2. Tom Brady needs to have a stinker (or two)
Tom Brady is the current front-runner for the MVP award and the one thing that Justin Herbert is fighting is the narrative. Brady has the narrative behind him this season and once a player gets that narrative it is often hard to break it. Voters typically hone in who they want to vote for MVP three-fourths of the way through the season and more times than not that player wins the award.
There are times in which there are battles, such as last season with Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes, but this year it is so clear that voters want to vote Tom Brady for what he is accomplishing with the Bucs. Heck, Aaron Rodgers is having another miraculous season and he is not even talked about because Brady has a stranglehold on the narrative.
The good thing for Herbert is that he does not need both Brady and Rodgers to play poorly down the stretch. Herbert is going to get the edge over Rodgers (if they win out) because Rodgers missed a game and there is voter's fatigue. He just needs Tom Brady to play a bad game or two down the stretch.
The schedule is not that tough, though. The Bucs play the Panthers twice, the Jets and the Saints. The Saints do give Brady fits and the Panthers still have a decent secondary. If he just has one bad game in the final four it could be enough.
It is not like Brady's stats are way better than Herbert's. He is absolutely in striking range and all it takes is one bad game for Brady and one huge game for Justin Herbert against a horrible team like the Texans to level the playing field statistically.