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Justin Herbert doesn’t care much for his stats after another Chargers loss

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert tries to run away from Denver Broncos defensive end Shelby Harris.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert tries to run away from Denver Broncos defensive end Shelby Harris during the first half of a 31-30 loss Sunday.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

He passed for three more touchdowns and another 278 yards, but Justin Herbert didn’t seem to care much for statistics after the Chargers lost 31-30 at Denver.

“We came up short so it really doesn’t matter how well I played or how poorly I played,” the rookie quarterback said. “We lost.”

Herbert is 1-5 as a starter despite performing in a way that has captivated the NFL.

He completed 13 consecutive attempts during one stretch Sunday and finished 29 of 43. His scoring passes went to receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and fullback Gabe Nabers, a fellow rookie who secured his first NFL touchdown.

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The Chargers’ latest late-game meltdown comes when they give up a touchdown with no time left in regulation in their 31-30 loss to the Denver Broncos.

But Herbert also was intercepted twice, the turnovers leading to 10 Broncos points.

The second came in the end zone on a ball intended for Williams in the final two minutes of the third quarter. At the time, the Chargers were leading 24-10, looking to add to their advantage and already in field-goal position.

“I could have thrown a better ball,” Herbert said. “It could have been a little farther outside. I’m trying to give Mike a chance.”

Running charged

After searching for a more productive rushing attack for four games, the Chargers ripped through the Denver defense for 210 yards on the ground. Justin Jackson finished with 17 carries for 89 yards and Troymaine Pope had 10 carries for 67 yards.

For the fourth game in a row, the Chargers defense blew a double-digit lead. Against the Broncos, they held on until the last play when Denver scored the winning touchdown.

Pope appeared in 14 games for the Chargers in 2019 and has spent time this season on the practice squad. He had one carry entering Sunday. The Chargers had three running plays that gained at least 22 yards in their most productive rushing game since Week 6 of 2018.

Pope left the game seven minutes into the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion and did not return.

Etc.

Sunday marked the fifth time in franchise history the Chargers blew a lead of 21 points or more. Most recently, they did it against Kansas City in the 2016 season opener. … Cole Toner started at right guard, his first career NFL start, and became the fourth starter at that spot for the Chargers this season.

Breaking down the notable numbers behind the Chargers’ 31-30 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.


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