Justin Herbert breaks NFL record for touchdown passes by a rookie

Jason Owens
·1 min read

Justin Herbert has had an exceptional rookie season.

Now the Los Angeles Chargers’ quarterback has a place in the record book to show for it.

Herbert connected with running Austin Ekeler for a 9-yard touchdown to get the Chargers on the board Sunday against the Denver Broncos. The score was Herbert’s 28th touchdown pass of the season, an NFL record for a rookie quarterback.

Is Herbert the best quarterback from his rookie class?

He broke a tie with Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who threw 27 touchdowns during his 2018 rookie campaign. Herbert broke the record in the first half of his 14th game and will have a chance to extend it with one week left in the NFL season.

He didn’t play in Week 1, making his first NFL start in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs when a Chargers medical staff member punctured Tyrod Taylor’s lung with a pregame pain injection.

Justin Herbert set the NFL rookie record for touchdown passes in his 14th game. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Justin Herbert set the NFL rookie record for touchdown passes in his 14th game. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Head coach Anthony Lynn had planned to return Taylor to his starting position when he was healthy, but Herbert’s play forced his hand to name the rookie the team’s starter for the rest of the season.

Now he’s a favorite to win Rookie of the Year honors after being selected as the third quarterback off the board in April’s draft behind Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa.

Herbert entered Sunday’s game completing 66.5 percent of his passes for 3,781 yards (290.8 per game) with 27 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The Chargers close their season in Week 17 against the Kanas City Chiefs.

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