2023 NFL quarterback analysis: Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK

2023 NFL quarterback analysis: Los Angeles Chargers

Current starter: Justin Herbert | Current backups: Chase Daniel and Easton Stick 

State of the position: The 24-year-old Herbert is an exceptional talent and cornerstone of the Chargers. In his first three seasons, Herbert finished top 10 in passing touchdowns every season and was second in passing yards (4,739) this season.

Yet Herbert's brilliance has fizzled in the playoffs and other big games. 

He's still looking for his first playoff win after a Chargers collapse in the wild-card round against Jacksonville. Herbert has a 2-4 record against divisional rival Kansas City, who have won seven straight AFC West titles. 

In critics' minds, Herbert is on a tier below the exceptional QBs.

"Herbert may be developing into an outstanding quarterback, but he is not yet an outstanding quarterback," wrote Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders. 

Key stat: Herbert threw for 94 touchdowns in his first three seasons. He and Pro Hall of Famer Dan Marino are the only players to throw for 90 or more TDs in their first three seasons.  

2023 QB forecast: Herbert needs a deep playoff run to dispel the notion that he's a great regular-season player who shrinks in the clutch.

An impressive regular season and the Chargers' first postseason win since the 2018 playoffs would make Los Angeles feel better about a massive extension for Herbert. He has two years left on his rookie deal, which includes a fifth-year option.       

Earlier this week, Los Angeles fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. Will the new coordinator unlock Herbert's full potential?

"I think there's a different gear we can get to as a football team," head coach Brandon Staley said after the firing, per Chargers.com.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen believes former Colts coach Frank Reich is a candidate to replace Lombardi.

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