Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers will finally get the chance to kick off a postseason push after months of deliberation, as they are scheduled to take on Derek Carr and the rival Las Vegas Raiders in the first game of the season. Both teams project to be good, but LA has a distinct advantage at quarterback.
For as good as Carr has been amid some extremely adverse circumstances in the past few seasons, it's hard to say he's better than a guy who threw for 5,000 yards and had to carry a terrible defense. Herbert will have a puncher's chance at winning MVP if the Chargers can remain a viable playoff team.
While Herbert has been placed above Carr by every starting quarterback tier list and ranking to begin the season, some Raiders fans just can't seem to wrap their minds around the idea that the Chargers are once again poised to rank among the league leaders in every offensive stat. Some fans are clearly in denial.
Raiders fans have wasted no time in saying that Carr is better. Carr might have the edge in experience, but he and Herbert have both won the same number of playoff games despite No. 10's youth. Maybe another 5,000-yard season with tremendous efficiency will set them straight.
Chargers' Justin Herbert is better than Derek Carr.
It's almost a shame to have to dignify this with a response, but every possible metric you could use to evaluate quarterback play would suggest that Herbert was much better than Carr last season. Even a very basic analysis of their tape shows Herbert in another stratosphere from an arm talent perspective.
One would think that the Raiders would be sympathetic to a quarterback like Herbert who put up good numbers despite a shaky offensive line, tons of coaching turnover early in his career, and a bad defense that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Apparently, that irony is lost on them.
It looks like Herbert will have to go about destroying the Raiders once again in order to remind everyone how elite he is. In four games against the Raiders in his career, Herbert has thrown for 10 touchdowns and one interception while throwing for more than 300 yards in all but one of those games.
It remains to be seen if the Chargers will have a better record than the Raiders (which isn't absurd given some of the big names floating around that Vegas roster), but this quarterback debate is totally meritless from a statistical point of view.