Saturday Wild-Card Liveblog: Jaguars, Chargers Cap Night

Jaguars RB Travis Etienne
Jaguars RB Travis Etienne
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Wild Card - We made it! The NFL playoffs are here, and with them, Super Wildcard Weekend. I'm not entirely sure what's super about three lines of 8.5 points or higher and a trio of third-string quarterbacks starting, but hey, could a trademarked branded slogan lie to us?

It feels like 2022 did not really give us 14 teams that deserve to be in Super Bowl contention at this point. There's a fairly clear top tier of five between the Chiefs, Bills, Bengals, Eagles and 49ers.  The Cowboys, on their best days, can rise to challenge that level, as do the Ravens when they have a former MVP under center.  After that, though? It feels like there's a significant gap between the haves and have-nots, and we'll spend most of this weekend eliminating the latter.

Then again, we have seen amazing postseason runs come from remarkable places. Joe Flacco briefly turning into Joe Montana for a month in 2012. The Giants serving as a roadblock to perfect in 2007. Some late-round nobody named Tom Brady pulling off a Cinderella upset in 2001. These runs are memorable in part because their teams looked like afterthoughts when the postseason began. Maybe this is the year that Justin Herbert or Trevor Lawrence will write their name into the history books.  Maybe Geno Smith's improbable comeback season will have a storybook ending.  Maybe the Minnesota Vikings can...OK, our imagination only stretches so far. But let's not call anyone eliminated until they are eliminated.

And we'll be covering today's matchups live in a special Saturday edition of the Football Outsiders liveblog. Today's action opens with the second-seeded San Francisco 49ers looking to beat the Seattle Seahawks for the third straight time this season, and concludes with a battle between Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence in what may be a preview of the future of the AFC. And because we're live, you can participate in the discussion as well! Join in on the conversation -- either in the comment section in this article, on Twitter by tagging @FBOutsiders or @BryKno, or on our brand new Discord server, where some of your favorite writers will be hanging out and reacting live.

Let the playoffs begin!

Early Game Preview: Seahawks at 49ers

"It's hard to beat a team three times in one season!"

Well, yes and no. It is hard to beat a team three times, but that's just because it's hard to beat anyone in the NFL The 49ers will be the 25th team in the Super Bowl era to sweep two games against an opponent in the regular season and then face them again in the playoffs. Those teams are 14-10 in the third meeting -- which includes San Francisco's loss to the Rams in the NFC Championship last season, so they're well aware that past results do not insure future success. But teams that hosted the third game -- i.e., teams that had a better record and higher seed and were, on paper at least, the better team overall -- are a more comfortable 13-6.  The 49ers are favored by 9.5 points, as Seattle has sputtered a bit down the stretch; it would be a significant surprise if Seattle became the first seventh seed to win.

The Seahawks lost the earlier two matchups 27-7 and 21-13, and only found the end zone on offense in garbage time of the second matchup. But Pete Carroll knows a thing or two about beating Kyle Shanahan, and if there was ever a time to throw out all the stops, this would be it. Plus, I believe most 49ers fans can still see this when they close their eyes, even though it was nearly a decade ago.

The 49ers do not have any sorry receivers this time; they may have the best collection of eligible receivers, from 1-to-5, in the NFL this season. And, as our preview points out, the Seahawks rank 30th in pass DVOA against running backs and 27th against tight ends, so containing Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle will be a problem. But hey, maybe the lights will be too bright for rookie Brock Purdy, or maybe the soggy conditions will be an equalizer. That is, after all, why they play the games.

Late Game Preview: Chargers at Jaguars

Justin Herbert! Trevor Lawrence! Maybe this is a battle of "internet quarterbacks" but, you know what? This is a liveblog! We're on the internet! And so we're allowed to get excited about two of the better young quarterbacks in the league going head-to-head in what is hopefully the first of many important matchups.

It's their second matchup in the NFL, of course; Lawrence's Jaguars thumped Herbert's Chargers 38-10 back in Week 3. Herbert was banged up for that one, though, and both teams have evolved since that September matchup.  But, as Rivers McCown helpfully reminds us in our preview for this game, there are in fact 21 other football players on the field at any given time. This isn't just a battle to see which quarterback has the best hair in football (Lawrence -3, in case you're wondering).

The big story coming into this one, of course, is Mike Williams being knocked out with a fractured back, injured in the meaningless Week 18 finale for Los Angeles. There will always be a discussion about rest versus rust, and how much action starters should see in situations where the outcome simply doesn't matter, but Brandon Staley has been adamant about keeping his stars safely away from harm in meaningless games by not playing them at all in the preseason. His decision to play all his starters, injuring Williams and reaggravating Joey Bosa's groin injury, has been the cause of much discussion this past week, with rumors that Staley may in fact be coaching for his job today. It's rarely good to see "hubris" in the headline of your game preview!

Vegas favors the Chargers by 2.5 points, but DVOA likes the Jaguars. It's the hardest match to call of the week in our opinion, and a fine choice for the Saturday nightcap. Just remember - Trevor Lawrence hasn't actually lost on a Saturday since 2014.

2:33 PM: Santa Clara Weather

One of the big variables in the 49ers-Seahawks game is the weather. California has been battered by storms all week, causing flooding, evacuations and power losses.  About 10,000th on the list of concerns is it's effect on today's game. Wet and sloppy conditions generally serve to equalize talent differentials, and that might be double for the 49ers YAC-based attack. Slow down those receivers, and you cut out a major advantage San Francisco has over Seattle. Remember the monsoon game against the Bears in Week 1?

It does appear, however, that Santa Clara avoided the worst of the rain for today. At the moment, it's dry and still, and the field is in good condition; the tarp protected it from the worst of the storms yesterday and into this morning. Rain is supposed to pick up again sometime between 2 and 3 PM, local time -- kickoff is 1:30, so , we're talking late in the second quarter, into halftime.

The heavier stuff shouldn't come until tonight, so unless the game goes into overtime, we're unlikely to see a game solely decided by the weather. Fingers crossed, at any rate.

3:02 PM: Records Falling?

Bob Smith: Brock Purdy will have a chance today to break the Rookie Record (at least I think it is) that Mark Sanchez now holds for a Rookie's 1st playoff game-a Rating of 139.4 but he only had 1 TD Pass.                                               
Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence will have a chance to break Kurt Warner's Record (at least I think it is) for a 1st playoff game by a non-Rookie when he had 5 TD Passes and a Passer Rating of 143. 

Sanchez's 139.4 rating is, in fact, the rookie record -- he did that against Cincinnati in the 2009 wildcard round. He was only asked to throw 15 passes, but he went 12-of-15 for 182 and a touchdown.

But the best rookie playoff game by our numbers goes to Russell Wilson, in the 2012 wildcard round against Atlanta. He 'only' had a standard passer rating of 109.1 but put up 265 DYAR: 24-for-36 passing with a pair of touchdowns and an interception, plus 60 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground.  That's a tougher bar to clear; Purdy's mobile, but he's not that mobile.

