Healthy dose of actuality for injured Chargers: They’re mediocre

The Chargers are unraveling.

What different conclusion might be reached after what they did Sunday, utterly outplayed of their stadium by an opponent they need to have crushed?

It’d be one factor if their 37-23 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks at SoFi Stadium was some sort of fluke.

It wasn’t.

Simply 4 weeks earlier, the Chargers had been humiliated right here by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Blame Justin Herbert’s torn rib cartilage. Blame any of the opposite accidents. Blame the protection.

Regardless of the motive, the Chargers don’t seem like a Tremendous Bowl crew.

They’re seven weeks into the season and so they nonetheless haven’t crushed anybody value mentioning.

They’ll’t hold their key gamers on the sector, as cornerback J.C. Jackson and receiver Mike Williams grew to become the newest gamers to go down, with coach Brandon Staley calling Jackson’s proper knee harm “significant.” The NFL Community’s Ian Rapoport reported that Jackson dislocated his kneecap.

Seattle’s Marquise Goodwin (11) catches a landing move after Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson (27) fell due to an injured knee.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Instances)

They’d an opportunity to increase their profitable streak to 4 video games and enhance to 5-2 however will head into their off week with a 4-3 file.

From the lectern within the interview room, Staley tried to recreate the speech he delivered to his crew after their most up-to-date setback.

“We’re 4-3,” Staley mentioned. “The reality is that through seven games, we’ve had to fight really hard to be 4-3. We’ve endured a lot.”

Whereas Staley went on to remind his gamers their season was nonetheless in entrance of them, the preamble to his postgame monologue was an acknowledgement of an issue that might destroy their visions of glory that may rework their franchise.

They don’t have the our bodies, particularly on offense.

The state of their crew was mirrored in Herbert.

Herbert has downplayed the harm he sustained within the Week 3 loss to the Jaguars however remains to be harm.

With Rashawn Slater out indefinitely as he recovers from biceps surgical procedure, Herbert was protected Sunday by rookie Jamaree Salyer, a sixth-round decide.

The Chargers' Mike Williams (81) grimaces in pain as training staff looks over him after the receiver injured his ankle.

The Chargers’ Mike Williams (81) grimaces in ache as coaching employees seems to be over him after the receiver injured his ankle.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Instances)

Herbert’s No. 1 receiver, Keenan Allen, was restricted to a half after lacking the earlier 5 video games with a strained hamstring.

His next-most-reliable receiver, Williams, went down within the fourth quarter with an ankle harm.

The outcome: the sometimes superlative Herbert seemed totally atypical.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t execute the way we wanted to today,” Herbert mentioned. “Turned the ball over a couple times and you can’t expect to do that and win games in the NFL.”

Herbert was liable for each turnovers, a what-are-you-doing interception on the opening drive and a fumble later within the first quarter.

The errors contributed to a 17-0 deficit.

This was the third consecutive sport during which the Chargers had been behind by 10 or extra factors within the opening interval, solely this time they weren’t taking part in the Cleveland Browns or Denver Broncos.

Working again Austin Ekeler blamed the crew’s incapability to determine any sort of floor sport.

“We were pretty one-dimensional today,” Ekeler mentioned.

However how a lot of that needed to do with the Seahawks not fearing Herbert as a lot as they might if he had been wholesome?

Or with backup operating again Joshua Kelley now on injured reserve with a knee harm?

And what in regards to the protection?

Joey Bosa can also be on the IR — he’s recovering from a groin operation — however the unit was comparatively unscathed till Jackson went down within the second quarter.

The three wins after the loss to the Jaguars all of a sudden look as in the event that they had been the product of a good schedule, the triumphs coming in opposition to the 1-4-1 Houston Texans, 2-5 Browns and 2-5 Broncos.

Contemplating every little thing that’s occurred, did Staley really feel relieved or disenchanted to be 4-3 at this stage?

“I don’t think today is the time to reflect,” Staley mentioned. “Today I’m just really focused on how we played today in today’s game and it wasn’t good enough. Like I said, I gotta make sure I do a better job with this team. I thought we played fantastic on Monday night [against the Broncos], really showed the type of team that we can be, and today, in all three phases, it wasn’t good enough. That starts with me.”

Truly, it begins with well being, and there’s nothing Staley can do about that.