Justin Herbert is putting together yet another remarkable season for the LA Chargers in just his second season as a pro. Herbert has practically broken every record for a quarterback in his first two seasons and in Week 17 he broke Philip Rivers' record for the most passing touchdowns in Chargers history. Better yet, Herbert has even more franchise records to break in Week 18 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
This Week 18 showdown against the Raiders is the biggest game of Justin Herbert's career thus far. The Chargers are playing on primetime in a "win and get in" situation. The winner of this game will make the playoffs, the loser will go home. If the Colts lose to the Jaguars it opens Pandora's box, but that likely won't happen.
There is a lot to be said about this playoff matchup and some of the funniest analysis heading into Sunday is coming from NFL Network's own, David Carr. That is former first overall pick and brother of Derek Carr, if you are wondering.
While Carr is a solid quarterback (heck, I am on the side that he is underrated by most of the NFL media), it is pretty hilarious to see just how much David is biased for his brother. Look, I get it and I respect the ability to go out and say/write some of the things that he says because it takes true loyalty to rank Derek above Herbert in any kind of list.
That's right, David Carr ranked Derek Carr ahead of Justin Herbert in a recent list.
Carr put together a list of the top 15 offensive players heading into Week 18; not just quarterbacks, but all offensive players. The top of the list, for the most part, makes sense. Aaron Rodgers ranks first, Jonathan Taylor ranks second and Josh Allen ranks third... all seems to make sense.
Some of the top 10 inclusions are debatable but at the end of the day, they are not crazy inclusions. That is, until we get to no. 10 on his list, which of course, is his brother Derek. David writes the following:
"Another day, another game-winning drive for Derek and the Raiders. This time it was a 10-play, 60-yard march in the final two minutes capped by a Daniel Carlson field goal that lifted the Raiders over another AFC playoff hopeful, Indianapolis. A month ago, it looked like this team might be down and out, but Derek's leadership and the will of the this group has Las Vegas playing for a wild-card spot in Sunday night's regular-season finale against the Chargers."
Look, good for Derek Carr for driving down the field and beating the Colts when nobody expected him to and he does deserve credit for helping keep the Raiders in contention with everything going on this season... but really? Derek Carr, the 10th-best offensive player in the league?
Get this, he is not only the 10th-ranked offensive player in the league but the fifth-ranked quarterback. The four quarterbacks ahead of him are Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, Kyler Murray and Tom Brady. No Justin Herbert. No Patrick Mahomes!
This is obviously subjective. Let's get objective. Justin Herbert has more passing yards, passing touchdowns, the same number of interceptions, more rushing yards and more rushing touchdowns. Herbert also has posted a better quarterback ranking (Herbert ranks third, Carr ranks ninth) and a better EPA (Herbert ranks first, Carr ranks seventh).
Justin Herbert is beating Derek Carr in literally every important offensive statistic except completion percentage. Is that enough to rank him above Herbert (and Mahomes!)? Not at all.
Heck, just look at the offensive numbers of these two teams. Since Henry Ruggs was released the Raiders have averaged a fickle 17.7 points per game. The Chargers in that same span? 32 points per game. Sure, Herbert has some good weapons but if Carr was really a top-10 offensive player then his offense would probably be able to score over 20 points per game.