The best QB rating by a quarterback in their first playoff start period isn't Kurt Warner, however -- it's Dave Krieg.  Krieg had a perfect 158.3 passer rating in the 1983 wildcard round, a 31-7 Seattle win over Denver.  Krieg was 12-for-13 for 200 yards with three touchdowns.  Is 13 pass attempts enough for the record?  You can be the judge of that, I suppose.  With post-1978 passer rules in place, I might be inclined to pass him up...

...in which case it's still not Warner, but rather Lynn Dickey, who had a passer rating of 150.4 in the 1982 Wildcard round, a 41-16 Green Bay win over St. Louis. Dickey was 17-for-23 for 260 yards and four touchdowns, and that pips Warner to the line.

3:34 PM: Seahawks-49ers Injuries

The 49ers are coming into this one unusually healthy, at least, if you ignore the injured reserve list. The only two players inactive due to injury in this one for San Francisco are Jimmy Garoppolo -- who is making good progress and could, theoretically, return in the NFC Championship game, so put a pin in THAT storyline -- and Ambry Thomas, a mostly special-teams corner who reaggrevated his ankle this week. Arik Armstead, Aaron Banks, Javon Kinlaw, Christian McCaffrey and Dre Greenlaw were all limited earlier in the week, but they're all a full-go.

The Seahawks don't have any real surprises, either, though they're a little more banged up in general. Ryan Neal is returning; the safety hasn't played since the Week 15 matchup against the 49ers. But guard Phil Haynes is out after not practicing all week, as is special teamer Xavier Crawford. Shelby Harris, DeeJay Dallas and Noah Fant, all listed as questionable, are active and ready to go.

4:04 PM: Seahawks at 49ers

Kevin Knowles, via Skype: You're the 49ers. Purdy has taken you to the postseason (albeit, with a great defense and offensive weapons). Is the QB job his to lose next year or is it a straight up competition?

First of all, Kevin, this is an attempt to jinx San Francisco. I see through your little ruse.

Secondly, we know that Purdy will keep the job over Garoppolo this year -- Jay Glazier reported on the pregame talk that Jimmy G's return will be as a backup; that it's Purdy's club the rest of the way, no matter how long the rest of the way actually is.

Thirdly...Trey Lance is more physically gifted than Purdy. Even Purdy will admit he has physical limitations; he understands why he went in the seventh round.  The history of backups who have stepped in to replace starters in the postseason is mixed. Tom Brady and Kurt Warner never looked back. In 1991, Jeff Hostetler and Phil Simms had a full-on quarterback competition; Hostetler won the job. So, there's certainly precedent here. If Purdy goes far enough.

If the Seahawks win today, Purdy's odds of being a starter in 2023 drop fairly significantly, I'd say. So Purdy's not just playing for gold, but an opportunity to start, perhaps...

4:42 PM: 10:13, 1st Quarter

The Seahawks have a quick three-and-out, as Arik Armstead blows up the middle of the line and blows up a third-and-short. The Seahawks are lucky Geno Smith didn't fumble here, which would have been a real disaster.

The 49ers look...a little anxious early. Brock Purdy overthrows Brandon Aiyuk early; is late on a toss to Juwan Jennings later.  Some playoff jitters? The rain? A regression to expected mean? Or just a very small sample size? We'll see.  The 49ers still move the ball well enough to get a field goal, and it's 3-0, 49ers.

4:55 PM: 5:11, 1st Quarter

So, that Christian McCaffrey trade. Worth it, yeah? This long run  flipped the field position after a very good Seahawks punt.

Look at how far Trent Williams shoves his guy!  That's how you clear a lane, and then CMC just turns on the jets.  McCaffrey catches a touchdown pass a few plays later, and the 49ers are up, 10-0.  The Seahawks do not have a first down yet.

5:14 PM: 13:14, 2nd Quarter

We have a game!  Seattle's best hope is to sit on the ball and drain clock; keeping their defense on the sideline. Their last drive feels like it started sometime around November, but actually took 6:49 off the clock; a 14-play, 78-yard drive interrupted multiple times by 49ers injuries. Kenneth Walker is running hard, up to 41 yards on nine carries. He hasn't broken a big one yet, but he's been consistently moving forward, and managed to get around the edge for Seattle's first touchdown of the day.

10-7, 49ers.

5:27 PM: 7:41, 2nd Quarter

The 49ers march right back down the field, hitting Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey for chunk plays. And yet, it feels like there was more there -- Purdy ignored a wide-open Samuel to try to take a deep shot to Aiyuk, and Aiyuk just stopped running after it.  And when the 49ers got into the red zone, they stalled out; Bruce Irvin managed to chase down Purdy in the backfield to set up third-and-long, and Shanahanopts to go conservative.

The field goal is good, and the 49ers have a 13-7 lead halfway through the second quarter. Let's see if the Seahawks have a response; they could take the lead on this drive, which would be contrary to how the game's gone to this point.

5:34 PM: 5:01, 2nd Quarter

And the Seahawks take the lead!

The 49ers are vulnerable deep; it's just hard to get enough time to go deep against their pass rush. But with Kenneth Walker rushing well, there's a little bit of a let-off in the pass pressure, and Geno Smith finds DK Metcalf on a go route...

That looked like early-season Smith, who was hitting those plays with some regularity. The Seahawks are up 14-13! Not such a blowout after all, huh?

5:47 PM: 1:08, 2nd Quarter

The 49ers respond with a quick three-and-out, as the crowd is beginning to get nervous. It's a chance for Seattle to bust this one open...

...But they end up not doing much, either.  A give-up draw on third down gives the 49ers the ball back with a minute left and a time-out.  We'll see what Purdy has in him.

5:53 PM: 0:13, 2nd Quarter

He has one (1) deep shot to Aiyuk, moving the 49ers into field goal range. From there, Seattle turns on the pressure, to which Purdy responds by backpedlling and heaving the ball.  Three plays in a row. That's a rookie, for you.

The 49ers nearly manage to score on 4th down, but a great play by Mike Jackson tips the ball away from Deebo Samuel, and the 49ers settle for another field goal.  It's now 16-14 49ers, as we approach the half.

5:57 PM: Halftime

But the Seahawks get on the board again before the half!  The 49ers make the odd choice to squib kick, and then absorb a bad penalty. Jimmie Ward gives Smith a shot after he slid to the ground, which moves the ball into room for a 56-yard attempt for Jason Myers.  Myers is good, and Seattle has a 17-16 lead at the break!

Closer than most people would have thought, for sure.

6:06 PM: Halftime

Vegas still seems to think the 49ers will win, despite the halftime deficit. They're -4.5 or -5.5 at various outlets at the moment. And the 49ers have been here before; they were tied with Washington at the half and up just seven over Arizona and Miami. Those became blowout wins.

This doesn't feel like a blowout to me. But Seattle will have to survive the third quarter before I really go on upset watch, here.

6:22 PM: 7:15, 3rd Quarter

The 49ers get the response drive they were hoping for to start the second half -- a 13-play drive that ate up more than half the quarter, with everything ticking and whirring.  Maybe the favorite shouldn't be wanting to shorten the game, but points are points, after all.  

The big play on the drive was this Deebo catch and run, which then led to a brew-ha-ha. Samuel had his leg twisted after the play, and San Francisco took offense to that; there was a meeting of the minds at midfield before the refs could clear everyone out.

From there, it's a couple runs with CMC and a sneak by Purdy, and San Francisco re-takes the lead, 23-17.

6:39 PM: 2:31, 3rd Quarter

The Seahawks finally make some offensive mistakes. They had gone through the game to this point not only without a turnover, but without offensive penalties of any kind. That broke down after they entered 49ers territory, but some great plays by Metcalf and Lockett bailed them out...

...Until they found themselves with 3rd-and-long in the red zone.  The 49ers pressure finally gets through, with Charles Omenihu knocking Smith down in the backfield. He fumbles, and Nick Bosa is Johnny-on-the-spot.  The first turnover of the game goes San Francisco's way!

And now we've almost lost the entire third quarter. Huge, huge swing there.

6:50 PM: 14:02, 4th Quarter

Mike Tanier called game after the turnover. I said the 49ers would need to turn it into points, and then I'd call game.

I'm calling game. And of course, it's in part due to the one 49er I didn't take in the staff fantasy draft.

The 49ers are just loaded with weapons.  Though it also helps when Purdy's backpeddling helps him escape and find a wide-open Elijah Mitchell.

There must have been some confusion somewhere in there for Mitchell to be that wide open.  But however it happened, the score, and the ensuing 2PC, gives the 49ers a 31-17 lead.  Now, they need to avoid TD-punt-TD, and they should probably be coasting into the divisional round.

7:00 PM: 11:45, 4th Quarter

The Seahawks needed to play, if not a perfect game, than a clean one to upset the 49ers. For most of the game they did, but all of a sudden, the flags have started pouring in defensively.  Holding.  False start.  Ineligible downfield.  They faced 1st-and-25, 2nd-and 25 and 3rd-and 21 on that last drive. That's not going to help!

They opted to punt on 4th & 12 from their own 32. Out of curiosity, I punched that into our fourth-down calculator, which spat back "meh".  That's a 1.2% win probability with a go, and a 1.0% probability with a punt. They're probably doomed no matter what.  But why not try for a miracle?

Because, you know, if you punt, this could happen.

Welp.

7:19 PM: Looking Ahead

As the 2nd seed, the 49ers will either play the Vikings or the winner of the Cowboys-Buccaneers game next week. 

Of the three, I'm sure they'd prefer to play Minnesota. Yes, they're the highest seed, but we've been talking for so long about how Minnesota is the worst team in DVOA history at every record they've managed to pick up? The matchup would be the one they'd want most of all.

Absent that, I imagine they'd want the Buccaneers, after blowing them out earlier this year. Not that they'd be afraid of the Cowboys, mind you, but if they had their way...
 

7:33 PM: Chargers at Jaguars Injury Report

Let's get ready for the night game while this one gets bled out.

The big injury, of course, is Mike Williams. Williams fractured his back in Week 18, the meaningless game against Denver, and will miss this one. Everyone else is up and ready to go, but the loss of Williams is going to be big. Josh Palmer and DeAndre Carter are going to have to step up.

Jacksonville had five players listed as questionable coming in -- Trevor Lawrence, Jamal Agnew, Brandon Scherff, Kendric Pryor and Ross Matiscik. All of them are active and good to go.  All were limited on Thursday, but the Jags are at full strength on Saturday.

8:17 PM: 14:13, 1st Quarter

The Jaguars' second play from scrimmage is an RPO where they picked the wrong O.  Sebastian Joseph-Day gets his mitts on it, deflecting it, and it's intercepted!

Big opportunity early for the Chargers....and they immediatly take advantage of it, with Austin Ekeler rushing off the right side for a touchdown.

7-0 Chargers, and that was FAST.

8:29 PM: 10:02, 1st Quarter

Here's something you don't hear from an analytics site very often: the Jaguars should have kicked a field goal.

Moving the ball downfield, the Jaguars found themselves facing a 4th & 7 from the Chargers 33 yard line.  That's no-man's land, right on the border of both a reasonable field goal AND a simple conversion. Our win probability model called it a tossup, with a slight edge for kicking the 50+ yarder -- the win probability with a kick was 43.4%, going was 43.2%.  That's obviously close enough that any decision is fine, and the Jaguars decided to be aggressive and go. Fair enough.  But maybe next time, don't call the "interception" play.

This has been a terrible start for Trevor Lawrence and company...but that probably should have been illegal contact.

8:40 PM: 5:30, 1st Quarter

Oh, Mike's going to be livid...

One cool highlight play, and then a drive that fizzles out with a field goal inside the five?  Well, that's Chargers narrative building, right there!  And also a 10-0 lead. That too.

8:55 PM: 2:02, 1st Quarter

...Three interceptions in one quarter.  Good lord.

This is rapidly becoming a nightmare for Jacksonville.  The record for interceptions in a playoff game, by the by, is six, most recently done by Brett Favre in the 2001 Divisional Round.

Ekeler scores again, and it's 17-0 Chargers before the end of the first half.

Plenty of time, but yikes.

9:15 PM: 7:12, 2nd Quarter

...Is it too early to call ballgame?  I don't think it is.

I wish I had something more inventive to say here.

Trevor Lawrence is the first quarterback to throw three interceptions in the first quarter in playoff history. He's the first to do it in any NFL game since Nathan Peterman in 2017. This has the potential to be a legendary disaster. And I just don't see the Jags coming back from a 24-0 deficit; they've only scored more than that seven times this season.

Brandon Staley's job may be safe.

9:22 PM: Interception #4

This is getting crazy. Lawrence has now thrown four interceptions in one half.  Not even a full half, either!

This is now the 49th four-interception game in playoff history. The most recent one was Ben Roethlisberger against the Browns in 2020.  And that took a full game, at least...

It would take Chargering of unheard of proportions to lose this one.

9:37 PM: Yet Another Jaguars Turnover

So, anyone read any good books, lately?

The Chargers are held to just a field goal.  They're averaging less than five yards per play and are winning 27-0. That's not how football is supposed to work!

9:51 PM: Halftime

Well, the Jaguars scored!  The game has at least been joined.

...You know.  For a team that's -5 in turnover margin; the Jaguars aren't that far out of it.  I still doubt they make up a 20-point deficit, but, you never know...

10:24 PM: Surely Not...

I mean, not even the Chargers could Charger this lead, right? This was done and dusted.

But then the Chargers punt the first drive of the second half.  And the Jaguars march 89 yards in 14 plays, and, well, it's a two-possession game...

It took 7:17 off the clock, so time is an enemy, but...

10:39 PM: SURELY Not...

The Chargers add a field goal to make things a 16-point game, but the Jags come marching right back down the field.  This drive is much faster, just 2:07, and Lawrence finds a wide open Zay Jones, lost in the secondary.

Two-point conversion misses, but now it's a 10 point game, and we're still in the third quarter...

