From the very first drive, even the casual fan could tell that this Chargers team looked different.
On their opening drive, the offense looked varied and well-scripted. Justin Herbert seemed to have all day in the pocket to pick apart the Washington secondary and they ended the drive with a three-yard touchdown run by Austin Ekeler.
For a team that struggled to ever score on their opening attempt, run the ball, or consistently put up points once they reached the red zone, Sunday morning was a refreshing experience.
It was also nice to have lead in the fourth quarter that remained a lead when the clock ticked to zero.
For their impressive and gutsy performance in week one, CBS Sports’ John Breech gave the Chargers a “B+.” Here’s what he had to say:
“Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert picked up right where he left off last year. The 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year opened up his 2021 season with a performance that included 337 passing yards and one TD. The Chargers were basically able to move the ball at will, which was mildly surprising, considering they were going up against what’s supposed to be one of the best defenses in the NFL this year. Keenan Allen came up big for the Chargers with nine catches for 100 yards. The only reason the Chargers didn’t get an ‘A’ here is because they had an ugly day in the red zone. On six trips inside Washington’s 20, they were only able to score two touchdowns. Two of the drives ended with turnovers by Herbert and the other two ended with short field goals by Tristan Vizcaino.”
I don’t think I can argue with any of Breech’s points. The Chargers were really good for the majority of the day. Unfortunately, those issues in the red zone are still a problem. Last season, the Bolts were the only top-10 offense to average less than 25.6 points per game. They averaged an even 24.0. Seven of the top-10 offenses averaged at least 27.0 points per game which really paints a clearer picture on how the lack of field goal conversions by Michale Badgley affected the offense by the end of the season.
At the end of the day, the Chargers kept their composure from start to finish. There’s a handful of things they could improve on before next week, but that’s a far cry from their usual laundry list of corrections they’ve been used to.