1. The LA Chargers have to win out
Part of the MVP award is team success. Most of the time, if a quarterback if having an insane year then their team is obviously having a good season as well. However, Herbert could be having the exact same season with the exact same stats and if the Chargers were 5-8 then he would not be in the conversation whatsoever.
While the Chargers are definitely in a great spot to make the playoffs, they have to do more than just make the playoffs for Herbert to win the award. Being a playoff team is part of the equation but more times than not you have to win your division to win the MVP award. In fact, the last player to win the MVP award and not win the division was Adrian Peterson in 2012, who was already breaking the mold as a running back.
The LA Chargers have to win the AFC West for Herbert to get the respect that he deserves from the voters and in order to win the AFC West, the Chargers have to win out. They are currently a game behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the division but they do have the tiebreaker. If the Bolts win them all, they win the West.
There are not enough games realistically on the schedule after the Chargers-Chiefs matchup in Week 15 for the Chargers to catch the Chiefs if they win. Beating Kansas City on Thursday night is the first step to get the buzz around Herbert (beating Patrick Mahomes twice will do that) and winning out to go 12-5 will be the icing on the cake.
Even if the Chargers win every other game except for the Chiefs game it won't be enough. Heck, they could beat the Chiefs but if they lose after that and lose the division then he is not winning the award. The Bolts need to finish among the top teams in the AFC for Justin Herbert to be properly recognized.