It’s time for the first ever “Analysis of the Week”, where we pick apart the month that was, look at the biggest headlines of the week, and then talk rationally about what is happening in the NFL. And, as some of you know, this is the first year that the Los Angeles Chargers have had a quarterback named Justin Herbert.
Things are looking up for the Los Angeles Chargers in the second half of the 2018 NFL season. With RB Melvin Gordon re-joining the team, the Chargers are rolling on offense with the best offense in the NFL at the moment. On the defensive side of the ball, the Chargers made a huge move when they acquired LB Melvin Ingram from the Miami Dolphins.
On the surface, the Los Angeles Chargers and their quarterback of the future, San Diego State’s Justin Herbert , might not seem like a match made in heaven. However, the Bolts may be just the team to get the most out of the Oregon star.
Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers has been named the NFL Rookie of the Year for 2020. Setting a high standard for any athlete, particularly a quarterback, is difficult. In order to leap again in 2021, Herbert will have to do something exceptional. How about finishing the year as a contender for MVP? The former Oregon Duck is prepared to take on the challenge. Josh-Allen-style, Herbert is going to move from excellent to great and catapult himself into the MVP discussion.
Allen’s journey took an additional year since he struggled throughout his first season before improving in year two. In 2020, he had his best season, placing second to Aaron Rodgers in MVP voting. Herbert is on the verge of making the same jump.
When Justin Herbert entered the NFL draft, he was surrounded by questions, but he soon addressed them.
The majority of the flaws scouts saw in Herbert prior to the 2020 selection concerns his appearance. Herbert had all of the physical attributes necessary to thrive in the NFL, including size, speed, arm power, and intellect. The issue was that these tools didn’t always transfer to the field as well as they should have. Herbert should have dominated the Pac-12 with his physical talents at Oregon, but he didn’t. He was competent, but not exceptional. Scouts were also concerned about his offensive command and leadership skills; he seemed to be too laid-back.
Perhaps those critiques aren’t what prevents a guy like Herbert from making it in the pros. Perhaps they were exaggerated. Regardless, after Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, he was the third quarterback chosen in the draft. Although there was some danger in LA’s selection, the Chargers’ desire for a high-level quarterback was apparent as Philip Rivers moved on.
Herbert is on track to follow in the footsteps of Allen, who jumped into the MVP discussion in 2020.
The Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert warms up before facing the Denver Broncos. | Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
With a Rookie of the Year campaign, Herbert put an end to all of those doubts. The 6-foot-6, 236-pound dual-threat quarterback started 15 games for the Chargers, throwing for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns on 66.6 percent of his throws. He only threw 10 interceptions and ran for five additional touchdowns. It was an all-time outstanding debut season in terms of statistics.
Allen bounced back from a disappointing rookie season with a promising sophomore year. Allen threw for 20 touchdowns and 9 interceptions with a 58.8 percent completion rate as a 23-year-old, the same age as Herbert in his first season. The Wyoming graduate is comparable in size to Herbert, but he ran for 510 yards and nine more touchdowns on the ground. His club finished 10-6 and qualified for the playoffs as well. Last year, though, Allen erupted for 4,544 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions in his age 24 season, almost winning the league MVP award.
Physically, both athletes are comparable, but Allen was more raw coming out of college. He had two years to grow before his MVP run, yet he still managed to win games. Herbert had higher numbers, but it didn’t help the team win. In 2021, this will change.
Justin Herbert is on his way to become one of the greatest quarterbacks in the game.
It will be more tough to distinguish out in Herbert’s division since Patrick Mahomes is in it. However, LA’s top quarterback’s performance should speak for itself. Scouts’ worries about him coming out of college were quickly addressed by the former four-year starter at Oregon. His club is also better this year, thanks to the addition of three free agents — including one of the finest centers in the NFL in Corey Linsley — and the draft of Rashawn Slater, the team’s future left tackle. The Chargers’ offensive skill positions are still filled by Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams, while tight end Jared Cook has been added.
The elements are in place for the second-year quarterback to have a breakout year in 2021. Herbert, like Allen a year ago, is on the verge of breaking into the NFL MVP discussion.
Pro-Football-Reference provided all statistics.
Trey Lance and Justin Fields are attempting to emulate Patrick Mahomes with the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears, respectively.
Justin Herbert has been a revelation for the Los Angeles Chargers this season. He is leading a very young, but very talented offense. During a Week 9 matchup against the Denver Broncos , Herbert threw for a career-high five touchdowns, completing 27 of 39 passes for 328 yards, and at one point, had more passing yards than the entire Denver defense. The next week against the Tennessee Titans , he threw for three touchdowns and had a perfect passer rating of 158.3. In the process of throwing those three touchdowns, he threw only one interception.. Read more about justin herbert ranking and let us know what you think.
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