Justin Herbert and his head coach, Brandon Staley, face first big challenge with Chargers

Brandon Staley, named Chargers head coach this season, and young quarterback sensation Justin Herbert will face their first big challenge in the final game of the regular season to define their playoff spot.

For the first time, we will have a week 18 in the NFL and in the case of Chargers, their visit to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday will define whether they are in the playoffs or not. The divisional rivalry between the two teams was promoted to Sunday Night’s main game due to the stakes and will also close out the NFL regular season.

Staley became the head coach of the Los Angeles franchise in the current 2021 season. After a season of ups and downs, Chargers enter the final week in need of a win or draw to advance.

“This season has been a constant struggle for various reasons and we have endured,” said coach Staley prior to the trip to Las Vegas. “To measure performance I look at whether I am maximizing the potential of the group and whether I am preparing these players in the best way to reach their potential. I feel that we have done it, we have stayed united in the face of adversity.”

Chargers started the season promisingly with four wins in the first five games, but then fell into a slump in part due to injuries and major player absences from COVID-19. Now, with a record of nine wins and seven losses on the year, it is reduced to the last game for a wild-card berth to the postseason.

“With each game we are extremely excited. It is always a great opportunity to play the type of football we like. We have had our ups and downs this year, but we had a good week of training and preparation. That is the most important thing going forward to the game. game this Sunday, “said QB Herbert.

Herbert, who continues to break individual records in the season and can break as many in the game, remains true to his way of expressing himself and puts the success of the group before the individual. Despite having the spotlight for the duel against the Raiders, Herbert does not change his calm demeanor.

“We all have to be focused because it is an important game. The Raiders are a very good team and they are playing very well right now,” the 23-year-old quarterback said.

Herbert has been named the AFC’s starting quarterback for the Pro Bowl. He became the quarterback with the most TD passes in a single season in Chargers history with 35, surpassing Philip Rivers with 34. He can still surpass another franchise mark with the most completions in a season (438) if he completes 29 against the Raiders and, if he had a ninth game of more than 300-yards this season, it would be a new record as well.

Herbert, who is only in his second season in the NFL, has only as a precedent the PAC-12 collegiate championship achieved with the University of Oregon, in a win-win scenario. On that occasion, the victory earned them to play the Rose Bowl.

“The only thing that comes to my mind is the PAC-12 championship to go to the Rose Bowl, but other than that, I don’t remember another scenario like that,” Herbert recalled when they beat Utah in the PAC-12 championship in 2019. A for dessert, they were crowned at the Rose Bowl off Wisconsin.

Chargers has only one postseason appearance in the past five seasons and two in the past ten. Led by young Herbert and coach Staley, the franchise hopes to usher in a new era of success for the team.