10:59 PM: SURELY NOT

The Chargers' ensuing drive manages to drain nearly seven more precious minutes off the clock. As long as Jacksonville can keep the Chargers out of the end zone, however, they'll be down just two possessions with half a quarter left. Yes, they committed a roughing the passer, which cost them an extra three minutes, but at least they'll be down just 13 after Cameron Dicker makes this kick...

...

10 point deficit.  Game.  On.

11:12 PM: 5:25, 4th Quarter

That's right, we're going back to timestamps; we're back in a football game.

The Jags take just three minutes to march back down field, and Lawrence is on fire -- big gain to Kirk, big gain to Engram, and we march and march and march.

Lawrence finds Kirk in the corner of the end zone (off camera), and we have a one-score game!

And then Bosa, upset about potentially missed false starts and holds, slams his helmet. That's a foul.  That moves the ball to the one, and the Jags opt to go for two -- which Lawrence converts  30-28, and this would be an ALL-TIME chargering...

11:27 PM: Game Winning Field Goal Attempt

Well, we're lining up for the game-winning field goal, 35 yards out.  This will either be an all-time Chargering, or heartbreak for Jacksonville.  Here we go.

11:29 PM: Jaguars. Win.

This is impossible.

The third-largest comeback in postseason history. The largest comeback in Jaguars history.  The biggest blown lead in Chargers history, and that's saying a lot.

The first playoff game ever where someone has lost despite a +5 turnover margin. This is...I mean. This tops the list of Chargerings. It just has to. It's one of the most baffling, bizarre losses in the history of the NFL.  Bigger comebacks, sure, but the Jaguars IMPLODED on themselves in the first quarter, and the Chargers just...let them back into things.  No.  Not possible. We did not just witness that.

...How the hell is Sunday going to live up to this?!  We'll find out tomorrow, I guess...

Comments

108 comments, Last at 16 Jan 2023, 10:20am

#1 by Bob Smith // Jan 14, 2023 - 9:54am

Brock Purdy will have a chance today to break the Rookie Record (at least I think it is) that Mark Sanchez now holds for a Rookie's 1st playoff game-a Rating of 139.4 but he only had 1 TD Pass.                                                                                                                                                  Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence will have a chance to break Kurt Warner's Record (at least I think it is) for a 1st playoff game by a non-Rookie when he had 5 TD Passes and a Passer Rating of 143. 

Points: 1

#8 by Bryan Knowles // Jan 14, 2023 - 3:21pm

Yes for Sanchez, but Warner is beaten either by Dave Krieg or Lynn Dickey, at least when we're talking first playoff starts.

Points: 1

#9 by Bob Smith // Jan 14, 2023 - 3:45pm

You are right, thanks. They both have higher Passer Ratings than Warner but Warner has more TD Passes.

Points: 1

#2 by ThePride87 // Jan 14, 2023 - 10:20am

You heard it here first, Bob Smith at least thinks they are.

Points: 0

#3 by Bob Smith // Jan 14, 2023 - 10:28am

And the good news is-I will gladly read and acknowledge any correction that anybody cares to post !!!

Points: 1

#4 by petecarrolschewingum // Jan 14, 2023 - 11:09am

Cant wait to have my hopes crushed when the 49ers terminate the us today

Points: 1

#12 by rh1no // Jan 14, 2023 - 5:21pm

... and right after my glib comment, the Hawks march down the field, converting three first downs to punch it in for a touchdown.

Can they keep it up and make this game interesting? I'd like to see it, but they'll need their defense to make a stop at some point and that isn't looking likely at the moment.

Points: 1

#19 by Kaepernicus // Jan 14, 2023 - 7:38pm

Narrator: They could not

Geno actually played a good game and the offensive line was impressive until the starting center went out. Purdy absolutely went nuts in the second half. That was incredible.

Points: 1

#23 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Jan 14, 2023 - 8:56pm

Turning point was the Geno fumble in the red zone when Seahawks had a chance to take the lead back.  After that, it was all Niners until garbage time.

Points: 1

#5 by Scott P. // Jan 14, 2023 - 12:24pm

Those teams are 14-10 in the third meeting -- which includes San Francisco's loss to the Rams in the NFC Championship last season, so they're well aware that past results do not insure future success. But teams that hosted the third game -- i.e., teams that had a better record and higher seed and were, on paper at least, the better team overall -- are a more comfortable 13-6. 

What happened in the other five games?

Points: 0

#7 by Bryan Knowles // Jan 14, 2023 - 2:56pm

The other five games saw the 2-0 team go on the road in the playoffs; they went 1-4 in those matchups.

It's hard to beat a team three times in a year if they're better than you are!

Points: 2

#6 by JoelBarlow // Jan 14, 2023 - 2:14pm

the 49ers mountain west conference route to the BCS is really fun

Points: 2

#10 by Kaepernicus // Jan 14, 2023 - 4:31pm

I am jealous of the Seahawks fans. The playoff run from last year with no expectations was awesome. No pressure or expectations. They could literally get blown out by the Eagles after this and still be absolutely thrilled with the season. 49ers lose and it's an absolute quagmire. 

Points: 0

#40 by Rufus R. Jones // Jan 14, 2023 - 11:58pm

I am jealous of the Seahawks fans.

 

So is everybody in Denver.

Points: 2

#13 by IlluminatusUIUC // Jan 14, 2023 - 5:59pm

Geno slides with 1 second left in the half, baiting the 49ers into an idiot RTP call that gave them a FG attempt and the lead. Vet savvy

Points: 0

#18 by mehllageman56 // Jan 14, 2023 - 6:35pm

He pulled off the same stunt against the Bucs in his first NFL game to set up the winning field goal.  So that's something he's shown since day 1.

Points: 0

#14 by RickD // Jan 14, 2023 - 6:14pm

Was going to criticize Geno for rushing when the clock was ticking to zero.  Little did I know the Seahawks had used mind control on Jimmie Ward to induce an incredibly bad penalty with one second on the clock.

 

 

Points: 1

#16 by mehllageman56 // Jan 14, 2023 - 6:32pm

The Seahawks did have three timeouts, so it wasn't that bad a brain fart if nothing else is there.

Points: 0

#24 by RickD // Jan 14, 2023 - 9:00pm

Good luck getting that time out called.  Best case: they have the ball at their own 45 with one second. 

Well, second best case, apparently.  

Points: 0

#15 by Romodini // Jan 14, 2023 - 6:28pm

Seahawks trying to twist opponents' ankles off in playoff games , nothing new there.

Points: 1

#17 by mehllageman56 // Jan 14, 2023 - 6:33pm

Don't know if the Seahawks have been doing that this year a lot or in playoff games in general, but the refs haven't been calling that at all this year.  Just ask Garrett Wilson.

Points: 1

#20 by Kaepernicus // Jan 14, 2023 - 7:42pm

So how do we contextualize Purdy playing bad in the first half, then come out and play that well in the second half? This is insane. Brock Purdy now has as many TDs as Jimmy G in 5 less playoff games. 

