From time to time, Chargers heart Corey Linsley will marvel how the ball presumably might have traveled from Justin Herbert’s hand to its eventual vacation spot. The seek for solutions often prompts Linsley to lift his eyes skyward, within the path of the oval-shaped video board that’s suspended from SoFi Stadium’s translucent ceiling.
“We’re always watching replays if something happens,” Linsley mentioned with amusing.
Sufficient occurred Sunday for the 120-yard-long digital show to be renamed HerbertImaginative and prescient, the third-year quarterback passing for 279 yards and three touchdowns within the Chargers’ season-opening, 24-19 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.
The story of the sport was how the Chargers’ revamped protection intercepted three of Derek Carr’s passes and registered six sacks, together with three by newcomer Khalil Mack.
However let’s be clear: The first purpose the Chargers have any likelihood of reaching the Tremendous Bowl is Herbert, who’s now in his third yr of constructing the extraordinary really feel routine.
On the danger at sounding repetitive, Herbert actually can play.
He’s the perfect quarterback in a metropolis during which the opposite NFL workforce is the defending Tremendous Bowl champion. Now in his third yr, he very properly might be the perfect quarterback in your complete league.
Reflecting on Herbert’s efficiency, security Derwin James Jr. ended up arguing with himself over which of the Professional Bowler’s passes have been the perfect.
James initially pointed to a 42-yard completion within the second quarter during which Herbert delivered the ball down the appropriate sideline over two retreating defenders to Keenan Allen, who had a security closing in on him from the wrong way.
James shortly reconsidered and supplied one other attainable selection: A 23-yard landing strike to DeAndre Carter that break up a double workforce later in the identical quarter.
“That was a dot right there,” James mentioned.
Carter had changed Allen, who departed the sport with a strained hamstring.
If Herbert displayed his precision on the ball to Allen and arm power on the throw to Carter, his athleticism and improvisational items have been demonstrated on an 18-yard landing go to Gerald Everett within the third quarter.
Herbert was flushed to his left on a busted play. Pursued by security Johnathan Abram, Herbert opened up his throwing shoulder and unleashed a throw down the sideline to Everett’s again shoulder. The position was vital, as security Roderic Teamer was between Everett and the tip zone. Everett made the catch and powered his well beyond Teamer.
“I’m amazed every time, man,” James mentioned. “I’m just like you, man, when I’m watching him play, every day in practice, his daily habits, and when he gets out there and slings it with the defense coming at him, I mean, it’s like no other.”
Coach Brandon Staley praised Herbert for a way he managed the sport, enjoying his half to protect what was as soon as a 24-10 lead.
“The best thing he did was lead our team today,” Staley mentioned. “He led our team today and kept our team together. Then, to finish with the ball there at the end of the game, protecting the ball, good operation between him and Corey [Linsley] the whole day.”
Herbert accomplished 26 of 34 passes, none of which have been intercepted. He wasn’t sacked.
If solely Herbert’s on-field persona might be mirrored in his postgame information conferences.
Herbert remained his typical low-key self after the sport.
He mentioned of the beforehand talked about completion to Allen, “Two defenders heading with him not looking back at me, so you play it as if they’re not there.”
He deflected credit score for his landing go to Carter to the receiver, saying, “It was an incredible catch by him. It was low and he went down for it and caught it.”
Operating again Austin Ekeler chuckled when recalling that throw to Carter.
“His cannon typically looks very good,” Ekeler mentioned of Herbert.
Ekeler talked about the affect of the newcomers corresponding to Mack, Bryce Callahan, Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson.
“The defense got turnovers,” Ekeler mentioned, “so they’re giving us extra opportunities.”
And that, in flip, will create further highlights from Herbert for video board operations to indicate on their 360-degree, two-sided screens. Sunday was the beginning of a busy season for them.