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Three Takeaways: "Execution" Key for Chargers Moving Forward


Here's what Brandon Staley, Justin Herbert, Linval Joseph, and Asante Samuel Jr. had to say following Sunday's game against Minnesota.

'Need to execute better'

The Chargers ended Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings on the other side of a close game after a 27-20 loss at SoFi Stadium.

After the game, head coach Brandon Staley talked about how both the players and coaches for the Bolts need to perform better and execute in order to walk away with a win, especially in close, one-score games.

"I like the way that we're utilizing our people," Staley said. "I think that we've gone into these games with really quality plans. I think our execution today wasn't good enough today. Our execution on offense, our execution on defense, and in the kicking game, it wasn't consistent enough to beat that team. That's why we lost, because our guys were playing really hard, but we need to execute better."

Quarterback Justin Herbert, who threw his 50th career touchdown pass on Sunday, talked about how the team can execute better on the money down.

"We'd love to go down and score every single drive," Herbert said. "We're obviously trying to do that, but you know we just need to execute better on third down, we need to be more adamant about it. I felt like we had some good things and obviously, a lot of things to clean up as well."

Staley also talked about the difference in time of possession as being a factor in Sunday's game. The Vikings had the ball for just over 36 minutes while the Chargers had the ball for close to 24 minutes. Staley gave insight as to why the time of possession was so lopsided, noting it fell on the offense not being able to sustain drives.

In order to turn that around, he discussed the importance of being 'aggressive.'

"When we were at our best today is when we were pushing the pace and we were staying on schedule, and we were being aggressive on early downs," Staley said. "I feel like getting [Herbert] on the move helps his game out and helps our line out. I like that formula."

Focused on playing a complete game

After a close loss, Herbert talked about the importance of dealing with adversity and learning from your mistakes in order to improve heading into next week. Herbert shared his belief in his teammates to show up and continue to improve as the Chargers prepare to face the Steelers in Week 11.

"I think we need to keep being ourselves," Herbert said. "We need to keep getting better and to keep learning and to keep growing. Obviously, losing is never fun but it's all about how the guys react and how they show up tomorrow to lift and to the film. I believe in this locker room, I know those guys are going to show up and give their best effort."

Veteran defensive tackle Linval Joseph talked about the importance of playing a complete game in all three phases and the potential the Chargers have once they can do that on a consistent basis.

"I just know when things get rolling and once everything lines up properly, we are going to be a hard team to beat," Joseph said. "We showed spurts of offense, explosive scoring in five, six plays, scoring in two plays and throwing bombs down the field … We just have to put it all together at the same time."

Odds & Ends

Staley on possibly going for the TD late in the fourth instead of kicking the FG: "I felt like the certainty of points and to give ourselves a chance [was best.]  I felt defensively that we would get an opportunity for us to come back, score, and go for two to win. But I felt like it was going to be a one-possession game and the certainty of points there was good. I felt like with time being on our side, I felt like we could get a possession back and we would be able to go down there and score a touchdown.  We had all of our timeouts and the two-minute [warning,] and I felt like in that circumstance it was the right thing to do to truly make it a one-possession game."

Asante Samuel Jr. on growth going up against top receivers this season: "I've learned a lot and I'm thankful to be able to go out there and guard the best receivers in the league so I can match myself up against them and see how I really am. I always knew I was good, and can handle the situation, I just have to go out there and show other people I can do it."

Joseph on the time of possession battle: "That's not how you want to play this game. You want to play 50-50; you don't want to be on the field for 80 or 90 snaps, that's like playing two games. We just gotta figure out ways to hold the ball, control the ball, get turnovers … And really push that gas on them."

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