It seems like a reoccurring theme with the Chargers this season has been the amount of dropped passes. There hasn't been one specific player to point the finger at; It has been a team problem.
It has hurt their production especially during their last six games in which they are 2-4.
At first, it felt like an aberration because of how these drops would happen but it seems to have turned into a trend in recent weeks.
"The guys that have had drops for us are some of the elite playmakers in the league," head coach Brandon Staley said.
According to Sportsradar, receiver Mike Williams has six dropped passes while Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, and Jared Cook have five each. That is 21 dropped passes by four playmakers. That hurts.
"I always hark on — have you ever taken a drink of water and swallowed it wrong? How many reps do you have on taking a drink of water? You can still mess it up. Or, you bite the side of your mouth when you're eating," Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi explained two weeks ago. "With great players, sometimes the water goes down the wrong pipe. I think that it will even out."
The connection between Justin Herbert with Allen and Williams is clearly there because they have combined for 1,639 yards and nine touchdowns. If anything, in year two, the trio's connection has grown.
Herbert has thrown five go-ahead touchdowns to Williams, so he trusts those guys.
"We got to execute, we got to make plays," Allen said. "When it's time to make a play, we keep doing whatever we doing to not do what we're supposed to do. That's just what it is."
Allen was asked on Wednesday if maybe Herbert is throwing too hard.
"I've never been a fan of somebody saying that," Allen said.
Allen isn't one to make excuses.
"If he throws it too hard, go out there and turn the JUGS machine up and get ready to catch the fastball," Allen said. "He throwing the ball to you, you better catch it. S***. I want the ball. Throw that mother****** however you wanna throw it."
The Chargers are second in the NFL with 28 dropped passes, according to Sportsradar. That is an average of 2.5 drops a game. There have been some that have hurt the team.
There are some recent examples.
Against the New England Patriots, Chargers were driving up the field before halftime when Herbert threw a pass to Ekeler, which slipped out of his hands and into Adrian Phillips's hands for one of his two interceptions.
Two weeks later, against the Vikings, the Chargers were down 27-17. They were on the eighth-yard line when Herbert threw a slant pass to Williams, who dropped it. If Williams had secured it, he would have walked into the end zone for six.
Last Sunday against the Broncos, Ekeler was near the flat when he began to move up, so Herbert threw him a pass that was behind him that was popped up and intercepted by Patrick Surtain, then taken to the house.
"Our skill group is as good as there's going to be in pro football right now," Staley said. "We got one of the elite players throwing it in the entire NFL. So, we're going to continue to improve. I think those guys are going to continue to feel that connection."
Nuts N’ Bolts
· Injury report. DNP: CB Asante Samuel Jr. (concussion), S Alohi Gilman (quad). Limited: G Matt Feiler (ankle), DB Trey Marshall (ankle). Full: CB Tevaughn Campbell (toe), LB Kenneth Murray (ankle).