Since being drafted in 2020, Justin Herbert has taken the NFL by storm. He put up big numbers his rookie season en route to winning Offensive Rookie of the Year and set plenty of NFL rookie records along the way.
Herbert took a significant step forward in 2021, leading the Los Angeles Chargers to a winning record and making the Pro Bowl.
Herbert excelled under first-year Head Coach Brandon Staley and should continue to improve as he enters his third season in the NFL. This is displayed in his odds of winning the MVP Award, as he’s one of the favorites to bring home the hardware.
The Chargers have a high-octane offense and plenty of weapons at Herbert’s disposal. Herbert was a top 5 quarterback last year, and if he puts up similar numbers and leads Los Angeles to the playoffs, he’ll be a lock to win the MVP Award.
Justin Herbert is a Favorite to Win the MVP Award
Herbert led the Chargers to a 9-8 record last season as the team just missed out on the playoffs. Even though they finished third in the AFC West, Herbert had a season to remember, as he was one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
In 2021, Herbert completed 65.9% of his passes and threw for 5,014 yards, 38 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. He had 63 carries for 302 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Herbert finished in the top three in completions, attempts, yards, touchdowns, QBR, fourth-quarter comebacks, and game-winning drives.
Capping off a successful 2021 campaign, Herbert was named the starting quarterback for the AFC in the Pro Bowl, ahead of Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Mac Jones. Herbert was named Offensive MVP of the game for his efforts, in which he threw for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
At Caesars Sportsbook, Herbert is the third favored player to win MVP at +900. Ahead of Herbert are Josh Allen (+700) and Mahomes (+800), and rounding out the top 5 behind him are Tom Brady (+900) and Aaron Rodgers (+1000).
Herbert is in great company, as three of the four other quarterbacks have at least one MVP to their name.
Herbert’s rise to stardom was evident from the moment he stepped onto the field. As a rookie, he set multiple NFL records. Herbert broke the following rookie records: most passing touchdowns, most total touchdowns by a quarterback, most completions, most games with at least three passing touchdowns, and most 300-yard passing games.
He also broke the following NFL records: most passing yards in a quarterback’s first two seasons, most total touchdowns in a quarterback’s first two seasons, and Herbert became the first quarterback to record 30 touchdown passes in each of his first two seasons.
The supporting cast around him plays a significant role in Herbert’s success. Keenan Allen is one of the top wide receivers in the NFL, as he’s made five straight Pro Bowls and has four 1,000-yard seasons in that span. Mike Williams has emerged as a deep-ball threat and one of Herbert’s favorite targets, as he had 76 receptions for 1,146 yards and nine touchdowns in 2021.
Though he hasn’t broken 1,000 yards on the ground yet in his career, Austin Ekeler had one of the best seasons of his career in 2021, as he rushed for 911 yards and 12 touchdowns on 206 carries. In addition, Ekeler is among the best-receiving backs in the NFL, as he had 70 catches for 647 yards and eight touchdowns.
Josh Palmer had a solid rookie season last year, finishing with 33 receptions, 353 yards, and four touchdowns. He especially stepped up in the season’s final five games with 18 catches for 185 yards and three scores.
After a year in Seattle, Gerald Everett signed with the Chargers and should be a reliable addition to the team, as he had a career year in 2021 with 48 catches, 478 yards, and four touchdowns.
With the weapons around him and the season he had last year, Herbert is in line for a monster 2022. Going up against the other quarterbacks in the running will be challenging, but Herbert can outperform them.
The Chargers have gotten much better this offseason, and if Herbert can lead LA to a winning record and exceed his 2021 season, there’s no reason why Herbert shouldn’t win the MVP Award.
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