LA Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert did not make the Pro Bowl, which is not as big of a snub as it first appeared.
Justin Herbert is in the midst of the greatest rookie quarterback season in NFL history for the LA Chargers. Yet despite this, Herbert was unable to secure his first Pro Bowl nod in his first-ever season.
The immediate fan reaction to this was outrage because of how good Herbert has been this season (and how unexpected it has been). However, while we would have loved to see Herbert get the Pro Bowl nod, when you really look at it, he was not actually snubbed.
Pro Bowls are an extremely flawed measuring stick to determine a player’s value as is and they are not even playing an actual game this year, so it doesn’t really matter. Nonetheless, when you look at the numbers, you can see why Herbert did not make the cut.
Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Deshaun Watson are the three quarterbacks who are representing the AFC in the virtual Pro Bowl. Mahomes and Allen are both MVP candidates (Mahomes is going to win) and Watson is quietly having a really good year on a terrible Houston Texans team.
You cannot really argue Mahomes and Allen. They have been two of the best quarterbacks in the league this season and are quarterbacking the two best teams in the conference. And when it comes to Watson, it is not hard to see how he got in over Justin Herbert.
Let’s compare the numbers.
Justin Herbert: 3,781 yards (290.8 yards per game), 66.5 completion%, 27 TDs, 10 INTs, 199 rushing yards, 4 rushing TDs
Deshaun Watson: 4,134 yards (295.3 yards per game), 69.9 completion%, 27 TDs, 6 INTs, 394 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs
Herbert has the advantage in overall touchdowns by one, but that is it. Watson has been more efficient, has fewer interceptions, more rushing yards and is averaging more yards per game. In fact, Watson has been so good that he would probably be the MVP runner-up if he actually played on a good team.
Watson is on pace for 4,724 passing yards, 31 TDs and 450 rushing yards. He would become the first player in NFL history to pass for over 4,700 yards with at least 450 rushing yards. Only one quarterback in league history — Dante Culpepper — has had a 4,500/400 season, which Watson is well on pace to smash.
Watson has quietly been the second or third-best quarterback in the league despite not having much of a supporting cast. While he is also on a terrible team, he deserves it over Herbert.
Now, it is unfortunate that this year as there will be no optional opt-outs that lead to alternates, in which case Justin Herbert would probably get the nod. As a top-three QB, though, it is fair that Herbert got left out.