Points: 0

#22 by coboney // Jan 14, 2023 - 8:23pm

I think we interpret it htat Kyle Shanahan is still a really good coach and adjusted to what Pete Caroll was doing come the 2nd quarter (the 1st Q was fine-ish though Purdy maybe had a bit of jitters on accuracy on some early balls).

Jimmy G's earlier playoff games had different tools which impacts that I think. The way Kyle is running the offense with CMC is different - and it was that way with Jimmy G too. It's helped cut down the number of times the 49ers scheme their way to the Red Zone and then stall - giving Kyle two RB/WRs seems to have helped with that especially when accompanied with a good WR in Aiyuk and the incomparable George Kittle.

Points: 0

#25 by RickD // Jan 14, 2023 - 9:01pm

"Trevor Lawrence hasn't thrown a single interception in the first quarter in his NFL career."

So he was due for one.  Or two or three.

 

 

Points: 5

#26 by Tutenkharnage // Jan 14, 2023 - 9:30pm

It’s 24-0, the Chargers have first and goal after a muffed punt, and the only good thing I can say about this game is that the Titans aren’t playing in it. 

Points: 2

#27 by vrao81 // Jan 14, 2023 - 9:31pm

5 turnovers! Can Jaguars fans get a refund on game tickets?

Points: 0

#28 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 14, 2023 - 9:36pm

We secretly replaced Trevor Lawrence with Nathan Peterman. Let’s see if anyone notices…

Points: 0

#29 by rh1no // Jan 14, 2023 - 9:49pm

Trevor Lawrence is 7 for 21 with 4 interceptions, leading me to wonder, "Is this going to be the worst performance by a QB in a playoff game according to DVOA?"

I'm guessing Jake Delhomme has the #1 spot with his game against Arizona in the 2008 playoffs, when he went 17 for 34 with 5 interceptions and a fumble. But Lawrence still has another half to add to his terrible totals.

Points: 0

#30 by mehllageman56 // Jan 14, 2023 - 11:00pm

Chargers gotta charger.

Points: 4

#32 by vrao81 // Jan 14, 2023 - 11:33pm

Chargers Chargered like no one ever Chargered before.

Points: 4

#33 by Tutenkharnage // Jan 14, 2023 - 11:36pm

I am so glad I didn’t grow up a Chargers fan. Ye gods. Their playoff history is what would happen to the Lions if they just made the playoffs more often. 

Points: 4

#41 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 14, 2023 - 11:59pm

As a Lions fan, even I shake my head at the things that happen to the Chargers.

Points: 6

#34 by Tutenkharnage // Jan 14, 2023 - 11:38pm

Staley needs to be fired for this. And for playing Williams and Bosa and the rest of the starters in a meaningless game last week. And choking against the Raiders in last year’s season finale. And for losing his aggro mojo. Dude’s gotta go. 

Points: 1

#49 by rh1no // Jan 15, 2023 - 1:08am

It really looks like Stacey lost control of his team. Even though the refs missed some important calls it was Bosa's outburst that likely cost the Chargers a chance at overtime. And last week's disaster in Denver certainly didn't help LA manage their on-field frustration today. The Jags also outcoached and outplayed the Chargers in the second half, and it has to wear on players when their talent is wasted.

Watching the Bengals evolve the past four years has made me a bigger proponent of showing enough patience and support to allow young coaches and players to develop chemistry and learn from their mistakes, but the Chargers seem to be regressing and their chemistry is like mixing diesel and Styrofoam in your bathtub.

Points: 1

#50 by Beavis // Jan 15, 2023 - 1:23am

Stacey's mom is hot though, and we shouldn't throw the babe out with the bathwater

Points: 3

#35 by IlluminatusUIUC // Jan 14, 2023 - 11:40pm

Brandon Staley loses to an ultra aggressive 2 point call AND a crucial converted 4th on a brilliant play. Amazing

Points: 2

#62 by Noahrk // Jan 15, 2023 - 9:46am

The more I think about it, that 2-pt call should be standard in that situation with that much time on the clock. At least it should be if your offense has been moving the ball well.Think about it. Behind by three teams to go conservative and play for the tie. Whether you make or miss the conversion you have a chance to win it if you get the ball back. What's more, allowing a field goal doesn't kill you either way.

Points: 1

#36 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Jan 14, 2023 - 11:40pm

The game-winning field goal just barely staying inside the right upright on what should have been a gimmee kick is just the ... kicker, I guess (pun-unintended), on a brutal Chargers loss to a Jaguars team that was doing it's best to misfire, but couldn't quite misfire as badly as the Chargers did.

Points: 1

#39 by Tutenkharnage // Jan 14, 2023 - 11:54pm

The real kicker is that the Chargers got flagged for offsides, so even if the kick had missed, the Jags would have tried it again from five yards closer. 

Points: 9

#37 by coboney // Jan 14, 2023 - 11:40pm

Brandon Staley has managed to prove how to lose when everything is going your way. All the bounces went the chargers way, a bunch of non-predictive events went their way, a +5 turnover margin ...

 

Yet he managed to somehow find a way to lose despite everything. It is empiracal proof that no situation cannot sufficiently be tossed away with enough effort.

Good work by Doug Pederson keeping his team in the game mind-wise despite a huge deficit and what must have seemed terrible odds and easy to just give up or tune out. They kept at it, and tweaked their plans to what can work in the game there.

Points: 3

#38 by ahmadrashad // Jan 14, 2023 - 11:53pm

Tony Dungy >>> Kurt Herbhisname. Sign him, Bezos!

Points: 1

#42 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:02am

4 TDS and 4 INTs is a hell of a line.

Points: 3

#108 by TomC // Jan 16, 2023 - 10:20am

I don't know if this is a Rick James / Chappelle reference, but I'm just going to pretend that it is.

Points: 0

#43 by Rufus R. Jones // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:03am

Congratulations to the Jags. And congratulations to the Chargers for hiring Sean Payton in a couple of weeks.

Points: 1

#48 by Beavis // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:46am

Will never happen. Hiring Payton will require beaucoup bucks which the Spanos' don't have. In addition Payton would get all of the credit if the Chargers actually won anything, so there is nothing attractive about that scenario to to the Spanos family. It's like the Jones' family but without the money or football acumen or business acumen. Not sure about the strippers and hookers.

Points: 2

#44 by vrao81 // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:07am

So many questions...how was the chargers defense so bad in the 2nd half? Why did they throw so much in the 2nd half what happened to the running game? How soon is Staley fired?

Points: 0

#45 by vrao81 // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:08am

So many questions...how was the chargers defense so bad in the 2nd half? Why did they throw so much in the 2nd half what happened to the running game? How soon is Staley fired?

Points: 0

#46 by Bob Smith // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:14am

Rumor has it that Trevor Lawrence has never lost a football game on a Saturday, and that includes high school, college, or pro.

Points: 0

#47 by ImNewAroundThe… // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:27am

Dang, JustNOT HIMbert got another coach fired. Go ahead and trade for Payton tho.

