Charger quarterback Justin Herbert, chased by Miami defenders Jaelan Phillips and Christian Wilkins was 39 of 51 for 367 yards passing.
Charger quarterback Justin Herbert, chased by Miami defenders Jaelan Phillips and Christian Wilkins was 39 of 51 for 367 yards passing. Credit: Robert Attical, Black Voice News

Last Updated on January 7, 2023 by BVN

Jon Gaede | BVN Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers faced a surging Miami Dolphin team (8-4) at SoFi Stadium, needing a win to get above even on the season. Under the helm and accurate throwing arm of quarterback Justin Herbert, the Chargers beat the Dolphins 23-17 to improve their record to (7-6) as Miami fell to (8-5).

The capacity crowd at SoFi Stadium saw Justin Herbert move the Charger offense with accurate passes during their initial drive that eventually stalled on Miami’s two-yard line. 

The Chargers settled for a 33-yard field goal on their second drive by kicker Cameron Dicker, brought in to replace the injured Dustin Hopkins. 

Herbert showed little signs of his previous rib injury as he moved well enough to complete 11 of 13 passes, including 10 consecutive, in that first quarter, while Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa was inaccurate with only two of seven passing.

Herbert and receivers were up to the task

The Charger defense played without injured starters Derwin James, Joey Bosa, Sebastian Joseph-Day and Bryce Callahan, putting more pressure on the offense. 

Herbert and a cast of receivers were up to the task. Ekeler, Kelley, Allen, Palmer, Everett and Carter each caught passes, including a second quarter go-ahead touchdown to Mike Williams, to put the Chargers ahead 10-0. 

The Dolphins then capitalized on a freak fumble play on their own 46, picked up by the speedy Tyreek Hill who ran the ball in for a touchdown, cutting the lead to 10-7.

Herbert was 39 of 51 for 367 yards on the night  

Reliable runningback Austin Ekeler scored just before the half, increasing the Charger lead to 17-7. Miami closed the gap to 17-14 at one point in the third quarter, but it was Justin Herbert and the LA Chargers’ night.

Herbert was 39 of 51 for 367 yards on the night as his golden arm and ability to read the aggressive Dolphin defense, made the difference. 

Herbert also survived what appeared to be a clean, third quarter solo tackle by Miami’s Jaelen Phillips who was flagged on the play for roughing, causing a social media frenzy on his behalf.

All purpose running back Austin Ekeler with 500 yards running and catching this season, tackled by Jaelan Phillips of Miami (Redlands East Valley HS). (Photo: Robert Attical, Black Voice News).

Jaelan Phillips attended Charger games, saying LaDanian Thomlinson was his favorite

Dolphin DE/Linebacker Jaelan Phillips grew up a San Diego Charger fan in Redlands, approximately 75 miles east of SoFi Stadium. Young Jaelan attended a few Charger games each year and said Hall of Fame running back LaDanian Thomlinson was his favorite. 

“If I can change one kid’s outlook on life, that’s good enough for me”

Jaelan Phillips

Phillips attended Redlands East Valley High School, winning a State CIF Championship in 2014. He then became a highly touted national “five star” recruit, attending UCLA, ultimately transferred to the University of Miami and selected eighteenth overall in the first round by the Miami Dolphins during the 2021 NFL draft. Phillips, at 6’5, is a premier speed rusher of opposing quarterbacks with the agility to drop back in coverage. 

Phillips, at 6’5, is a premier speed rusher of opposing quarterbacks with the agility to drop back in coverage.

At 6’5” and 263 lbs, Jaelan Phillips is perhaps the fastest edge rusher in the NFL today and a major ingredient in the success of the Miami Dolphin football team. 

Jaelan has also been a game changer throughout the community of greater Miami, working with incarcerated youth, disease awareness and the homeless. 

Certainly a young man of great character at the age of 24, Phillips is the youngest player to be nominated for “NFL Man of the Year” honors. “If I can change one kid’s outlook in life, then that’s good enough for me,” said Phillips.

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Jon Gaede

While on assignment for GamePro Magazine in 1996, Jon Gaede met former Black Voice Sports Editor, Leland Stein at a Los Angeles Lakers’ game. They formed a working relationship which has endured for 24 years. In addition to African safaris, theater productions, Footsteps to Freedom Tours with Black Voice News Publisher Emeritus Cheryl Brown, concerts and portraits, Jon’s true passion comes from shooting action sports images. Jon has covered a variety of prep, collegiate and professional sports from track & field to boxing, including six Olympic Games.