The Los Angeles Chargers came into the 2022 season as a popular dark horse Super Bowl contender. If they are going to live up to those expectations, they have their work cut out for them as they are 6-6 and currently outside the playoff field.
If they are going to make a run at the postseason, the Chargers are going to need Justin Herbert to play at a high level. A lot has been put on his shoulders this season as teammates have dropped like flies around him but he has remained in the lineup despite dealing with a rib injury of his own.
This week’s matchup is going to garner a ton of attention. Herbert will be facing off against the Miami Dolphins, whose starting quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, was selected one spot ahead of Herbert in the 2020 NFL Draft. They will be linked forever as a result of that as people have actively debated if the Dolphins made the right decision.
While some believe that their ceiling would be higher with Herbert under center, it is hard to argue against the results. Tagovailoa has never had a losing record in his career and is 21-10 thus far in his career. Herbert hasn’t been nearly as productive when it comes to winning, spending a large portion of his career under the .500 mark as he is 21-23 thus far in his career.
That is a bit concerning, as his 23 losses are the second most in the NFL since 2020. The only player who has lost more is Matt Ryan, who has been defeated 28 times during that span.
While only quarterbacks are saddled with wins and losses, football is a team sport. Unlike basketball where a single player can take over and lead his team to some wins, Herbert needs help to get victories as there is only so much he can do to control the outcome of a game.
He has put up some big stats in his career out of necessity as the Chargers’ defenses have been abysmal during his time in the NFL. They are trending toward having one of the worst defensive units in the league again, a concern given the fact that Brandon Staley was a defensive coordinator before taking over as head coach.
Had the Chargers had even an average defense or stronger coaching staff, his record would be much different. Herbert remains one of the best young talents in the league, but he needs more help, especially on defense, for his record to turn around.