justin herbert oregon

Is Herbert ROY material?

Chargers' rookie might be cornerstone of LA fanbase
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

Justin Herbert has not been the ticket to victory this season for the Los Angeles Chargers.

But, he certainly hasn't been boring.

Since taking over as starting quarterback in Week 2, the rookie out of Oregon has had the Chargers basically one play away from winning every weekend, even though all-but-one of the weekends has ended in a loss.

Entering Sunday's game at Miami, the Chargers are 2-6 and in last place in the AFC West, having lost all three games against division opponents. Those losses, though, were by a combined total of nine points, including an overtime loss to defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City.

It's not hard to see Herbert as the top candidate for Rookie of the Year as he's averaging 330 yards per game with 17 touchdowns against five interceptions. 

Sunday's game pits Herbert against another rookie - Tua Tagovialoa, who has led the Dolphins to a pair of victories the past two weeks. Miami enters the game at 5-3, and in second place in the AFC East coming off a 34-31 win at Arizona. The Dolphins won the game with a 50-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter, then survived a field-goal miss by the Cardinals.

So far, the Dolphins have been making plays to win, especially on defense, while the Chargers have not. Los Angeles has lost three times after leading by 14 points or more. The game will be carried by FOX at 1:05 p.m.

Herbert's top competition is likely Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow, who has had a similar season leading the Bengals to a 2-5-1 record. Burrow is averaging 300 yards per game with 11 touchdown passes against five interceptions. The Bengals have lost four games by one score or less, including their season-opener to the Chargers, who were quarterbacked by Tyrod Taylor. When Taylor suffered an injury just prior to the team's Week 2 game with Kansas City, Herbert stepped in and has not let go, inspite of the frustrating results.

Herbert's one win came over Jacksonville, 39-29, a game in which the Chargers led 16-0, fell behind 29-22, then rallied with 17 consecutive points.

With the second half of the season looming, another Oregon-based quarterback is getting a shot at making a name for himself - Jake Luton of Oregon State. Luton, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, very nearly led an improbable comeback Sunday against Houston only to have a two-point conversion go awry with 1:30 left in a 27-25 loss. Making his first start, Luton hit 26 of 38 passes with one touchdown and one interception. He also ran for a score - 13 yards for the potential tying points.

Jacksonville plays at Green Bay Sunday at 10 a.m. with the game set to be carried by FOX.

 

 

Herbert gets taste of NFL struggle

The Chargers were poised to win in his first start, but ...
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

Former Oregon football great Justin Herbert had a near-fantastic introduction to the NFL Sunday, nearly leading the Los Angeles Chargers past the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in a surprise start, including leading his team to a touchdown on his opening drive in the league.

Trouble is, the outcome was a loss in overtime, and it showcased why the Chargers are likely to help him to a shorten career, one marked by continued disappointment often regardless of his progress and skill.

The Chargers are just not a good team, and the franchise hasn't been much of a marquee franchise since former Oregon great Dan Fouts played there from 1973 to 1984 - twice reaching the AFC championship game. The team has played in the Super Bowl just once, losing to San Francisco in 1994.

Herbert and his team performed well enough to win - they made it to overtime. But almost is still a loss, and for reasons easy to point to starting with Herbert. In one of the key plays of the game, with his team leading in the third quarter and nearing a first down after scrambling from the pocket, Herbert chose to throw a long pass against his body into a bull market of KC defenders. It turned into an interception at the 5-yard line, which the Chiefs and quarterback Pat Mahomes turned into a 95-yard touchdown drive in just six plays to tie the game at 17.

The Chargers then had a spectacular 17-play drive that lasted more than 10 minutes. But, with first down at the KC 4, the Chargers ran twice up the middle for no yards and Herbert got sacked leading to a 23-yard field goal. KC then drove for a field goal that tied the game at the end of regulation.

LA's play calling coddled Herbert to an amazing degree, even though he finished by completing 22 of 33 passes for 311 yards and one 14-yard touchdown pass that gave the Chargers a 14-6 halftime lead. Almost all of the passes Herbert completed were shorter than 10 yards with extra yards produced by the receiver. That's play-calling for an untested rookie, which is a good thing on the Chargers' part.

The Chargers produced 482 yards of offense - an amazing total for any team in any game. But, they scored only 20 points - a head-scratcher of an outcome.

LA's defense even performed admirably. Despite giving up 414 yards of offense, it stymied Mahomes time and again. But, the Chargers were called for offsides numerous times, which benefitted the Chiefs time and again, including wiping out an interception in the fourth quarter.

