Justin Herbert Shines in Unexpected Debut; Chargers Fall to Chiefs in OT, 20-17

By Matthew Zimmer

Justin Herbert impressed the NFL world on Sunday when he was thrust into the LA Chargers starting quarterback role.

Tyrod Taylor, QB1 for LA, experienced chest pain and “difficulty breathing” pregame, that eventually sent him to the hospital. So, Herbert got the call from head coach Anthony Lynn, but he didn’t believe him right away.

“I think he thought I was joking,” Lynn said. “I had to tell him a couple times, ‘No, seriously, you’re the starting quarterback.’ Once he realized he was the guy, he was fine.”

Yeah he was. Herbert earned praise from CBS Analyst Tony Romo throughout the game broadcast.


In his first drive, Herbert marched the Chargers down the field, and he ran in his first NFL touchdown from four yards out.

Herbert continued to dazzle as the Chargers led the Chiefs 7-6. Then, he increased the lead with his first NFL TD pass, becoming the first player since 1954 with a passing and rushing touchdown in the first half of their NFL debut.

Then, he flashed the pinpoint accuracy on the first LA drive of the second half, leading to a field goal.

Herbert’s next drive, he threw his first interception. The worst part was he could have picked up the first down with a run, but threw it deep down field into double coverage.

The Chiefs then went 95 yards to score their second TD of the game and erase the Chargers lead completely with a two-point conversion 17-17.

However, Herbert was unfazed. He led LA on a 17-play, 85-yard drive that lasted over 10 minutes (10:21) which only resulted in a field goal. 20-17 LA.

He more than held his own throughout the game and received praise from teammates postgame.

Unfortunately, in the end Patrick Mahomes did Patrick Mahomes things and led the Chiefs on a quick drive to tie the game and send it to overtime.

The Chargers faced a 4th-and-1 on their side of midfield, and they decided to punt back to Mahomes. LA received plenty of backlash for choosing to punt to Mahomes, for good reason.

Kansas City had scored on their last three possessions, so it was pretty easy to assume they could score again to win the game. Which they did.

So, Herbert’s first NFL start ended in a loss, but he showed why he deserved to be picked No. 6 overall last April.

Sadly for Herbert fans, head coach Anthony Lynn confirmed after the game that when Tyrod Taylor is healthy, he’ll be the starter again.

“I’m gonna wait and see what type of health Tyrod is in,” the Chargers coach said. “He was our starter for a reason, and if he’s 100 percent, ready to go, he’s our starter. But I know that Justin can pick up the slack if he can’t.”

Oh well, at least we got to see he can go toe-to-toe with Mahomes.

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