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Justin Herbert set to obliterate NFL rookie record set by Baker Mayfield

Justin Herbert Baker Mayfield Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is in the driver’s seat to win the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award for 2020.

But could he be the greatest rookie QB of all-time?

By one fairly significant metric, he might be able to make the case, should he keep doing what he’s doing.

Through 12 weeks and 10 starts, the no. 6 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft is already closing in on the single-season record for passing touchdowns by a first-year player. The current mark to beat was set by Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield in 2018, who tossed 27 TDs.

Herbert already has thrown 23 TDs with five games to go — tied for 8th-most in football and not what anybody, including the Chargers saw coming from the former Oregon Ducks star, who was considered more of a project than a ready-to-play prospect.

If he averages 2.3 TD passes per game through Week 17, he has a chance to hit 35 on the season, per Pro Football Talk.

Herbert has thrown seven picks (not bad), recorded a 100.9 QB Rating, and undeniably passes the eye test every Sunday with throws like these:

Accordingly, he’s been named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Month for October and November.

Herbert’s impressive play has prohibited head coach Anthony Lynn from his original intention of returning the keys to the car to Tyrod Taylor after the veteran quarterback recovered from his unfortunate punctured lung at (literally) the hands of the team doctor.

Los Angeles has struggled to win games, but a depleted defense and questionable coaching staff are more direct causes of the team’s 3-8 record than the 21-year old under center.