Justin Herbert is entering only his third year in the NFL and he is already one of the best quarterbacks in the entire league. Not bad for a player who many draft experts deemed a bust when the LA Chargers selected him with the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Those same experts predicted a year two slump for Herbert despite Herbert getting better coaching and a better offensive line. Herbert quickly proved those predictions wrong and had one of the best, if not the best, seasons in franchise history for a Chargers quarterback.
Year three represents another potential launching pad for Herbert and his career. History is very favorable to young quarterbacks in their second year with a head coach and this is the first time since high school that Herbert is going to have the same offense two years in a row.
Herbert is a surefire MVP candidate. WynnBET gives him +1000 odds, which quite frankly, is probably too low. Herbert is going to have an MVP-caliber season stats-wise and as long as the team success follows then he will be a front-runner for the award.
Predicting Justin Herbert's final stat line for the LA Chargers in 2022:
Before we get into the numbers, there are some things to address on the offensive side of the football. Despite most of the focus being on the defense this offseason, the Chargers actually managed to get better offensively as well.
Gerald Everett is undoubtedly an upgrade over Jared Cook as he is far more explosive at this stage in his career than Cook is. He should be able to get open more often and make catches more often than Cook did last season.
The offensive line also got better just with the addition of Zion Johnson at right guard. Even if the team goes with Storm Norton or Trey Pipkins at right tackle, it won't be any worse than it was last season and Herbert still thrived. The depth is much better as well as the Bolts shouldn't have to call on someone like Senio Kelemete to start a game.
Keenan Allen and Mike Williams should be able to produce at the same level that they did last season while Joshua Palmer may produce more. There is also more running back depth, which only helps things offensively.
All that to say that Justin Herbert is going to have an even better season. His weapons are better, his offensive line is better and he plays some really bad defenses on the schedule next season. He might not throw the football as much if the Chargers are winning games instead of trying to come back in them but the offense is so focused on giving Herbert the ball that he should finish with around the same attempts, if not slightly higher because of a better defense.
Justin Herbert's predicted stat line: 466-680 (68.5%), 5,300 yards, 48 touchdowns, 10 interceptions
This is a monster season for Justin Herbert and it is very obtainable. We predict him to attempt just eight more passes than he did last season with a completion percentage that is almost 3% higher. The hope here is that the drop issues do not plague the team next season and with more comfort in the offense more throws are converted.
The increased completions creates slightly more yards per attempt for Herbert, landing him at 5,300 passing yards. This is only a 0.1-yard-per-attempt increase from last season, so it is not like we are shooting for the moon with this number.
The biggest jump is in touchdowns from 38 to 48. Not having as many drops will help but I do think we see a regression in touchdowns for Austin Ekeler. Ekeler will still be great, but some of the rushing touchdowns he had last season will instead be passing touchdowns for Herbert, who probably should have finished with at least 40 last season anyway.
If the Chargers win the AFC West and Justin Herbert puts up these numbers then he will undoubtedly be the league's Most Valuable Player.