The truth about Justin Herbert that Chiefs fans are going to hate

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Is it possible that Justin Herbert has taken the mantle as the best QB in the AFC West from Patrick Mahomes? Look away, Kansas City fans.

Kansas City Chiefs fans may not like it, but the early portion of the 2021 NFL season has revealed a truth and reality we must all come to grips with — Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is the best quarterback in the AFC West, not Patrick Mahomes.

How can you say that? Don’t you know that Patrick Mahomes is the 2018 league MVP? Former Super Bowl MVP? Madden cover athlete? An ordinary sneakerhead who dominates on Sundays?

There’s no denying Mahomes is still an MVP-caliber player. This is not to degrade Mahomes’ accomplishments or even diminish his current abilities. Justin Herbert has simply been that good.

Justin Herbert has taken the top spot among AFC West quarterbacks

It’s a big claim to say that anyone is better than Mahomes at the quarterback position league-wide, much less in his own division. Justin Herbert set a rookie record in 2020 with 31 touchdown passes and he did it while completing just under 67 percent of his throws overall.

Not only that, but he added five rushing touchdowns as well.

Mahomes had 40 total touchdowns himself, but this claim isn’t about last season.

It’s about right now.

And right now, Justin Herbert is the best quarterback in the AFC West.

Through the first five games of the season, the Chargers are in first place with a record of 4-1. Herbert is completing 67.1 percent of his throws with 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions along with a rushing touchdown.

He’s helped the Chargers to early wins this season over the Cleveland Browns, Las Vegas Raiders, and Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs.

In Kansas City.

As unbelievable as Mahomes has been, it’s important to note just how unbelievable he’s been. Especially last season.

High risk, high reward.

Unfortunately, the high risk portion has been catching up to Mahomes a little bit this season.

He has 16 touchdown passes this year but has already matched last year’s interception total with six picks in just five games. His 3.1 interception percentage is the highest of his career so far and right now he’s on pace for at least 17 or 18 over the course of the season.

Coming out of Texas Tech, there was a lot of Brett Favre to Mahomes’ game, and that’s both in terms of the good and the bad. Up to this point, he’s largely been able to avoid disaster.

Although it’s hard to sit back and say you would rather play one guy or the other, because they are both elite, it’s not unfair at this point of the 2021 season to say that Justin Herbert has been better than Mahomes and if Mahomes continues with so many turnover-worthy plays, that distinction could continue.

Herbert is taking care of the ball. He has a trio of skill players that all seem to be playing the best they have at any point in their career. Everything is clicking the last few weeks for Herbert and the Chargers, while the Chiefs have dropped to 2-3.

15 Bold Predictions for Week 6 of the NFL season. dark. Next

Two years ago, it seemed unfathomable that anyone in the NFL would be able to match the kind of production at the quarterback position the Chiefs were getting out of their MVP Mahomes. Leading up to Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season, it looks like the Los Angeles Chargers have already found a guy that can surpass Mahomes, not just occasionally get lucky and beat him.