Before the start of the 2020-21 season, there were questions about why Justin Herbert was not the starting quarterback after being drafted 6th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. Former head coach Anthony Lynn opted to go with veteran Tyrod Taylor to start the season. However, after a sudden chest injury to Taylor minutes before the start of their Week 2 matchup, Justin Herbert was thrust into the starting role. Well we all know how hat turned out as Herbert seized the opportunity and never looked back.
Fans knew they were witnessing the start of a great career, and now the rest of the league has seemed to realize it as well. Despite an overall disappointing season for the Bolts, Herbert showed he was a star in the making. In fact, Los Angeles’ signal caller was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year.
The most passing TDs by any rookie ever.
— NFL (@NFL) February 7, 2021
While it wasn’t a unanimous victory for Herbert, he did win the award by a land slide with 41 out of 50 possible votes. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson from the Minnesota Vikings received the other 9 votes.
The 22-year old broke the record for the most touchdowns by a rookie with 31, accompanied by 4,336 passing yards and a 66.55 completion percentage. He added to his season stats with 5 rushing touchdowns and 234 rushing yards through 15 games. Herbert was on the verge of breaking another rookie record. He needed just 8 yards to break Andrew Luck’s rookie passing yard record. Just one more completed pass, or even one more game (thanks Anthony Lynn) could’ve led to even more record setting numbers for the former Oregon Duck.
While the award is exciting, this shouldn’t be the last one for Herbert during his career. The Chargers have revamped their coaching staff lead by new head coach Brandon Staley. The addition of Joe Lombardi as the offensive coordinator should only elevate Herbert’s game even more. Can the 2021-22 season come here any faster?