Justin Herbert

LA Chargers column: The Justin Herbert vs. Tua debate isn’t a debate

Nov 15, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) scrambles with the ball away from Miami Dolphins defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (91) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 15, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) scrambles with the ball away from Miami Dolphins defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (91) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

LA Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is the best rookie quarterback in the league, and it’s not close.

Justin Herbert has been absolutely phenomenal for the LA Chargers this season. Herbert has already broken the rookie passing touchdown record, has the most 300-yard games of any rookie quarterback of all-time and is going to challenge Andrew Luck’s all-time rookie passing yards record in Week 17.

He is in the midst of arguably the best rookie season by a quarterback in league history. Unfortunately, some things have not broken his way and there are holes on the Chargers that have prevented this from turning into a playoff season.

The one rookie quarterback that could be in the playoffs in year one is Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins currently sit at 10-5 on the season and if they beat Buffalo in Week 17 then they are in. If they lose then they need the Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns or Baltimore Ravens to lose to make the playoffs.

Since they came into the league together and were literally one pick apart, Tua and Herbert are going to be connected for the rest of their careers. We have already seen that this season, as Charger fans and Dolphin fans have developed a fun little rivalry surrounding their young franchise quarterbacks.

When it comes down to it, though, there really is not a debate between the two. Justin Herbert has absolutely, one-thousand percent been the better quarterback and has shown more promising signs for the future.

That is not to say that Tua is going to be a bust and cannot surpass Herbert in the future. But right now, I think it is safe to say that most football fans would take Herbert over Tua to build their team around.

Most fans… except Dolphin fans. We hopped on the latest trend over on the Bolt Beat Twitter account to play up this rivalry and let me tell you: Dolphin fans were not happy.

$600 stimulus $2000 stimulus pic.twitter.com/YwTgG0BNF6

— Bolt Beat (@BB_Chargers) January 1, 2021

I respect any fanbase that flocks to an LA Chargers blog page and pesters the Tua propaganda all over the initial post. However, that does not change the fact that Herbert has been the far better quarterback in year one.

The main argument for Tua against Herbert is the Dolphins’ record vs. the Chargers’ record. Great. Like this is not a totally flawed argument. Daniel Jones has more wins this season than Deshaun Watson — does that make him a better quarterback?

Yes, quarterbacks are hugely important to team wins but there are so many other variables to consider. Let’s keep in mind that the Dolphins have both a top-five defense and special teams unit in the league this season. Yes, Tua does not have spectacular weapons, but he is getting a lot of help on the other facets of the game that Herbert simply has not gotten.

That is why wins is a very flawed metric to use when comparing quarterbacks, and quite frankly, that being the main argument against Justin Herbert inadvertedly makes the point that we are trying to make.

If the only thing that Dolphin fans can point towards is team wins, especially when Ryan Fitzpatrick is responsible for half of them then the argument is kind of already settled.

Herbert has never had to be benched (twice) for poor play. Herbert has never had a game in double-digits passing, Tua has had three as a starter. Justin Herbert has a better completion percentage, touchdown percentage, yards per game, yards per attempt and quarterback rating.

Sure, Tua has only thrown two picks. I will give that to him, but it is not like Herbert is an interception machine and simply not throwing interceptions isn’t a great way to gauge a player. Tyrod Taylor doesn’t throw a lot of interceptions — doesn’t make him a great quarterback.

And before you dig up the archives, yes, I did tweet from the Bolt Beat account about wanting Tua before the 2021 draft, but everyone had him higher on the board and better than Herbert. Herbert has been a completely different player in the NFL and it is not hard to acknowledge that I was wrong and now would rather have Herbert.

Both guys are going to be great in this league and their careers are going to be intertwined forever and we are all extremely lucky to be able to watch this new wave of quarterbacks in the league.

Biggest Charger moments from 2020. Next

Maybe one day it switches, but for now, Justin Herbert is a better quarterback than Tua Tagovailoa.

facebooktwitterreddit