Also the Jags team building might be the way. Evaluate your rookie QB then spend on pieces to surround him (not before like NE or...gut it like Chicago). A lot of their free agent signings have been really solid. 

Points: -2

#93 by Rufus R. Jones // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:39pm

Yes. By ignoring the results of the 17 game season, we can pretend that the Jags are a top team and that the Chargers snuck into the playoffs by being the best team in a bad division. And we can hold the Jags up as the shining beacon of team building, despite the fact that their QB threw 4 first half INT's that contributed to their deficit. The rest of the league woke up this morning thinking, "We have to start doing things the Jacksonville Way."

Points: 2

#95 by ImNewAroundThe… // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:56pm

Lol, no one said they were the best in the league. You expected them to be? A year after picking #1 back to back?  Unless you actually think the 4 1st half INTs isn't a fluke...AND is somehow a direct result of their team building. 

It's alright that we mightve been a little wrong about their offseason moves. 

Points: -1

#98 by Rufus R. Jones // Jan 15, 2023 - 1:48pm

If I thought they were the best in the league, I would have said that.

I don't think I was wrong about their off season moves. They've had a nice season compared to what was expected. That's a far cry from being the model for what everybody should be copying. They went .500 and won a playoff game that the other team blew. Not that big of a deal.

Points: 1

#102 by ImNewAroundThe… // Jan 15, 2023 - 3:12pm

I don't think I was wrong

Well, there it is. Gotta be "a top team" after 1 year or you're right (totally, not even "a little wrong")

Gee, I was just complimenting them on a strat that was well bashed in the offseason, as the specific players they signed, arent doing bad and helping them win >.500 AND in the playoffs! (And they had an expected W-L of 9.9-7.1, underperforming!)

Not a big deal at all that an ascending team is still alive but the darlings aren't. Let us learn nothing. Maybe it was alright to spend after getting to know their QB more. Maybe the iron is hot then.

Points: -2

#51 by Will Allen // Jan 15, 2023 - 2:05am

If Herbert had played for the Niners today, they would have scored 60 points.

All credit to the Jaguars; in an incredibly poorly officiated game, the vast majority of bad calls went against them, and they still overcame a 27 point deficit. If that officiating crew works another game this season, there ought to be an investigation.

Lastly, when I saw it was Dungy in the booth, I turned up the volume. He may be too low key for some, but he's so much better than Collinsworth. Dungy probably prefers to work in the studio, which is a shame for me, because I don't watch the studio shows.

Points: 2

#55 by OmahaChiefs13 // Jan 15, 2023 - 4:01am

If Herbert had played for the Niners today, they would have scored 60 points

What does that even mean?

If he played for the Eagles, he'd have seen the Divisional round, too...but he doesn't. He plays for the Chargers...who he led to 3 points once the short fields from turnovers dried up.

Far from the only reason they lost the game, but he's supposed to be better than that.

Points: 3

#57 by Will Allen // Jan 15, 2023 - 8:12am

It means Herbert played much, much, much, better than Purdy, which, given the contrast in the Niners' and Chargers' fates, it might suggest that football is excessively viewed through a qb-focused lens.

Points: 0

#58 by Chuckc // Jan 15, 2023 - 8:59am

Purdy had a rough first half but the 2 minute drive at the end seemed to get him straight. He was fine in the second half.

Points: 0

#60 by Pat // Jan 15, 2023 - 9:21am

Yeah but "fine" in San Francisco gets you like, a Deebo 40 yard slant into a TD or a 20 yard McCaffrey dumpoff. "Perfect" for the Chargers gets you a 6-yard curl route.

Points: 0

#63 by Noahrk // Jan 15, 2023 - 10:05am

Or just give him the Niner defense in the second half and the Chargers win this one easily. It's curious how you blow a 27-point lead and the first guy to get blamed is the QB.

Points: 1

#64 by ImNewAroundThe… // Jan 15, 2023 - 10:14am

 first guy to get blamed is the QB

Yeah...Staley/Lombardi were actually the pre planned scapegoats. 

Points: -1

#70 by Pat // Jan 15, 2023 - 11:15am

Read that again: I'm blaming the *offense*, not Herbert.

The offense did basically nothing all game: they were just handed short fields in the first half. On drives that started in their own territory, they added like 3 expected points net. That's... not good. And that's not a criticism of Herbert: both the short FGs were negative EPA plays, and that's all on Staley.

The defense looks more to blame because their collapse was bigger. But the offense was doing nothing all game, in part because Staley turned plus-EPA field position (starting in +1.5) into only 3 points twice.

Points: 0

#74 by Noahrk // Jan 15, 2023 - 11:21am

I didn't think you were blaming anyone, actually, just commenting on how the talent surrounding the QB is as important as the QB himself. I was agreeing and adding that the defense matters, too, although looking at my post I can see how it might seem I was disagreeing.

Points: 0

#61 by Will Allen // Jan 15, 2023 - 9:39am

I know, I know........ok, let me recalibrate......

.QB WINZZZZZ!!!!

Points: 0

#75 by OmahaChiefs13 // Jan 15, 2023 - 11:24am

Can you really not see a difference between "a QB should be capable of scoring TDs in a playoff game without being regularly gifted short fields" and "QB WINZZ!"?

Would you see any difference between the two if the QB were anyone but Herbert? Might that possibly be the point?

I've seen some really weirdly oversimplified strawman dismissals in my time...even here...but that's an entirely new level.

Points: 0

#86 by Will Allen // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:15pm

Must I really explain that qbs don't score touchdowns, that it is offenses that do that?

Points: 0

#88 by OmahaChiefs13 // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:24pm

If it would explain or justify the QB WINZ strawman, maybe you should.

I mean...I hope you understand the criticality of a QB within the structure of an offense. I also hope you read the places where I stated (multiple times) that Herbert's performance was one factor among many leading to the loss, and not the sole or even primary factor.

I know that makes it more difficult to throw out a pithy response and win the thread, but it might make for a more productive actual discussion.

Points: 0

#94 by Will Allen // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:44pm

Oh, good grief, lighten up. The pithy response wasn't even directed at you. I just think it silly to put Herbert playing better as among even the top 5 things for the Chargers to address, in light of yesterday's debacle, with an eye toward winning playoff games in the future.

Points: 0

#73 by OmahaChiefs13 // Jan 15, 2023 - 11:20am

Ok...it just seems like a very odd (and oddly specific, and oddly irrelevant) comparison to make.

If you think Herbert played better than Purdy, fine. If you don't feel an "elite" QB needs to be able to lift his offense to more than 3 points in a full half of playoff football, that's also your lookout. If you feel that pointing out a QB's inability to do so as one factor among many contributing to a loss is being "overly QB-focused", I can't stop you.

But a comparison to <insert other QB on other team with a completely different scheme, game, roster, and opponent here> really doesn't have any bearing on those things at all.

Points: 0

#76 by Pat // Jan 15, 2023 - 11:37am

Of course an elite QB should score more. But it's not his choice: he can't throw the ball to a receiver that's not there. And he can't choose to put the offense back on the field instead of a (bad) FG.

