Get ready Chargers fans, the Justin Herbert era is here! Although his debut came much sooner than many anticipated, Herbert showed in his first NFL start last Sunday that he was ready to roll.
With a full week of preparation this time around, LA should be better situated than they were with all of the last-minute changes they had against the Chiefs. Let’s take a look at what they need to do in order to come away with a victory against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
3. Give Herbert Time in the Pocket
Players making their NFL debut usually show signs of nervousness or inexperience, but don’t tell that to Justin Herbert. On short notice, all he did was throw for 311 yards and score a rushing touchdown. Sure, he had his moments where his rookie status was on full display, but don’t let that fool you.
Herbert is the real deal and should be the team’s starting QB the rest of the way, but he is still a rookie who is learning on the fly. In order to give him the best chance of success, the Offensive line needs to give him as much time in the pocket to find his receivers. And if all else fails, at least we know that he can scramble and run with the best of them.
— NFL (@NFL) September 20, 2020
2. Let Ekeler and Kelley Shine
If there were ever a game to focus on the running game, this would be it. Not only will Herbert be acclimating himself into the offense still, but the Panthers rush defense has looked vulnerable as well. In last week’s matchup against the Bucs, the Panthers defense allowed an average 5.5 yards per carry and 3 rushing touchdowns. Needless to say, Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley should see a healthy amount of work if the Chargers plan on exploiting this weakness.
1. Put the Pressure on Bridgewater
Already struggling in the early going, the Panthers were dealt another blow with the loss of star running back Christian McCaffrey for a few weeks due to injury. And while Mike Davis is a competent replacement, he is nowhere near the workhorse that McCaffrey is. On top of that, Davis is more of a receiving threat than an up the middle runner. All of this spells out a passing heavy day for Teddy Bridgewater, who has put up some monster passing yard totals but without any results to show for it. With the Chargers boasting a much stronger defensive front than the Bucs, this should be an area where LA dominates all game long.
- Carolina Panthers @ Los Angeles Chargers
- Sunday, September 27th @ 1:05 PT on CBS