Fascinating games

5 takeaways from Chargers across 7 games

2. Justin Herbert threw the ball a lot

Much like the Bolts’ season as a whole, the Chargers’ offense has had its ups and downs over the course of seven games.

In four games, Herbert actually led the league with 1,250 passing yards. He’s currently third overall with 2,009 yards, but also leads the league with 308 attempts.

Simply put, Herbert throws the ball a ton this season.

However, whether it’s injuries (whether to other players or to Herbert himself), protection issues, a lack of running game (more on that below) or Other factors, the quarterback is not throwing the ball as much as the last two years. .

Herbert was in the top half of the league in his first two seasons in yards per attempt, averaging 7.3 in 2020 and 7.5 in 2021.

This year? Herbert is averaging just 6.5 yards per attempt, which ranks him 25th among all quarterbacks.

Again, injuries played a role in this, whether it was Herbert, Keenan Allen, Corey Linsley, Rashawn Slater or Jalen Guyton.

Now Mike Williams, a key deep threat, will likely miss at least four weeks with a sprained ankle.

Maybe the Bolts aren’t the high-octane team many thought pre-season, but there are other ways to win, too.

Getting Allen back will help, especially on third down and in the red zone, two areas that haven’t been as strong as they were a year ago.

And we will see in the last 10 games if Herbert and the attack push the ball down a bit more.

“I think Justin gives us a chance, every game, to win,” Staley said. “He’s as good as any player playing in the game right now.

“He’s improving and I know it’s probably one of the first times where a lot has happened around him, including himself in terms of dealing with an injury for the first time. “, continued Staley. “I think he’s been going through a lot of tough stuff that’s going on in the NFL and I think he’s who he’s always been.

“He’s poised, he’s steady. There’s no one who cares more than him,” Staley added. “I know he’s going to enjoy this week, rest and recharge and come back ready to train on Monday.”

3. Short distance situations need improvement

In the opening minutes Sunday, the Bolts missed a chance to capitalize on early turnover and momentum.

Moments after an opening interception from Kenneth Murray, Jr., the Chargers offense faced third-and-second on the Seattle 33-yard line.

Austin Ekeler gained a yard to bring in fourth and first, only to see Ekeler stopped short of the sticks for a turnover on the downs.

The Seahawks then gathered momentum, picking up 17 straight points to claim the win.

The two-game streak highlighted not only a tough running game, but also a season-long trend of the Chargers’ inability to take full advantage of short-range situations.

“We were mediocre in third and fourth down-and-short,” Staley said. “We’ve encountered a lot of them and our success rate is low, considering the advantage you have in these situations.”

Staley is right about the middle part of this quote.

The Bolts have faced third-and-1 or third-and-2 35 times in seven games, converting 19 of them for an average of 54.3 percent. It is no exaggeration to say that the mark should be higher.

The 35 such situations for the Chargers are the most of any team. Next up is Tampa Bay with 27 times, and the Buccaneers have converted 17 times for a 63% clip.

And there was also a spotlight on fourth downs. The Chargers are tied for 21st with a fourth rate of 41.18% (five conversions out of 12 attempts).

Overall, the Bolts faced 20 fourth downs that required one or two yards to convert. The Chargers have been there a dozen times, with six punts and two field goals.