It was without doubt one of the best rookie debuts for a QB in years. Ok in terms of raw skills and numbers there may have been one or two better. But Herbert showed poise. Plus it was a division game against the Super Bowl champions, with no prep time or reps to get up to speed. What’s more, when playing the Chiefs, offences know that they need to take every potential opportunity. Herbert did, with one notable exception.
Ultimately Herbert’s efforts were in vain, the QB will start off as the lovable loser. And the debutant made one rookie error which ultimately proved costly in the final reckoning.
However, Herbert has done more than enough to earn the starting role going forward. It’s unfortunate for Tyrod Taylor that a punctured lung from a pain injection ruled him out on Sunday. That being said, Taylor is a bridge QB and was likely to hand over to Herbert at some point this season, the injury just brought it forward.
While performing with no reps or prep made Justin Herbert’s debut so special, it was also a potential benefit. Herbert was thrown in at the deep end with no time to react and buildup the game in his head. Add to that, no pressure of a crowd and the pressure was (relatively) off, albeit against the best team in the NFL.
Stats back up Herbert’s start in LA
Herbert’s stats will cause excitement on the powder blue side of LA. The Oregon alum had a completion percentage of 67% for 311 yards and a TD each on the ground and in the air. It’s not like he was cautious, with 9.4 yards/attempt and took all but one opportunity that the offence had. That said, the interception he threw took at least a field goal off the board, and sparked Chiefs’ comeback in a game that went to overtime. It was an error that Herbert will learn from but shows he is not afraid to take chances.
It’s no surprise to see Justin Herbert starting in LA. Herbert was the sixth overall pick. But starting so early, in difficult circumstances and particularly the poise he showed are very encouraging. Now he will be playing and proving himself in games against three quarters of the NFC South. With Drew Lock injured for the time being, Herbert could be the exciting young QB pushing for a wildcard spot in the AFC West.
Justin Herbert will now get his opportunity. He has stamped his authority on LA, can he do so on the NFL?
Image: USA Today