Despite breaking just about every passing record for a quarterback to start his career, Chargers' QB Justin Herbert became the subject of criticism in 2022. It isn't like his team did poorly, either, as Herbert carried the Chargers to a 10-7 record and a playoff berth despite having two separate injuries (one of which was somewhat hidden during the year).
Herbert's biggest critic was Emmanual Acho, who started his anti-Herbert PR campaign with a segment about Tua Tagovailoa being the superior quarterback. Acho saw the reaction that segment got and ran with that bit, making it part of his personality.
Suddenly, Acho became the biggest Justin Herbert hater on the internet and coined the phrase "social media quarterback" to describe him. Herbert swiftly shut him up by beating Tua and the Dolphins on Sunday Night Football, proving what many already knew; that he is not just a social media quarterback.
Herbert himself never really addressed the smack talk (although his teammates did) until recently. Appearing on an episode of the 'Up & Adams' show, Herbert was asked by host Kay Adams what he made of the entire social media quarterback campaign. In classic Justin Herbert fashion, he instantly dismissed Acho and his take.
Chargers' Justin Herbert isn't paying any attention to Emmanuel Acho's troll job.
It is one thing to craft a hot take for a sports show and to back it up with evidence and a strong argument. It is another thing to do a hot take segment, realize that is garners reaction, and then just roll with that idea to keep getting a reaction.
That is all the social media quarterback campaign ever was for Acho: a means to get people to talk about him at the expense of Justin Herbert. And it worked. Here we are writing about him yet again and the season is not even over.
But it is still good to see that Justin Herbert is staying true to who he is and isn't listening to any of this bogus. Time is only going to make Acho's argument look worse and worse with the conversation around him growing smaller and smaller.
MUST-READ: Ranking Justin Herbert and the top 32 QBs
Herbert does not have to prove anything to anyone. Chargers fans know that he is truly one of the elite quarterbacks in the league and anyone that says otherwise is doing so for a reaction. Moving forward, we all can learn a lesson from Herbert and dismiss these nonsensical declarations.