In the battle of the former Oregon football quarterbacks, only one could walk away from Allegiant Stadium victorious. His name is Justin Herbert.
The rookie quarterback helped lead the Chargers over the Marcus Mariota-led Raiders on Thursday Night Football with a stellar overtime finish. Trailing 27-24 in overtime, Herbert went in for the 1-yard QB sneak to give the Chargers their first AFC West victory since Dec. 30, 2018.
It’s also Herbert’s second game-sealing drive in the past two weeks.
The Chargers sixth-overall pick in 2020 out of Eugene, Oregon, completed 22 of 32 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime. He also finished with a 121.1 QB rating and helped his Chargers improve to 5-9 on the year.
And not to mention, Herbert tied the NFL rookie record for most touchdown passes in a season in the first half of Thursday night's game.
His 27th touchdown pass this season tied the record set by the Cleveland Browns' QB Baker Mayfield, who accomplished the feat in 2018.
The primetime game surpassed expectations and was a dream for many Oregon Duck fans, who finally got to see Herbert and Mariota battle it out on the same field. Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr sustained a groin injury in the first quarter, ushering in the former Heisman Trophy winner to take his place.
In his absence, Mariota was 17 of 28 for 226 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The 2015 second-overall pick out of Oregon also rushed nine times for 88 yards and added another score.
The last time two former Oregon quarterbacks faced off in an NFL game together was Nov. 27, 1960, when Norm Van Brocklin and George Shaw suited up for the New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles.
Herbert, who played for the Ducks from 2016-2019, grew up rooting for Oregon and watched Mariota at Autzen Stadium first-hand. Now the Chargers star is making a name of his own.
Christmas came early for Duck fans on Thursday, but hopefully it won’t be long before the two Oregon football legends take the field against one another again.