Jim Harbaugh will change NFL all-time leading statistic for Justin Herbert

The Los Angeles Chargers will be expected to have one of the league’s more prolific offenses in 2024 because Justin Herbert is the team’s quarterback. But because the team has Jim Harbaugh as its new head coach, the offense will be more balanced. 

With Herbert, the Chargers have attempted to have an offense that throws it all over the yard. The running backs (mainly Austin Ekeler) were used more as receivers than ball carriers. 

Jim Harbaugh likes to play smashmouth football. He likes to hand the ball to his running backs and let his offensive line push the opponent around to grind out victories. It’s a system that works as Harbaugh took the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl and won the national championship at Michigan. 

But last season, the Chargers ran the ball just 431 times. Only eight teams in the league ran it less. That kind of play has helped Justin Herbert top the NFL’s all-time list in a category that we can expect to change under Harbaugh. 

Starting in 2024, Justin Herbert won’t throw the football as much

Justin Herbert has averaged 39.1 pass attempts per game during his career. That is the most in NFL history. But under Harbaugh, we are likely to see that average start to come down. 

This offseason, the team signed Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins, both from the Baltimore Ravens, the team that just happened to run the ball more than any other in 2023. It’s a clear change in offensive philosophy and the idea will be that while the Chargers still have one of the league’s most dynamic passers in Herbert, he shouldn’t have to work as hard. 

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Herbert played in 12 full games last season before a broken finger shut him down for the year. In those 12 games, he had 35+ pass attempts in eight of them. This season, Harbaugh might not have him throw the ball that many times once. 

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