This isn't new. People have been criticizing the Chargers offense all year for wasting Herbert. The Chargers best plays come when the entire offense breaks down and a scramble drill turns a receiver vertical.

Points: 1

#79 by OmahaChiefs13 // Jan 15, 2023 - 11:45am

But he can control over-throwing receivers when they do get open. He can control inaccurate throws.

Did you see any of those things during the second half last night? I certainly did.

He can't control every factor, certainly, but this notion that he can't control any of them...therefore any failure isnt really his fault...is just asinine.

And that's the frustration a lot of folks are expressing....Justin Herbert gets more leash and leeway granted from people who should know better than any modern QB I can think of off the top of my head.

Points: 0

#85 by Pat // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:14pm

Of course he can! And when he does everything right, and the defense breaks down so the play works, they get (checks notes) 6 yards.

Brady, Machines, and Allen screw up too. Everyone does. The difference is the Chargers require Herbert to be perfect way, way more than other teams

The Chargers offense is a West Coast offense from like 20-30 years ago. It's going up against modern zone-match defenses that can blow up those offenses. You're not challenging those pass-off areas and split safety rules. They'll give you those routes because the safeties are free to tackle.

Points: 1

#90 by Will Allen // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:32pm

I try to avoid using "elite qb" rhetoric. I made the comparison because I saw Purdy play in an environment which is very, very, accomodating for qb success, and in the 1st half miss, by a wide margin, easy, easy, downfield throws to wide open receivers. Then he played better in the 2nd half, aided by play design and receivers that pick up huge chunks after the catch, and that's before we address what it means to a qb that an offense is a threat to get huge chunks on a handoff.

In contrast, Herbert's opportunity window is a fraction of that afforded to any qb taking snaps for the Niners. I thought it was a striking difference in two playoff games played back to back.

Points: 0

#66 by Kaepernicus // Jan 15, 2023 - 10:42am

Wait are you talking about Herbert the check down machine? Brock Purdy made a play that should have been a TD pass to Aiyuk that Herbert couldn't make if he tried. Purdy played like crap for the first 1.5 quarters of the game and then turned into a machine from that point on. Purdy has elite quickness and uses it all the time in creative ways. He's a unique dude with a weird collection of traits and uses all of them perfectly as if he knows his limits. I think he outplayed Herbert by a wide margin in the second halves of their games.

Points: 1

#69 by Will Allen // Jan 15, 2023 - 10:59am

A football game has two halves, and the misses in the first half were astoundingly bad. Like MAC Conference bad. Yes, there is much to be hopeful with in Purdy, and that last throw into the end zone is an indicator of that. 

It really should be noted that Purdy is playing in the most qb friendly environment imaginable.

 

 

Points: 2

#71 by Pat // Jan 15, 2023 - 11:16am

The check downs aren't Herbert. That's all that's there. You can't throw a deep TD to receivers that aren't there.

And I don't mean "open." I mean they're not there. The receivers aren't going vertical.

Points: 1

#65 by mehnsrea // Jan 15, 2023 - 10:24am

Man all this gushing for Herbert. They had a chance to put 31 on the board toward the end of the first half and Herbert made multiple lousy throws. In fact on two late first half drives Herbert played and acted as if they had the game won. So I don’t totally exonerate him for anything. That said, Staley is a poor coach and they should make a change.

Points: 2

#67 by Will Allen // Jan 15, 2023 - 10:53am

Accurately noting that the Chargers get far better qb play than a team that may well end up winning the last game, and that the Chargers have much bigger priorities than getting better qb play, is not "gushing" for Herbert. It's just reality.

We'll agree on this much. It's not often that I think a coach in his 2nd year, in the wake of a 10 win season, might warrant firing, but this is the exception. I'm not super familiar with these Chargers, but, man  they do not look, to me, to be competently coached on either side of the ball.

Points: 0

#68 by coltsandrew // Jan 15, 2023 - 10:56am

My general rule of thumb is that if a team scores 30 points or more but loses, the problem is either the defense, special teams, or coaching. Historically, the highest-scoring teams in the league average less than 30 PPG, and the average score for winning teams ranges from 21-24. Thus, if you can put up 30 points, the odds of winning are pretty high, all things being equal.

It's certainly true that a few more completions from Herbert, or another score would've put the game out of reach, but more-effective running game would have had the same effect with less turnover and clock-stoppage risk. Moreover, one more critical defensive stop would have won the game, too, but no one really tries to analyze that too hard. Of course, no one on the defense gets paid like a QB, so there it is...

Points: 0

#72 by Pat // Jan 15, 2023 - 11:18am

The offense didn't score those points, the defense did. You get handed multiple possessions inside the 20, you better score points.

Points: 3

#103 by coltsandrew // Jan 15, 2023 - 3:51pm

And they did. But the Chargers offense didn't give up 31 points, the Chargers defense did.

Points: 1

#77 by OmahaChiefs13 // Jan 15, 2023 - 11:38am

Of course, no one on the defense gets paid like a QB, so there it is...

The Chargers defense isn't routinely declared to be elite or top 3 in the league, either.

Meanwhile, a major national outlet (and not one of the hawt-taek vendors....a reasonably legitimate outlet with respectable bylines) had Justin Herbert listed as the 2nd best QB in the league as recently as yesterday.

Higher than Allen, Burrow, and a whole host of QBs...basically better than everyone not named Mahomes.

Whether you want to place any blame on Herbert for last night's loss or not, I hope we can agree we did not see "better than Josh Allen" play from him...and that he can't blame the defense or his OC or the scheme or injuries for being unable to provide that level of play.

Points: 1

#78 by OmahaChiefs13 // Jan 15, 2023 - 11:38am

Of course, no one on the defense gets paid like a QB, so there it is...

The Chargers defense isn't routinely declared to be elite or top 3 in the league, either.

Meanwhile, a major national outlet (and not one of the hawt-taek vendors....a reasonably legitimate outlet with respectable bylines) had Justin Herbert listed as the 2nd best QB in the league as recently as yesterday.

Higher than Allen, Burrow, and a whole host of QBs...basically better than everyone not named Mahomes.

Whether you want to place any blame on Herbert for last night's loss or not, I hope we can agree we did not see "better than Josh Allen" play from him...and that he can't blame the defense or his OC or the scheme or injuries for being unable to provide that level of play.

Points: 0

#80 by Pat // Jan 15, 2023 - 11:55am

"or his OC or the scheme or injuries for being unable to provide that level of play."

Please explain this. When your offense is all slant/flat or curls, how do you get a TD like the Jaguars did with Zay Jones? There's no one there. If the OC gives a clear-out go route the defense leaves open, what is Herbert supposed to do? Throw a pass to a receiver who doesn't turn around?

Maybe Herbert isn't that great. We have no idea. That offense is built to make a replacement level QB average. But it *also* would make an elite QB average, too.

And yes, you can point at easy missed throws. Every QB has those. The highlight plays from Herbert come out of structure, because the structure is that bad.

Points: 0

#81 by Scott P. // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:01pm

If there isn't enough info to determine that Herbert isn't that great, there also isn't enough info to anoint him the #2 QB in the league.

