Overreaction #2: With a good coaching staff next year, Justin Herbert will be an MVP candidate
In recent weeks, I have tried to keep from discussing Justin Herbert in this column because we all know how good he is at this point.
Against the Las Vegas Raiders, Herbert was simply outstanding. On the first drive, Justin Herbert went 6/6 for 75 yards and a touchdown.
With that type of play against a secondary as bad as the Raiders, you would expect the Chargers to ride Herbert to an easy win.
However, that is simply not how the Chargers have rolled this year. Once again, with Herbert playing amazing football, the Chargers decided to heavily invest in the run, frequently leaving Justin Herbert with third and longs to convert.
If the Chargers get a coaching staff that unleashes Justin Herbert to his full potential, will he be a legitimate candidate for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player Award in 2021?
That depends on two main factors.
First, is Justin Herbert capable of playing up to the higher level that we know he can reach with the tools he currently has?
While it is certainly difficult to imagine MVP-level production from Herbert with such a poor offensive line and without better receivers, Herbert has shown in his rookie year that he is capable of making less talented receivers, like Jalen Guyton, look good from week to week. It will be quite a challenge, but Herbert could certainly put up MVP-level numbers with the team around him.
The second question is, can the Los Angeles Chargers be a top-level team in 2021 with better coaching?
Recent years have shown us that top-level play from a quarterback is not good enough to be the MVP. His team also needs to be a surefire playoff team and needs to look like a serious contender in the postseason.
This is where things are more likely to get tricky for Justin Herbert. With better coaching, the Chargers certainly may have had more wins in 2020. With a bit better luck and better coaching, could the Chargers look like threatening contenders in 2021?
The Chargers have elite talent on both sides of the ball that are capable of elevating the team to that level with a few better supporting pieces and better coaching. Expecting that the team reaches that level is probably a bit of a stretch, but it is certainly possible.
With better coaching and a bit of luck, Justin Herbert absolutely can be a candidate for the MVP award in 2021.
Verdict #2: Not an overreaction