Regardless of how the Chargers season went — and inevitably ended — no one can argue that they weren’t one of the most-entertaining teams to watch throughout the entire 2021 regular season. Whether it was Justin Herbert’s late-game heroics, Joey Bosa’s pristine nose for the strip sack, or...again Justin Herbert’s late-game heroics, there was always something to tune in for whenever the Bolts took the field.
That’s why it should come as no surprise that the Chargers appeared twice on NFL.com’s recently published list of the top-10 games from this past season. Even less surprising should be that both games were against AFC rivals.
Coming in at number six is the Chargers second game of the season against the Chiefs where they ended up falling in overtime 34-28 inside SoFi Stadium.
That game featured plenty of big plays by either team, including two momentum-shifting plays almost back-to-back in Uchenna Nwosu’s interception of Patrick Mahomes inside the Chiefs’ 20-yard line and Josh Kelley’s goal-line fumble. In total, the Chargers ran 12 plays inside the five-yard line with none of them resulting in a touchdown. That’s tied for the most such plays in a game in the past 30 years.
Now I’m surprised this one didn’t earn the top spot, but the Chargers regular season finale against the Raiders comes in at number two, behind only the Bills-Chiefs game from the postseason.
In the fourth quarter, Herbert turned into an Avenger and single-handedly kept the his team in the fight until the very end as he completed six fourth-down throws, including the game-tying touchdown to send both teams into overtime. He finished with 383 yards and three touchdowns which helped him end the regular season as one of only two quarterbacks to throw for over 5,000 yards.
(2/3) #Chargers game-tying TD drive vs #Raiders by Justin Herbert as time expires:— Dan W. (@ChargersHomer) January 11, 2022
Drive 2: 19 plays, 83 yds, 2:06
7 (!) QB pressures
Missed play by Ekeler
4 drops pic.twitter.com/JCJL3Xqcz0
Sadly, the Chargers lost this game in overtime, as well.
While that loss hurt immensely then — and likely still hurts today — it shined a light on numerous aspects of how this Chargers team needs to get better over the offseason so nothing like this scenario can happen again. It wasn’t just the turnstile play of right tackle Storm Norton or the questionable decision-making by the staff to play Kenneth Murray so much, but a myriad of issues that need to be addressed with that fat cap number the Chargers are staring at ahead of this year’s free agency period and the draft.