Last Updated on September 18, 2023 by BVN
Jon D. Gaede | BVN Sports
The Los Angeles Chargers have high expectations for this NFL season, Justin Herbert signed a $235 million contract extension through the 2030 season. Chargers certainly need to replace the memory of the worse playoff loss in their history. At 10-7 last season, the Chargers earned a Wild Card berth against Jacksonville, ultimately giving back a 27-point lead to lose 31-27.
Fourth year coach Brandon Staley knows his Charger team has the talent on the field, veteran all-purpose running Austin Ekeler, Joshua Kelley, elite NFL quarterback Justin Herbert and a cast of top receivers including veteran All Pro Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Josh Palmer and a sure handed Donald Parham Jr. at tight end.
A loud and loyal capacity home crowd filled SoFi Stadium for the home opener that promised to be a quarterback shootout. The game produced 70 points, nearly 700 yards and four touchdowns as Miami prevailed 36-34. After exchanging initial scores, the Dolphins, under quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for 466 yards, finding his favorite target Tyreek Hill eleven times for 215 yards and two touchdowns on the day.
Herbert moved the chains well, matching the Dolphin offense, keeping it close at the half, 20-17. Although often hurried by the Miami rush, Herbert was accurate with 230 yards on one TD. The inspired Charger backfield racked up over 200 quality yards on the ground. Ekeler had the bulk with 117 yards and one TD, while Joshua Kelley added 91 yards and one TD.
Ultimately, the Chargers defense couldn’t stop the Tua-Hill air show all day. Leading 34-30, Tua connected with Hill on the go-ahead TD at the 1:45 mark, finding Hill in the corner of the end zone to go ahead 36-34. Los Angeles had time to march into field goal range for a game winning attempt, but lost a down on a rarely called intentional grounding call, then suffered a sack on the final play by linebacker Jaelan Phillips. That was it, final score 36-34.
A significant amount of the pressure on quarterback Justin Herbert came from Miami’s Jaelan Phillips (Redlands East Valley HS/Miami). At 6’5” and 265 lbs., Phillips brings an edge rush from the left side that is a challenge for any offensive line in the league. Phillips had 11 tackles, 6 hurries and a sack to end the game. The Chargers traveled to play Tennessee (0-1) on Sunday.