Justin Herbert started his first NFL game Sunday, and while he didn’t get the win, he may have won the Chargers’ starting-quarterback job.
Playing for an injured Tyrod Taylor, Herbert finished 22-of-33 for 311 yards, one touchdown and an interception in a 23-20 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Herbert showed poise and mobility, running for an early touchdown.
Is there any chance the Chargers bench Herbert for Taylor (chest) once the 31-year-old is healthy?
Former NFL offensive lineman and current analyst Geoff Schwartz says no.
“You’re playing Justin Herbert,” Schwartz said on The DA Show. “I don’t know why this is a question. I get [people] want to be respectful to Tyrod Taylor. I guess he was in the hospital, [and] I believe he was discharged yesterday. But how do you watch Justin Herbert play that game and think, ‘You know what? Can’t start this guy anymore.’”
Herbert, 22, was the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft. Schwartz is a big fan of his.
“I’m a Herbert guy,” he said. “He went to Oregon, I went to Oregon – I’ve watched every rep of his. I’m not going to gloat after one game. That’s silly. I don’t ever really do that with any payer. It’s a long season. It’s a long career. But I told anyone that would listen that when you put Justin Herbert in an offense that’s more friendly to his skillset with professional wide receivers, he will play a lot better.”
Herbert led the Chargers to a 17-6 lead over the defending Super Bowl champions Sunday, but he threw a costly pick that allowed Kansas City to get back in the game.
“He can learn from that, but otherwise he looked fabulous,” Schwartz said. “His touch was a little bit off on some of those underneath throws because he just throws a rocket. But he was poised; he did not have any issues with coverage; he ran the ball well, which he wasn’t allowed to do much in college but can do; the Chargers offense looked much better against a championship-winning defense. The Chiefs defense is good. I don’t know how you can go back to Tyrod Taylor. I know that Anthony Lynn likes Tyrod Taylor and Tyrod Taylor seems like a great mentor, a great player, but this is it. This is what happens. He got hurt, Herbert came in – play Herbert, man. I don’t know why you would go back to Tyrod.”
The Chargers (1-1) host the Panthers (0-2) this Sunday. Kickoff is at 4:05 p.m. ET.