TheThe first time Justin Herbert made NFL analysts look foolish for doubting him as a draft prospect came in his third NFL start.
It was the first quarter of a Week 4 game in Tampa, and the Chargers had the ball near midfield. Herbert took the snap from under center, carried out a play-action fake, and finished his drop at the Bucs’ 36-yard line. He eyed his first option, Keenan Allen, running a double move to the quarterback’s left. Covered. Next, Herbert’s eyes darted toward the middle of the field, where Tyron Johnson was running a deep post. But the rush was starting to close in. Bucs defensive end William Gholston had powered his way through the line and was bearing down on Herbert. But the rookie wasn’t bothered—he calmly leaned back, cocked his arm, and launched the football into orbit.
Seeing the pass heading his way, Johnson started to slow at about the 9-yard line, but he soon realized the ball was still flying. The Chargers receiver quickly course-corrected, accelerating into the catch, and it landed in his arms at the 4-yard line, a good 60 yards downfield from where Herbert stood. The accuracy, the velocity, the distance—it was a truly awesome throw.
Pretty good, huh? Former NFL quarterback John Beck thought so, too. The 40-year-old, who trains quarterbacks for the 3DQB training academy in Southern California and has served as Herbert’s personal QB coach since 2020, picked that pass when I asked him about the best throw he had seen his client make.
“People do not realize how amazing of a throw that was,” Beck said over the phone. “To his left, sliding left, taking a hit, and I mean just unloading that ball. It just jumped out of his hand. I remember watching it and just thinking, my goodness. Quarterbacks in the league are aware of what everybody’s doing. They’re well aware of the great throws that happen each week. I know the other quarterbacks in the league saw that and are aware of the throws Justin is making.”
This season, each new week seems to bring another jaw-dropping throw from Herbert.