Is Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert under pressure in 2024?

The statistics are pretty, but Los Angeles Chargers QB doesn't have a whole lot us going for him in his brief career.

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers
Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How/GettyImages

Justin Herbert is one of the most physically talented QBs in the NFL, but much of his talent and production has not translated into a legitimate, winning culture in Los Angeles. Across Herbert's four-year NFL career, he has played for head coaches Anthony Lynn and Brandon Staley, who were both fired from their HC jobs in LA.

Through the inept head coaches, Herbert has still thrown 17,223 yards, 114 touchdowns, and 42 interceptions in 62 regular season games. He averages 277.8 yards per game and has earned a career passer rating of 95.7. Statistically, he's been a very good QB thus far.

However, in Herbert's 62 starts, the Chargers have gone 30-32, which is nothing more than a mediocre record. It also appears as if Herbert hasn't really made any sort of stasitically or developmental leap in the NFL. He was very good as a rookie back in 2020 and was again pretty good in 2023.

His completion percentages in each year of his career are 66.6%, 65.9%, 68.2%, and 65.1%. His yards per game across each season have been 289.1, 294.9, 278.8, and 241.1. His touchdown percentage has been between 3.6-5.7%, and his interception percentage has hung between 1.4-2.2%. When you take a more aerial look at Herbert's statistical output in the NFL, he hasn't gotten appreciably better and has probably reached his ceiling as a passer.

If he hasn't progressed after four years, will he ever? His teams have also never won more than 10 games, and he's led the Chargers to just one playoff appearance. Some may blame the previous head coaches, and LA clearly upgraded in that department with Jim Harbaugh this offseason. And the neat thing about Harbaugh is that he has been successful in every head coaching spot of his career and has found immediate success as a head coach.

So I say all of that to say this; if the Chargers again underachieve in 2024, would it be time to have a tough conversation about Justin Herbert? Would Herbert end up falling into the Kirk Cousins/Derek Carr/Philip Rivers tier?

Well, what exactly does that mean? All three passers have had long, successful NFL careers, at least statistically speaking, but the team success was spotty at best. Could Justin Herbert be the next QB who falls into this tier? I think it's firmly possible, and 2024 could tell us quite a lot.