If Tua Tagovailoa had started closer to the beginning of the season for Miami, this could’ve been a three quarterback race. While that would’ve been entertaining, it’s clear that the only other quarterback in contention is Burrow.
At the end of the day, Burrow just hasn’t been quite as good as Herbert in recent weeks. Looking at Burrow’s last three games, he’s thrown for one touchdown and three interceptions. For the season, his QBR and passer rating are both nearly 20 points below Herbert’s.
Burrow will get some easier games when he goes against the remaining NFC East teams on his schedule, but it balances out with the difficult games remaining.
The Bengals have four divisional games remaining in what’s considered a better overall division at this point. Two games remaining against the Steelers, one more against the Ravens, and one more against the Browns is a tough ask of Burrow considering Cincinnati’s roster.
Obviously, if Burrow excels in any of those games he could possibly vault back up into first place. But that gets into another issue with Burrow’s candidacy-his team. The Bengals’ roster is just significantly worse than what the Chargers have to work with, especially if the Bolts get some of their key contributors back from IR.
Burrow has taken 10 sacks in just his last three games. Herbert has taken nine sacks combined in the four games he’s played. The Chargers rank 11th in NFL team defense while the Bengals rank 22nd. Simply put, Herbert has the better team, better schedule, and is in a better position to win this award.