NFL News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert showed crucial signs of growth in impressive Week 1 victory

Landover, Maryland, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) prepares to pass the ball against the Washington Football Teamat FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

There were plenty of big storylines after the Los Angeles Chargers‘ 20-16 opening-week victory over the Washington Football TeamRyan Fitzpatrick‘s significant hip injury; Rashawn Slater allowing zero pressures against one of the best defensive lines in football; and the return of All-Pro Derwin James.

Somehow overlooked in the Chargers' hard-fought road win over a Washington team with playoff aspirations was the play of second-year QB Justin Herbert.

Click here for more PFF tools:

Fantasy Draft Kit | PFF Betting Dashboard | PFF Fantasy Rankings
PFF Fantasy Projections | NFL Premium Stats | Win Totals Tracker

Before the 2021 season, PFF’s Sam Monson ranked Washington as one of the NFL's five defenses. Washington had PFF's second-best defensive line entering the season and 11th-best secondary. Traveling across the country to face this type of defense was a serious Week 1 challenge. 

There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding Herbert this offseason, even after a decidedly impressive rookie season. Herbert had thrived in typically unsustainable situations, like passing under pressure. His overall efficiency was driven by big plays. And he was going through a fourth coordinator change in four years.

However, Herbert seemed to answer most of the offseason questions in just one game, even if the box score — 337 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 7.3 aDOT — doesn't jump out.

Subscribe to PFF Edge to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.

NFL Featured Tools

  • Live picks, grades and reaction to the 2022 NFL Draft.

  • PFF's Big Board for the 2023 NFL Draft offers three-year player grades, combine measurables, position rankings, and in-depth player analysis for all of the top draft prospects.

    Available with

  • 250+ three-page scouting profiles - advanced stats, 3-year grades, player comps, combine data and Senior Bowl grades - for the 2022 draft class.

    Available with

  • PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts.

    Available with

  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data.

    Available with

Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr