The Chargers played their most-complete game on Sunday night as they bashed the Bears 30-13 inside SoFi Stadium. Justin Herbert was excellent, throwing for 294 yards and three touchdowns with zero turnovers. Austin Ekeler posted 123 total yards from scrimmage, including a 39-yard screen pass he took for a touchdown.
Defensively, they held rookie pass Tyson Bagent to minimal production and forced a pair of interceptions from Derwin James and Asante Samuel Jr.
In all, it was the least stressed we’ve all probably been in some time watching this team, and to be honest, we definitely deserved a night like Sunday.
With that said, here are two winners and two losers from Sunday night’s beatdown over Chicago.
QB Justin Herbert
After three underwhelming performances by his already lofty standards, Justin Herbert put together an efficient and productive outing on Sunday night with 294 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Bears. He completed the first 15 passes he attempted, may of which were high-difficulty throws that needed him to exaggerate arm angles to create the passing lane.
This was a classic Herbert game and exactly what the Chargers needed to help kickstart a potential turnaround to the season. His latest three-score, zero-interception game was his 12th of his young career, good for second most behind Patrick Mahomes’ 15. For context, Herbert has 10 more games this year to chase that record.
Justin Herbert peppered the Bears underneath, completing 27 of 30 passes under 10 air yards for 222 yards & 3 TD (+8.2% CPOE).— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 30, 2023
Herbert averaged the 2nd-lowest air yards per attempt of his career (4.9) and recorded a season-high 60.0% success rate.#CHIvsLAC | #BoltUp pic.twitter.com/BAoyi6WHLU
EDGE Joey Bosa
This was Bosa’s first game with a notable increase in his snap count since his toe injury he sustained early in the year. While it wasn’t the full starter load that you’d expect, Bosa still played 39 snaps and managed to record his fourth sack of the season and huge tackle for loss on a fourth-and-1 run to force a turnover on downs.
It’s been incredibly unfortunate that for the second year in a row, we have yet to truly have both Bosa and Khalil Mack healthy together for any notable stretch of time. While Bosa hasn’t missed multiple games this year, his snap count thus far has had him on the field not much more than a normal rotational player on most teams. Based on his usage, it’s still impressive
TE Tre’ McKitty
McKitty has continued to fall out of the god graces of the coaching staff over the past few weeks and that likely hasn’t changed after the former third-round pick was called for another holding penalty despite seeing a minimal snap count on Sunday night as the team’s third tight end. It should also be noted that if Gerald Everett wasn’t injured, he would have likely been inactive for the second consecutive week.
The writing is unfortunately on the wall for McKitty who just hasn’t developed into the player the front office thought he’d be when they selected him in 2020. He’s slowly been worked off the active game day roster and the team seems just fine rolling the dice on Stone Smartt who has been much more productive as a receiver since joining the team.
LG Zion Johnson
The Bears managed very little pass rush, continuing on their form for the season, but on one drive Zion Johson failed to pick up delayed blitzes from linebackers on back-to-back plays. This not only single handedly ended what could have been a putaway drive, but it led to Justin Herbert taking an absolute lick from linebacker TJ Edwards that sent him flying off his feet. The previous play could have ended the same way as well if it wasn’t for Herbert avoiding the pressure and throwing the ball away.
Zion has yet to develop a wide vision to pick up stunts and it is starting to hurt the team. He had a rough outing against Kansas City's Chris Jones and he has another stiff test coming his way against the Jet's impressive interior defensive lineman lead by Quinnen Williams. The Chargers will want to see significant improvement as the season goes on from their second year guard.