Justin Herbert was a surprise starter for the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday and the rookie acquitted himself well in a 23-20 overtime loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. But after the game, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn claimed Tyrod Taylor -- who has a late scratch with chest pains -- was still the team's starting quarterback and on Monday he took things further by criticizing Herbert.
Taylor missed Sunday's game after he suffered chest pains following a painkilling injection. Herbert jumped in and performed fairly well under the circumstances. Lynn, apparently wasn't convinced. He claimed, "There's a lot we didn't get done with Justin on the field yesterday. He's a backup for a reason."
Damn man, that's a pretty harsh assessment.
Herbert wasn't perfect by any means. He complete 22 of 33 passes for 311 yards and a touchdown, while also running for a score. But he also had a terrible interception in the second quarter that stopped a promising drive and led to a Chiefs touchdown.
Herbert threw the ball underneath a lot and let his receivers, running backs and tight end Hunter Henry do the work for him. Opposing defenses will likely prepare for that and force him to prove he can throw the ball deep in the future. The Chiefs were prepared for Taylor, their defense almost certainly would have looked much different if Herbert had been scheduled to start.
Despite all that, the fact that Lynn criticized a rookie quarterback who was thrust into action after not preparing all week is awful. Herbert did really well under unusual circumstances.
The Chargers took Herbert with the sixth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. It makes little sense to cling to Taylor unless Lynn is delusional enough to think that gives him a better shot at a postseason berth.