The Chargers season has not gone according to plan.
After another disappointing loss to the Raiders last week after a dropped touchdown by Mike Williams and a touchdown that was called back from Donald Parham Jr on a drop, the Chargers now face a glaring 2-6 record on the season. They currently sit at the 6th overall pick in the draft and will need to decide their plan of action for the remainder of the season.
The lone bright spot for the Chargers this year has been star rookie Justin Herbert who has won Rookie of the Week Six times this season already, making him the favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award come February.
The 2020 QB class as a whole has performed very well this year and has drawn comparisons to the famous 2004 QB class that brought Phillip Rivers, Eli Manning, and Ben Rothlensenburger, with a similar three-headed group in Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert.
While the Chargers played the Burrow lead Bengals in week one of the season, Herbert had not been thrown into the starting role yet, that change happened a week later against the Chiefs.
This week, the Chargers will travel across the country to play the improved Miami Dolphins.
Tua and Miami Dolphins
Former starter and journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick played well for the Dolphins early in the season, however, the upper management made the switch to their rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after their Week 7 game and let him prepare during the bye week. The Dolphins are in a very different place than the Chargers, they are 5-3 on the season after winning four straight games on a slow 1-3 start to the season. They sit only two games behind the AFC East-leading Bills and have one of the best plus-minus differentials in the entire league at +61. Under Tua the Dolphins are 2-0, however, he hasn’t been putting up the flashy numbers that Burrow and Herbert have been, his defense has played a big factor in where they are right now and it has made huge improvements under head coach Brian Flores.
Tua has been very good at protecting the ball and the Dolphins are still opening up the playbook for him so his numbers will likely improve as the season progresses. He has something that Herbert and Burrow both don’t have and that a winning record and a team that has a chance to make playoffs this season.
Justin and the Chargers
The Chargers are still missing several key players on the offense, with Austin Ekeler still on IR and the Chargers had to place Justin Jackson on IR as well this week. Running back journeyman Kallen Ballage was impressive last week in the loss to the Raiders, and the Chargers will likely use a three-back approach this week against the Dolphins with Ballage, Kelley, and Pope. Justin Herbert might have a full offensive line this week, it looks like Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga will both play this week after Turner has missed nearly the entire season with various leg injuries. This will hopefully be an added boost to the offense and give Herbert more time in the pocket to make plays.
The Chargers defense played better last week and was able to keep the pressure on the Raiders in the second half, even without star pass-rusher Joey Bosa, who is out again this week with a concussion. This will be a challenging game for the Chargers, the Dolphins are no longer an easy win in the NFL, they are improving quickly.
This will be an important game for Anthony Lynn on deciding his future with the Chargers.
It will be fun to watch the number 5 & 6 pick in the NFL Draft matchup this Sunday and battle it out in hopefully an exciting game on Sunday afternoon in Miami.
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