargers long-term if they didn’t.
In-game coaching errors happen almost every week for Los Angeles. Last-place week the Chargers lost line of what down it was at the end of the second half, expenditure them three points that could have been crucial( L.A. did go on to win, but scarcely ):
I’ve never seen a squad worse when it comes to clock management than this Chargers squad under Anthony Lynn. This is inexcusable and happens every week. pic.twitter.com/ P8 B1060dvc
— Arash Markazi (@ ArashMarkazi) December 13, 2020
Here’s a same error against the Bills in late November 😛 TAGEND
QB IS SNEAKING WHEN O-LINE IS DROPPING IN PASS PROFIRE EVERYONE pic.twitter.com/ 633 syvqRNr
— Warren Sharp (@ SharpFootball) November 29, 2020
Yes, the Chargers were trailing by 10 with merely three seconds left( so they didn’t precisely have opportunities to win ), but they were only in such a gloomy situation because of all the other errors they built on that drive. These each type of blunders have cost the Chargers numerous games this season; including tonight, they’re now 4-7 in one-score tournaments on the season. Tonight it took some similar snafus from the opposing crew for the Chargers to emerge victorious–but L.A. shouldn’t count on squads being as incompetent as they are to winning football games.
At 5-9, L.A. is out of playoff contention, but it’s not really because of a lack of talent. In fact, this Chargers squad has everything it needs to grow into a challenger abruptly. Herbert looks like a surefire ace. Tonight he held the rookie record for touchdown extends( with 27) and he still has two recreations left to play. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are a wide receiver duo that most teams would be jealous to have, and this tournament goes to show that the pass-catchers behind them are nothing to sneeze at either. Austin Ekeler is one of the most dynamic running backs in football, and the security is anchored by Joey Bosa. Most importantly, Herbert is on an inexpensive rookie bargain, represent the Chargers are primary to shore up the holes on their roster( primarily the offensive pipeline) and make an all-in propagandize in the course of the coming few years.
Should the Chargers move on from Lynn this offseason, they will have the most attractive coaching job on world markets. Should they choose to keep Lynn, they’ll be making a mistake.
Read more: theringer.com