Despite not starting the Chargers’ Week 1 game against the Bengals, Justin Herbert stills heads into the bye week with better passing numbers than quite a few tried and true veterans who are usually some of the best when it comes to putting up yards through the air.
As of right now, through four games, Herbert has completed 97-of-141 passes (69%) for 1,195 yards and nine touchdowns to three interceptions with an additional rushing touchdown.
For comparison’s sake, here are a handful of notable quarterbacks through their first four or five games of the year (per NFL.com):
- Matthew Stafford (four games): 1,017 yards, eight touchdowns, three interceptions
- Ben Roethlisberger (four): 1,016 yards, 10 touchdowns, three interceptions
- Lamar Jackson (five games): 949 yards, nine touchdowns, three interceptions, one rushing touchdown
- Kyler Murray (five): 1,299 yards, eight touchdowns, six interceptions, five rushing touchdowns
- Jared Goff (five): 1,372 yards, eight touchdowns, three interceptions, two rushing touchdowns
That’s not a bad group of players to be comparable to at this point in your rookie season.
As of now, Herbert’s four-game pace extrapolated over the course of a 16-game schedule comes out to 388-for-564 passing, 4,780 yards, 36 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and four rushing scores.
That looks like an incredible line for a rookie, but it’s also just as unrealistic. There have only been 27 seasons where a quarterback threw for at least 4,780 yards in NFL history and only 34 where they’ve thrown at least 36 scores.
While he may not actually reach either of those numbers, he’s still on pace for some really respectable numbers. He’s done his best work against the bet teams on the Chargers’ schedule, so you’d like to believe he will continue his hot streak against the likes of the Jags, Dolphins, and Jets.
But sometimes that’s not always the case. Teams sometimes play worse against the lesser competition while some really step up to the challenge against the top brass.
Time will tell, as it always does, but my money is on Herbert continuing to be Herbert.