The biggest play-call of the game for LA might easily have been fourth-and-1 at the Chargers' 34 on the first drive of overtime. With CBS color commentator urging LA coach Anthony Lynn to throw caution to the wind and go for the first down, which I was basically screaming for at my home office, Lynn chose to punt and the Chiefs drove for a winning field goal. Granted the field goal was a 58-yard attempt, but that's the difference in the two franchises these days. The Chiefs do what's needed to win, while the Chargers do what's needed to almost win.

And, this is inspite of the Chargers winning in their season opener on the road in Cincinatti 16-13, against first-time starter Joe Burrow. The win was with veteran Tyrod Taylor at quarterback and featured the team racking up 362 yards. Again, though, the team scored just 16 points.

LA is headed for a one frustrating season, and without Taylor getting hurt what fans saw Sunday is likely to be the biggest highlight of Herbert's rookie season, which featured short-pass completion after short-pass completion. At least, though, receivers caught the passes, something that dogged former Oregon great Joey Harrington in his career with the Detroit Lions.

Good luck Justin. Hopefully, Sunday's game is the start of a great career with a franchise that desperately needs the results of a quarterback having a great career - turning almost wins into actual wins.

 

Herbert gets taste of NFL struggle

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 6:27am
Cliff Pfenning
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Former Oregon football great Justin Herbert had a near-fantastic introduction to the NFL Sunday, nearly leading the Los Angeles Chargers past the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in a surprise start, including leading his team to a touchdown on his opening drive in the league.

Trouble is, the outcome was a loss in overtime, and it showcased why the Chargers are likely to help him to a shorten career, one marked by continued disappointment often regardless of his progress and skill.

The Chargers are just not a good team, and the franchise hasn't been much of a marquee franchise since former Oregon great Dan Fouts played there from 1973 to 1984 - twice reaching the AFC championship game. The team has played in the Super Bowl just once, losing to San Francisco in 1994.

Herbert and his team performed well enough to win - they made it to overtime. But almost is still a loss, and for reasons easy to point to starting with Herbert. In one of the key plays of the game, with his team leading in the third quarter and nearing a first down after scrambling from the pocket, Herbert chose to throw a long pass against his body into a bull market of KC defenders. It turned into an interception at the 5-yard line, which the Chiefs and quarterback Pat Mahomes turned into a 95-yard touchdown drive in just six plays to tie the game at 17.

The Chargers then had a spectacular 17-play drive that lasted more than 10 minutes. But, with first down at the KC 4, the Chargers ran twice up the middle for no yards and Herbert got sacked leading to a 23-yard field goal. KC then drove for a field goal that tied the game at the end of regulation.

LA's play calling coddled Herbert to an amazing degree, even though he finished by completing 22 of 33 passes for 311 yards and one 14-yard touchdown pass that gave the Chargers a 14-6 halftime lead. Almost all of the passes Herbert completed were shorter than 10 yards with extra yards produced by the receiver. That's play-calling for an untested rookie, which is a good thing on the Chargers' part.

The Chargers produced 482 yards of offense - an amazing total for any team in any game. But, they scored only 20 points - a head-scratcher of an outcome.

LA's defense even performed admirably. Despite giving up 414 yards of offense, it stymied Mahomes time and again. But, the Chargers were called for offsides numerous times, which benefitted the Chiefs time and again, including wiping out an interception in the fourth quarter.

The biggest play-call of the game for LA might easily have been fourth-and-1 at the Chargers' 34 on the first drive of overtime. With CBS color commentator urging LA coach Anthony Lynn to throw caution to the wind and go for the first down, which I was basically screaming for at my home office, Lynn chose to punt and the Chiefs drove for a winning field goal. Granted the field goal was a 58-yard attempt, but that's the difference in the two franchises these days. The Chiefs do what's needed to win, while the Chargers do what's needed to almost win.

And, this is inspite of the Chargers winning in their season opener on the road in Cincinatti 16-13, against first-time starter Joe Burrow. The win was with veteran Tyrod Taylor at quarterback and featured the team racking up 362 yards. Again, though, the team scored just 16 points.

LA is headed for a one frustrating season, and without Taylor getting hurt what fans saw Sunday is likely to be the biggest highlight of Herbert's rookie season, which featured short-pass completion after short-pass completion. At least, though, receivers caught the passes, something that dogged former Oregon great Joey Harrington in his career with the Detroit Lions.

Good luck Justin. Hopefully, Sunday's game is the start of a great career with a franchise that desperately needs the results of a quarterback having a great career - turning almost wins into actual wins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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