For the seventh times through 11 weeks, Justin Herbert was honored as the NFL's Pepsi Zero Suger Rookie of the Week. Herbert earned the award after torching the winless New York Jets, completing 37/49 passing attempts for 366 yards and three touchdowns.
While setting his career-high in passing yards, Herbert posted the second most efficient passing games of his career and a QB Rating of 116.5. On top of leading all rookies with his seven wins, Herbert is the only first-year NFL player to have taken home the award more than once.
Despite the 2-7 record in his starts, the Chargers quarterback has won rookie honors in all but two of his first nine starts.
Herbert leads Rookie of the Year race
Herbert is on pace to break the NFL rookie records for touchdown passes (27) and passing yards (4,374), but he claimed he wasn't monitoring his progress climbing the all-time rookie rankings.
“I unfortunately haven’t spent too much time online kinda looking at those things,” Herbert told the OC Register. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job of focusing on what’s going on in this building. Staying focused with the game plan, our opponent, things like that. But I think it’s a sign of all the hard work that we’ve done as a team, so any accomplishment that an individual gets I think it’s reflective of the entire unit.”
While rookies Justin Jefferson and, prior to his season-ending injury, Joe Burrow were having admirable rookie campaigns, Herbert's record-setting pace has all but secured him the end of season award. Through nine starters he has a 68 completion percentage, 22 passing touchdowns, six interceptions, and three rushing touchdowns.
Herbert continued his brilliant rookie campaign even after a controversial haircut, where he cast aside his luscious locks for a close shave.
"I wasn't looking for anything fancy. I was just looking for someone to trim it down,'' Herbert said after the cut.
The Chargers and Herbert's next test comes against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. Though the Bills have had one of the best defenses for the past few years, they have been carried by the offense this year, leaving the door open for another Herbert Rookie of the Week honor.