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Justin Herbert Performance on Sunday Masked Chargers Roster Problems

The young quarterback had himself a game on Sunday.

The NFL playoffs will be kicking off this weekend, and Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert will not be participating. Instead, he will be at home, most likely going over the film of this season to see what more he could have done to lead his team to the playoffs.

There isn't much more he could've done.

The Chargers faced a "win, and you're in" game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. In the game's final eight minutes, Herbert and Co. were down 29-14 and started the drive at their 25-yard line.

Herbert turned it on and started dicing up the Raiders defense. The offense got themselves in a jam facing fourth-and 21 with the defense playing prevent in the end zone. Rookie receiver Josh Palmer did an up and in between multiple Raiders defenders, and Herbert rifled it into his hands.

It was a seven-point game after a two-point conversion from Herbert to running back Austin Ekeler.

Next drive, there was a first-and-goal with five seconds left in the game. Herbert went to receiver Mike Williams for a 12-yard touchdown between two defenders to tie the game.

Herbert was able to bring the team back to tie the game.

In overtime, Daniel Carlson hit a 40-yard field goal to give the Raiders the lead. The Chargers matched it after a 47-yard catch and run from Williams on a fourth-and nine conversion. The offense stalled and required a Dustin Hopkins field goal to tie it.

Carlson kicked the Chargers out of the playoffs with a 47-yard field goal to win it.

"We never quit," Herbert said. "That offense that went out there, we were in the huddle together. We believed in each other. Like we have all year, we believed that we still could have won that game. It took all three phases. Unfortunately, we fell short. That's a tough part about the NFL. I'm proud of the way that those guys battled."

Here is the reality the Chargers shouldn't have lost that game. They should be preparing to face Buffalo this week.

The lack of depth on the defense is a problem.

The Chargers defense has struggled all year against the run, and it continued on Sunday. There were instances where they held down Josh Jacobs from going crazy, but overall they couldn't stop him.

He ran for 132 yards, and 28 of them came in the most crucial time of the game.

On the other side, the Raiders defense was able to stop the Chargers offensive when it mattered most, which was in overtime to hold them to a field goal.

The Chargers defense couldn't hold them down in either overtime possession. One of the biggest question marks on Sunday was why Kenneth Murray played middle linebacker when he has been at edge rusher for the last month, plus he played more snaps than Drue Tranquill.

In certain packages, he was their only linebacker on the field, over Kyzir White.

"We just felt like those three guys were all going to play in the game, we had different roles, and then for this game, Drue (Tranquill) coming off his injury just wanted to make sure that all three of those guys were going to rotate in play in the game and felt like all three of them played well," Staley said.

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It is not just Murray playing, but also the lack of "development" that many people in the organization said that former first-round pick Jerry Tillery and recently paid cornerback Michael Davis would make.

The fact is the defense is top-heavy with safety Derwin James, edge rusher Joey Bosa, White, rookie cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., defensive linemen Justin Jones and Linval Joseph. Tranquill has been hurt quite a few times if not, he would be on the list.

The rest of the defense struggles to produce consistently. It is hard to know what the Chargers have outside of the players mentioned.

"Herb is amazing," James said. "He's been amazing all season. I just hate we didn't get it done for him today because I feel like a just having a guy like that always gives you a chance."

There is no depth with the game against the Houston Texans being the most eye-opening or against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Chargers couldn't stop Rex Burkhead, Le'Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs, or Tony Pollard. They also couldn't slow down Justin Jefferson, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, or David Njoku.

It is Brandon Staley's defense, but many of the defensive players he had are carried over from the previous regime. Samuel was the only starter that is a Staley signing or draft pick on the defense.

On the offensive side of the football, it has taken years for some stability on the offensive line. The left side has pro bowl left tackle Rashawn Slater, left guard Matt Feiler, and pro bowl center Corey Linsley.

On the right side, there were injuries to Oday Aboushi (who was having a good season) and Bryan Bulaga at right tackle, who only played in the first half of the opening weekend and was done.

The Chargers didn't have the necessary depth, so they started Storm Norton at right tackle and Michael Schofield at right guard. Both struggled numerous times during the season. On Sunday alone, Raiders pass rusher Maxx Crosby had eight pressures in the fourth quarter.

The right side is where Herbert has received the most pressure from this season.

Imagine this, Herbert on Sunday almost led a miraculous comeback. He went six for six for 106 yards and one touchdown while converting all six in the fourth quarter and overtime. Think about that.

"This guy, man, I even had some players — [Patriots TE] Hunter Henry hit me up and was like, 'Man, J-Herb is special.' I'm like, 'Yeah. That guy makes me want to play forever around him,' because he's a guy that, man," Ekeler said.

According to The Athletic, he had a one-in-8,000 chance of completing all six of those first downs, which equals 0.01%.

"You see it like last night," Slater said. "Are you kidding me? The things he's able to do is just unbelievable. There is never a situation we're in where we feel like we're out. Like last night, I don't think anyone for a second lost hope just because we know who we have."

The Chargers have a young quarterback that won them numerous games this season. He should be in the playoffs competing against the best. They need to fix multiple issues on this team.

These depth issues fall on general manager Tom Telesco because it isn't like this happened all of a sudden. It has been an issue since he began his tenure in 2013. There have been offensive line struggles, depth concerns, and draft failures.

This offseason they will have money, draft picks, and no excuses.

"That's why I hate that we aren't in the tournament because he's one of the best players in the NFL," Staley said. "I hate that he's not in the tournament competing against the best players in the NFL, and I hate it for him."