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Justin Herbert provides some first half fireworks for the Chargers

USA TODAY Sports Media Group
USA TODAY Sports Media Group
 2021-10-05
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Monday night’s game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Los Angeles Chargers was delayed due to lightning in the area around SoFi Stadium. With some open areas to the stadium, the weather needed to clear in the vicinity of the stadium before it was safe to get the contest started.

When the game did begin, the lightning came in the form of Justin Herbert’s right arm.

The Chargers scored on their opening drive of the game, with Herbert finding Donald Parham in the back of the end zone with an absolute rocket:

The throw is impressive, but so is the read. As you can see on the end zone angle, Herbert opens to the left side of the formation to read the two-receiver concept. But when he sees the opening between the safeties — and Parham settling into that open area — Herbert uncorks a laser, and the Chargers are on the board.

Late in the second quarter, Herbert again delivered with a rocket in the red zone as the Chargers built a 14-0 lead:

The recipient this time? Tight end Jared Cook. As with the previous play, this is both a great read and a great throw from the quarterback. The Raiders show two-high safeties before the snap, but rotate one of them down over Cook and play with a single-high safety. Herbert again opens to the left, which holds the post-safety in the middle of the field, before throwing a rope to Cook for the score.

Herbert and the Chargers, however, were not done. After the Los Angeles defense forced a three-and-out, Herbert and the offense went right back down the field. They capped off a nine-play drive with this touchdown from Herbert to Austin Ekeler on the wheel route:

What stands out about this touchdown? The placement. The wheel route is a tough pass to place, particularly down in the red zone when space is at a premium. But Herbert puts this throw right on the money, and the Chargers have a 21-point lead over their AFC West rivals.

We might have needed to wait for this one to get underway, but Herbert is making up for the delay with some fireworks of his own.

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