Points: 1

#87 by Pat // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:16pm

Totally agree. Said that above, and it's also what Mike Tanier's saying.

Points: 0

#83 by OmahaChiefs13 // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:04pm

And yes, you can point at easy missed throws. Every QB has those. 

But not every QB has them to the same degree or with the same frequency. I'd think this is obvious.

Just like you can point to the throws where nobody is open or receivers don't turn around...every QB deals with those issues, too. We routinely expect most QBs to provide more than 3 points of offense in a half of playoff football despite those challenges without going to extremes to point out how little control that QB has over their performance.

...unless that QB is Justin Herbert. If it's Herbert, we call him a cyborg when we see the highlights, then claim he's a helpless, powerless pawn of his scheme for everything else.

There's no more justification for claiming Herbert has no control than there is for solely blaming him for last night's meltdown. Yet some people continue to cheerfully tilt the board in only the one direction.

Points: 0

#89 by Pat // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:30pm

"But not every QB has them to the same degree or with the same frequency. I'd think this is obvious."

I mean, it would be, if it was true. Mahomes, Allen, Hurts, Rodgers, Brady all have higher bad throw percentages than Herbert. And yes, he's middle of the pack in on target throws, but that spread isn't that large and *by volume* Herbert has the second most on target throws in the league, second to only Tom Brady.

The place where it is obvious what's going on with Herbert is ADoT on open downs, where Herbert has the shortest target distance in the league. Just like other QBs in this offense in the past.

Points: 0

#100 by mrh // Jan 15, 2023 - 2:14pm

Chiefs fan very happy with the outcome last night.  A few comments.

Mahomes is not THAT accurate.  He makes plenty of good throws, but a lot of them are "good enough" not perfectly placed.  I would not say his accuracy is top tier.  But his other traits are so good, it usually doesn't matter.  But every once in a while the offense hits a lull, and often it's because Mahomes misses a little on a couple of throws in a row.

I don't watch the "hot-takes" shows or follow twitter, so I can't comment on Herbert being over-rated in those venues.  He's really good IMO but I'd take Mahomes, Allen, and Burrow over him.  Probably others but I'm not putting a lot of thought into it.  But given the same team QB'd by Purdy or Herbert, I'd rather face the Purdy-led team.

Points: 0

#107 by Pat // Jan 15, 2023 - 11:37pm

Let me be clear what I said elsewhere: I don't know how good Herbert is, because the offense is holding him back.

All the traits you see Mahomes, Allen, and Burrow have? Herbert might have them. He's certainly made amazing throws out of the disaster of the offensive structure he's in. And within the offense he's given, he's consistently making the right choices. He's plenty accurate. The idea that he makes more bad throws than Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, etc. is just wrong. He's just in an offense that doesn't belong in the NFL.

Points: 0

#104 by coltsandrew // Jan 15, 2023 - 3:59pm

I agree on Herbert. I don't think he's a great QB, but he's much better than average. I just think it's weird to criticize him in a loss when the offense scores 30 points. On average, that makes for a 10 point margin of victory. Put another way, it's strange that anyone would say the problem was the QB that put points on the board and not the defense that failed to keep the points off.

Points: 0

#82 by DoubleB // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:04pm

Two things stand out to me.

1) The first you mentioned. LA led the ENTIRE game and threw it twice as much as they ran it (46-23). I don't follow the Chargers much so maybe that's their MO, but that seems . . . excessive

2) The last 3 minutes or so of the first half. Chargers settle for a FG after 1st and goal to make it 27-0, force a punt, the 3rd and 1 botched WR end-around (that guy didn't look like he thought he should have gotten the ball there), and the really short punt that gave Jax life for the end of half TD. Chargers had a real opportunity to get out of there by 30+ or at least keep it at 27.

Points: 0

#84 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:08pm

I don't think he was supposed to get the by. I think he was dummy fly motion and it was going to the HB on a dive, but the snap timing was off so as the QB pivoted around, they collided.

Points: 0

#99 by mrh // Jan 15, 2023 - 1:56pm

Article on The Athletic (suybscription required?) https://theathletic.com/4092222/2023/01/15/chargers-jaguars-playoffs-comeback-brandon-staley/

Says the interior run was the called play; the jet sweep was the "kill" audible if the Jags defense was set to stop the interior run.  Herbert called the audible but the jet sweep was designed for DeAndre Carter who was out and the backup, undrafted FA Michael Bandy either missed the "kill" call or blew his assignment.  Also points out Carter is -21 (MINUS 21) on four jet sweeps this year.

Points: 0

#91 by Pat // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:33pm

"I don't follow the Chargers much so maybe that's their MO, but that seems . . . excessive"

It is their MO. It's old school WCO with horizontal stretch concepts and short passes to pull up safeties instead of runs. Problem is that it's going against zone match type defenses where the safety depth isn't that bad anyway since you man up on deep threats.

edit: should say it's *dumb* WCO, b/c the entire point is to challenge short and when they are too aggressive, go deep, but the Chargers don't take the deep shots because they're not open by structure. It's really bad playcalling.

Points: 0

#92 by andrew // Jan 15, 2023 - 12:34pm

I'd apologize to Burger King but they don't deserve it for that commercial ear worm, so....

Charger Charger Charger Charger
Twenty Seven points -- feels larger
Single double triple margin
This is the way

Resting starters for the playoff
It’s ok if I don’t want that
Impossible to blow this lead Charger
Yet the Chargers found a way

You end your season today
Coach Staley end it today

Points: 3

#96 by lenny65 // Jan 15, 2023 - 1:13pm

It was all a great example of why you have to ignore the incessant weekly hot take-generating hype machine. Last year, people were whispering "bust" re: Lawrence and anointing Herbert as the second coming. No one is seriously suggesting that Herbert isn't good, but perhaps expectations need to be slightly recalibrated there.

Points: 0

#97 by Will Allen // Jan 15, 2023 - 1:30pm

I, for one, was astounded that after looking completely overmatched when playing on a team coached by Urban Meyer, that Lawrence looks quite promising, while playing for the same team, now coached by Doug Pederson.

[sarcasm off]

I suspect that if the Chargers make a similar improvement in coaching (well as similar as possible; Staley has issues, but he ain't Urban Meyer!), the estimation of Herbert among many will significantly improve.

Points: 0

#105 by coltsandrew // Jan 15, 2023 - 4:28pm

Part of me wonders if Peyton Manning is somewhat responsible for the extreme criticism that QBs have to deal with. He was probably the only QB that could basically function as an OC, and was constantly working on refining his mechanics, etc. But the vast majority of starting QBs will never be that caliber, and so coaching matters a lot more than some seem to think.

Points: 1

#106 by Rufus R. Jones // Jan 15, 2023 - 5:52pm

He didn't call anything that most QB's don't. The media just ate it up more.

Points: 0

#101 by MaineRaider // Jan 15, 2023 - 2:16pm

Even Raider and Falcon fans were befuddled by the Chargers' second-half collapse yesterday.

Points: 0

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