He may have been the third quarterback taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, but Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert was the top offensive rookie this season. His place in the history books was officially cemented on Saturday night as he was named the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Herbert exploded in his rookie season, winning Offensive Rookie of the Year twice. He set several all-time rookie records by finishing the season with 31 passing touchdowns (36 total), 396 completions, eight games with 300-plus passing yards, and six games with three-plus touchdowns. At 22 years and 299 days, he became the youngest player in NFL history with 30 touchdowns in one season.
The Oregon product appeared in only 15 games rather than the full 16. Tyrod Taylor started in Week 1 and was supposed to start in Week 2 before a scary chest injury forced Herbert into action at the last minute. He played great but started his career 0-4 with one-score losses to the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Kansas City Chiefs. He earned his first career win in Week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Herbert’s Chargers finished the year 7-9 and ended on a four-game winning streak. With a busy offseason ahead and key players returning from injuries in 2021, Los Angeles, led by their young quarterback and rookie head coach Brandon Staley, could be dark-horse playoff contenders.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson finished as the runner-up for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Herbert received 41 votes while Jefferson fetched nine.
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