(CBSLA)- After another disappointing loss this past Sunday, 29-21 against the Miami Dolphins, the Chargers sit at 2-7 with not much hope of making a playoff run down the stretch. But, while the team has struggled to put wins on the board, rookie quarterback Justin Herbert has been everything they had hoped when they selected him with the 10th overall pick in this year's draft.
"The one thing that stands out is he's been very consistent. That's unusual for a rookie quarterback. He's gone out and played at a high level each week, taking care of the football and putting up impressive numbers. He's throwing for 300 yards every week, he hasn't turned the ball over very much," said NFL on CBS analyst Rich Gannon. "He's been very good in situational football whether it's 2:00 offense, 3rd down, the red zone. He makes quick decisions, the ball is out fast and he's very accurate. For a bigger quarterback, he's got very good mobility, he runs for a couple of first downs every week. He's got good toughness."
Herbert has put himself in the company of some of the league's best QBs throughout the season from a statistical standpoint. In Sunday's game against the Dolphins, he set a new rookie record for multi-touchdown games with his sixth straight.
Still, Gannon, who is on the call for this Sunday's matchup with the New York Jets, says Herbert needs to be better late in games as does the team as a whole.
"The problem is for Justin Herbert, he's 1-7 as a starter. He's got to play better late in games, the offense has to play better late in games. And the defense? The defense has given up 29 or more points in six straight games and they seem to fall apart late in games," said Gannon. "That's something that Anthony Lynn has to take a close look at. When you look at this team, the losses late in games. They have lost 16 one possession games since 2019, that's the most by a lot."
Every one of the Chargers losses this season has been by one possession. They're 1-7 in such games this season with the only win coming in the opening week against the Cincinnati Bengals with Tyrod Taylor under center. This Sunday would seem to present a perfect opportunity to end the losing streak and add another W against the winless Jets. The Chargers enter the game as 8.5 point favorites.
After that, wins might be a bit more challenging to come by with the Bills (7-3) and Patriots (4-5) on deck. Still, games against the Falcons (3-6) and Broncos (3-6) remain. There's still plenty to watch for down the stretch as a young quarterback continues to mature and, hopefully, learn how to win games at the NFL level.
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