Justin Herbert has proven he’s got what it takes to take over games.
Against the reigning Super Bowl champions led by Tom Brady, Herbert completed 80 percent of his attempts for 287 yards and had three perfectly thrown touchdowns in Week 4.
His stellar performance vs. the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 12 had future Hall of Famer Drew Brees singing his praises.
“There’s no doubt his physical tools are as good as anybody’s I’ve ever seen,” Brees told Sports Illustrated. “By all accounts, he’s a great worker, has great leadership qualities and has a lot of intangibles. I think the sky is the limit for a guy like him. I love that he’s in this offense now with Joe Lombardi.”
As Mike Florio and Chris Simms’ counted down the Top 40 quarterbacks in 2021 for Pro Football Talk, they explained why the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year is primed for another breakout year. He came in at No. 11 on their list.
“Holy cow! Holy arm, Batman. He’s one of the top five throwers of the football in the whole NFL already, there’s no doubt,” Simms said. “His arm is wow strong. Unreal size, can throw the ball any which way in the pocket.
“Just how many throws like off the back foot with pressure around him, or with the pocket collapsing, and he’s just unaffected. He’s throwing a 20-yard laser down the field to Keenan Allen or somebody like that, that’s where it’s really impressive. He’s got great composure, but with the size in the arm we’re talking about, the guy can really like run too. Whether it was get outside the pocket, make throws on the run that way, whatever it may be, he can do it all physically.”
In his first year, the Los Angeles Chargers sixth-overall pick torched the rookie record books for total touchdowns (36), passing touchdowns (31), completions (396), multi-passing touchdown games (10), games with 300 yards passing (eight) and three-passing touchdown games (six).
With newly hired head coach Brandon Staley adamant about building a playbook around Herbert’s unique skillset, the Chargers superstar could reap the benefits long-term.
“The Chargers now have to build the team around him to fulfill his promise and allow him to get to his ceiling,” Florio said. “They go from Phillip Rivers to Justin Herbert, not a bad passing of a baton, now we just got to see what they can do with it. Look, it stinks for Herbert to be stuck in the division with Patrick Mahomes, but as we look for the next manning Brady, maybe it’s Herbert-Mahomes since they are going to play each other twice a year every year.”
In 2020, Herbert threw for 4336 yards and 31 touchdowns with a 66.66% completion percentage against 10 interceptions. He also recorded 5 touchdowns rushing.
The Chargers have their quarterback for the future. Now how will he level up in Year 2?
“The sky’s the limit,” Simms said. “This guy’s got superstar talent and he’s a big-time football player and he’s going to be around for a long time.”