Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year presented by Microsoft Surface for the 2020 season, it was announced today at NFL Honors. Herbert becomes the 10th quarterback in NFL history to earn the award. He is the first Charger to earn AP Rookie of the Year honors since Joey Bosa in 2016 and is the first Charger to do so on the offensive side of the ball since running back Don Woods received the honor in 1974.
The accolade adds to an impressive list for Herbert, who re-wrote record books in his historic rookie campaign. Herbert was named the Rookie of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie by the Professional Football Writers of America on January 19. He was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month by the league office twice (October and November). Herbert also was voted by fans as the Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Year after winning the weekly vote a record-tying nine times.
Herbert finished the year as the all-time rookie record-holder in passing touchdowns (31), total touchdowns (36), completions (396), games with 300-plus passing yards (eight) and games with three-plus touchdowns (six). In the season finale at Kansas City, he became the youngest player in history to toss 30 touchdowns in a single season, doing so at 22 years, 299 days old.
The sixth-overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft engineered three-straight game-winning drives, tying for the most by a rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era (since 1966). Herbert also made rookie history with 10 multi-passing touchdown games — including a record-setting seven consecutive — and four-straight games with three-plus touchdown passes. His 4,336 passing yards rank No. 2 all-time among first-year signal-callers.
Herbert tied for No. 1 in the NFL this season with eight completions of 50-plus yards and ranked fourth with a rookie-record 289.1 passing yards per game. He joined Patrick Mahomes as the only players ever to eclipse 4,000 passing yards through the first 14 games of a career. Herbert tossed a touchdown in each of his first 10 games, the second-longest streak to open a career in NFL history.
The Oregon product had an immediate impact in his first game, making a start in Week 2 against the defending World Champion Kansas City Chiefs. Herbert capped off his first NFL drive with a four-yard touchdown run and became the first quarterback to run and throw for a score in the first half of a debut since 1954. He finished the game with 311 passing yards, the fourth-most by any player in their debut since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.
Herbert went on to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for October, where led the NFL among qualified passers with a rookie-record 122.2 passer rating. He made Monday Night Football rookie history in Week 5 by throwing four touchdown passes, including three in the first half. Herbert repeated the monthly award in November, throwing 11 touchdown passes to break Peyton Manning’s all-time rookie mark for the month. In Week 7, Herbert became the first rookie quarterback in pro football history to post 300 passing yards, three passing scores and a rushing touchdown while throwing no interceptions in a winning effort.
Herbert joins Woods, who posted 1,511 yards from scrimmage (1,162 rushing) and 10 total touchdowns over 12 games during his rookie season, as the second Charger ever to be named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. Herbert and Woods are two of five rookies in franchise history to earn AP Rookie of the Year honors, joining Bosa (2016), Shawne Merriman (2005) and Leslie O’Neal (1986), who were each named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.