Justin Herbert has had one of the best starts to a career of any quarterback in NFL history. The Chargers' QB set multiple records through his first two seasons and was a legitimate candidate to win the MVP award heading into the 2022 season.
Herbert has not been quite himself this season. While most quarterbacks would still take the numbers that Herbert is putting up, it is obvious that he is not playing at his best. That is what happens when you play hurt with a rib cartilage injury, have a banged-up offensive line and wide receiver corps and have an offensive coordinator that likely isn't maximizing you.
Herbert was a polarizing player coming into the league with many analysts calling him a bust before he ever played. Now that he is finally showing some kind of weakness, those same analysts are jumping back on the Herbert hate train to prove some kind of point.
One of those analysts is Fox Sports' Emmanuel Acho, who has had some pretty controversial Herbert takes in the past. Acho's latest take set the internet ablaze, arguing that it is time we all admit that Tua Tagovailoa is the better quarterback.
This definitely is a controversial take and led to a strong (and justified) reaction from Chargers fans. Chargers fans were not alone, though, as some of the most well-respected voices in NFL media joined into the conversation, questioning Acho's take.
It even drew out a response from some of Herbert's biggest critics during his career. Former NFL quarterback Dan Orvlosky weighed in with a very fair point about Herbert that is extremely complimentary (and explains one of Acho's criticisms of Herbert, which makes no sense).
Emmanuel Acho is simply wrong about Chargers' QB Justin Herbert.
I am always cautious about reacting to things like this because I am not sure if Acho actually believes this or is playing up the bit to get more eyeballs and reactions on his stuff. It isn't uncommon at all for those in the sports media world to say things to get a reaction and Acho knows that any negative Herbert take is going to gain steam.
Tua has had a promising year when he has played this season and that is great. It is promising to finally see him come around, although he still has holes in his game that simply make Herbert the better quarterback.
This is the first time that Tua has had a better quarterback rating in the three years that they have been in the league and it is not like Herbert's QBR is even that bad. And just compare the situations! Tua has two lightning-quick weapons that allow him to dump and go like it is nobody's business.
Herbert, meanwhile, is dealing with the third-highest pressure rate in the league, a receiver corps that literally consisted of practice squad players last week and an offensive system that doesn't allow him to just dump the ball and let his elite receivers do the work.
Acho will continue with this anti-Justin Herbert campaign as long as it garners a reaction. Perhaps the Chargers can finally end that with a definitive win over Tua and the Dolphins later this season.