With the 39-29 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chargers not only picked up the first victory in the Justin Herbert era, but they also ended a 4 game losing streak in what turned out to be a phenomenal game. Here are three quick takeaways from the game
3 Quick Takeaways From The Chargers Victory Over The Jaguars
Justin Herbert Can Ball
Yes, we know this seems to be the story every week since his debut, but it just seems a lot better when he balls and the Chargers win. Justin Herbert added yet another offensive rookie of the year resume building performance with a masterful game vs the Jaguars. He totaled 413 yards and 4 touchdowns with 0 turnovers and led the Chargers to their first win in 5 weeks as well as the first win of his young career.
Over the first five games of his career, Herbert became the first player since 1970 with over 1,500 yards and a passer rating of over 100. He is also displaying maturity and leadership beyond his years. Sure the dime to Virgil Green was incredible, so was the 70-yard beauty to Jalen Guyton, but the ability to round up the troops after blowing a 16 point lead, and leading them ahead, and then finishing the game definitely showed how much he has grown since his debut.
While this may have been vs the lowly Jaguars, wins like these can be the ones that change the vibe and inspire the locker room. Starting off 2-4 is not unknown to Anthony Lynn and the Chargers, in fact, it was just a few years ago when they started 0-4 and just barely missed out on the playoffs with a 9-7 record. This Herbert masterpiece might just be what the doctor ordered
Melvin Ingram’s Value Cannot Be Understated
Melvin Ingram who missed the last three games on the IR with a knee injury made his return to the field vs the Jaguars. One of the common issues of all the last 3 losses was a major lack of pass rush and overall pressuring of the QB. Over the past three weeks prior to this game, the Chargers mustered just 4 sacks and 15 QB hits in Ingram’s absence. In Sunday’s game alone, the Chargers racked up 5 sacks and 9 QB hits. The defense as a whole just looked a lot more dominant not allowing a single completion in the 2nd quarter, while the Jaguars managed to start producing a lot better after that, the defense was able to make the necessary stops to allow Herbert to give the Chargers the lead and consequently win the game; a huge reason for that was the pass rush.
In the final year of his contract, Melvin Ingram’s biggest selling point may have been in the games he didn’t play as his importance to this team is very evident and if the Chargers are to make a playoff push in the final half of the season, he, and the pass rush will be a huge factor.
The Chargers Or Michael Badgley Have To Make A Change
While the Chargers were ultimately able to win this game relatively comfortably, this game marked the second consecutive game where Michael Badgley has missed an extra point and the third straight game where he has missed a field goal. On field goals 40 yards or longer, he is just 4/7 on the year. While, luckily, the missed points didn’t lead to a loss on Sunday, the past few weeks where the games were extremely close including an OT loss to the Saints, the missed FG, and extra points were huge missed opportunities.
Badgley’s FG% has decreased every season since 2018, with his current rate at 70%. If the Chargers are to make a run at a playoff spot, they cannot be leaving points on the field and certainly cannot be missing extra points. Either Tom Telesco is going to have to make a change to the kicking department, or Badgley is going to have to change something whether it be mentally or in his kicking regiment so he can truly embody the Money Badger nickname.
Despite plenty of positive takeaways, there’s plenty of things the Chargers need to fix ahead of their upcoming division battle with the Denver Broncos.
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