Sunday’s game against the defending champions was filled with a whirlwind of emotions for onlooking fans. Undoubtedly one of the biggest waves of emotions came during the start of the game with Justin Herbert, not Tyrod Taylor, leading the team onto the field. The occurrence has led to fans asking the million-dollar question, has the Herbert Era officially begun?
No one saw the starting of Justin Herbert over Taylor happening so soon in the season. There were no rumors or reports throughout the week that even hinted at the idea, so it came as a huge shock not only Chargers fans but to the whole NFL. Even Herbert himself was caught off guard by the sudden change. It later became clear that Taylor was experiencing chest pains that made it difficult to breathe.
#Chargers statement: “Prior to kick off, Tyrod Taylor experienced difficulty breathing & was taken to the locker room for evaluation. He was transported to the hospital shortly thereafter to undergo further evaluation. Taylor (chest) has since been discharged from the hospital.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 21, 2020
While he was certainly surprised by the decision to give him the start, Herbert made the most of it. It only took him one drive to nab his first career touchdown.
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) September 20, 2020
Later on in the game, he added his first passing touchdown with a laser to Jalen Guyton in the second quarter. It was a brilliant audition for the former Oregon Duck who completed 22 of his 33 passes for 311 yards (1 passing touchdown) while rushing for 18 rushing yards and a touchdown. While it didn’t end in a Chargers’ win, taking a team like the Kansas City Chiefs to overtime in your first career start is an impressive debut.
Despite Herbert’s performance, head coach Anthony Lynn stated after the game that Tyrod Taylor is still the starter if 100% healthy. While Taylor does deserve another shot to show if he has anything to contribute, his disappointing performance against the lowly Cincinnati Bengals may be too hard to overlook for many fans. The Week 3 starter is still up in the air, but there have already been calls by many fans to stick with the future. Despite a few rookie mistakes, Herbert seems ready to take on the task of leading the Chargers this season.