Justin Herbert has been named the Pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie of the Year, beating out Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson and several others to become the first Charger to win the award since Keenan Allen in 2013.
The Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year Award is a fan-voted award that should not be confused with the AP’s Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year Awards, which are officially recognized by the NFL and will be announced on Saturday. Still, Herbert winning yet another accolade seems to make him the favorite to win the award this weekend, capping off one of the most impressive rookie seasons in NFL history.
Despite being the third quarterback taken in last year’s draft and not even being the Chargers’ starter at the beginning of the season, Herbert stepped up in a major way and managed to have one of the greatest rookie season for a quarterback in NFL history.
He set several rookie records, including the most total touchdowns by a rookie (36), most passing touchdowns by a rookie quarterback (31) and most completions by a rookie quarterback (396). He almost broke the record for most passing yards by a rookie but fell just 48 yards short of Andrew Luck’s 4,374 yards.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson, Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor and Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young were also nominated for the award, but Jefferson has been viewed as Herbert’s biggest competition, as the receiver’s 1,400 receiving yards were the most ever by a rookie.