For those who are not familiar with the reference, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback responded, “I’ll see it when I believe it,” after a golf spectator said, “Watch out for Justin Herbert next year.”
The second-year quarterback led the team to his first victory against Mahomes via a last-minute touchdown pass to Mike Williams this past weekend.
He finished the game with 26 completions for 281 yards and four touchdown passes.
Justin Herbert connects with Mike Williams for the CLUTCH TD
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 26, 2021
Herbert completed 68 percent of his passes and averaged 7.4 yards per completion.
During the game’s coverage, CBS analyst Tony Romo questioned Herbert’s decision because it gave the Super Bowl LIV MVP time to operate.
But that play showed a universal fact about the former Oregon standout.
Herbert is not afraid to let the ball go.
He is not afraid to attempt a jump pass to the end zone for Keenan Allen.
He is not afraid to scramble and take a hit as he releases the ball to a receiver.
As shown in his 40-yard pass to Allen against the Dallas Cowboys, he is not afraid to throw a dart into double coverage.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 21, 2021
Finally, Herbert is not afraid to be in the spotlight since his rookie season.
He has started since Week 2 of 2020 when Tyrod Taylor became a last-minute scratch due to his punctured lung.
The Chargers lost that game against the Carolina Panthers, but the team found their cornerstone quarterback.
He threw 35 completions for 330 yards, a touchdown, and an interception in his debut.
Justin Herbert arm talent is undeniable. WOW
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) September 19, 2021
Over the next 14 games, he made 30 more touchdown passes, six additional 300-yard games, and five rushing touchdowns.
Those numbers made him the undisputed Offensive Rookie of the Year.
What Sophomore Slump?
Some experts predict that Herbert will have a difficult time duplicating his success from year one.
However, he is showing more poise and confidence in the first three games of his sophomore campaign.
The Chargers had a shot at remaining undefeated if not for Greg Zuerlein’s 56-yard game-winning field goal.
But despite losing to Dallas, Herbert completed 75 percent of his passes (31/41) for 338 yards and a touchdown.
— Fernando Ramirez (@RealFRamirez) September 26, 2021
A week before that defeat, he had 337 yards and a touchdown against the Washington Football Team.
His hot streak to start the 2021 NFL season puts him in the record books with some legendary company.
He joined Mahomes as the only quarterbacks with 5,000 career passing yards in their first 17 career games.
Meanwhile, he has ten 300-yard passing games through 17 career starts to tie Mahomes and Dan Marino.
More importantly, he always gives his team a chance to win because 14 of his 18 starts went down to one possession.
Justin Herbert is on a warpath this season — legit improvement in accuracy and clean-pocket play.
Will enter Week 4 top-five in @PFF grade.
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) September 26, 2021
The Chargers initially planned to have him sit on the bench and serve as Taylor’s backup.
Instead, they’ve found their present and future franchise quarterback.
That luxury provides the franchise with a clear strategy of surrounding him with complementary talent.
In time, the Chargers will be a force to reckon with as Herbert continues to dazzle crowds with his exciting brand of football.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) September 26, 2021
Those quarterback battles with Mahomes will be a delight to witness.
But to borrow a title from a Lindsay Lohan movie, this Herbie will be fully loaded whoever their opponent will be.