LA Chargers' quarterback Justin Herbert is always going to be compared to Cincinnati Bengals' quarterback Joe Burrow. The two came into the league at the exact same time and Burrow was always viewed as a home-run prospect while Herbert had more critics than many of the bad quarterbacks from recent drafts.
As a football fan, it is impossible to not appreciate the state of the league with all of the elite talent at quarterback. Herbert and Burrow are front and center in this elite wave of quarterback talent to grace the league.
There have been some differences between the two players. While both are undoubtedly great quarterbacks, one of the quarterbacks has undeniably been better. One has put up far better numbers and has significantly made up for his team's flaws. The other has also put up some really great numbers and has had some huge games but has also benefitted from a much easier schedule and a much better defense.
Justin Herbert is the former and Joe Burrow is the latter. And while Herbert has been the better quarterback in terms of individual success, because quarterback is the most important position, team success has catapulted Burrow ahead of Herbert in the eyes of many football fans.
That also includes the NFL Top 100 list, as Justin Herbert checked in far too low as the 40th-ranked player in the league while Joe Burrow comes in too high as the 21st-ranked player.
Joe Burrow does not deserve to be ahead of Chargers' Justin Herbert at all.
I already know there are going to be Bengals fans commenting on this article before they even reach this point of it. I know. The Bengals made the Super Bowl and dang near almost won it while Justin Herbert didn't make the playoffs. I get it.
Bengals fans should be happy that the Chargers missed the playoffs after seeing how badly the Bengals lost to them in the regular season... just saying.
Yes, Burrow made the Super Bowl in only his second season but there were so many things that broke his and the Bengals' way last season that resulted in them being in that position. First of all, the Bengals had one of the easiest schedules in the entire NFL. That is not going to be the same this upcoming season.
Second of all, Burrow did not even play that well in the playoffs as it was his defense that stepped up. Cincinnati was one Derek Carr touchdown pass instead of an interception away from losing in the first round of the playoffs. Then Ryan Tannehill absolutely self-destructed and Patrick Mahomes forgot how to play football in the second half.
If Burrow had a bottom-five defense and a much harder schedule then he would have finished with a worse record than Justin Herbert's 9-8 record last season. If you put Herbert on the Bengals last season then they are probably the Super Bowl Champions right now and Herbert would rank firmly in the top 10.
Last season Herbert averaged more yards per game, had a better quarterback rating, had a lower interception rate and had a much better EPA and EPA/play. Burrow had a better completion rate and touchdown rate but he also benefitted from having one of the few receiving corps that is better than the Bolts. Burrow ranked third in YAC yards per completion, Herbert ranked eighth.
At the very least you have to put these two close together on any ranking. To put Burrow 19 spots ahead of Herbert is asinine and by the time the 2022 season is over, most NFL fans will realize that.