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Justin Herbert delivered despite running for his life against Saints

Los Angeles Chargers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Justin Herbert, through the first three starts of his NFL career, has been one of the best quarterbacks in the entire league when it comes to delivering under pressure.

In fact, even including last night’s game where for the first time he wasn’t all that great against pressure (5-of-17 for 49 yards and a score), he still remains the #1 quarterback in the NFL when it comes to adjusted completion rate and efficiency.

For what also may have been the first time, Herbert left Monday’s game with higher grades for his throws with pressure as opposed to against it. Without being pressured, Herbert completed 15-of-17 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns. According to Pro Football Focus, that earned him a perfect passer rating of 158.3, best among all QBs in Week 5.

His numbers when blitzed or not were also very similar. The Saints sent more than four rushers just four times all night and Herbert was able to complete two-of-four passes for 22 yards and the first beautiful score to Keenan Allen in the opening quarter. When he faced four rushers, he completed 18-of-30 passes for 246 and the other three touchdowns.

These numbers essentially show us that the Saints rarely had to dial up pressure in any other way besides rushing only their defensive linemen to get in Herbert’s face. That makes sense, especially when you realize the worst five grades given to Chargers players by PFF in last night’s game were the entire starting offensive line.

Yes, they’re down three starting lineman, but this is still TOUGH.

So in closing, through his first four NFL games, against varying levels of defensive talent, Herbert has been able to succeed in any situation, whether that’s getting pressured constantly, kept clean, in two-minute situations, or simply starting the game off strong by getting points in the opening quarter.

Now, if we can finally get the offensive line together to see what they’re really capable of, then maybe there’s some brighter times ahead in 2020.