Justin Herbert‘s play this season has given rise to visions of future duels with Patrick Mahomes, but the Chargers rookie had to settle for Chad Henne on Sunday.
The Chiefs left Patrick Mahomes on the bench with the top seed in the AFC wrapped up and that gave him a chance to watch Herbert throw for three touchdowns in a 38-21 Chargers win. The victory gives the Chargers a 7-9 record for the season and they finished the year on a four-game winning streak.
Finishing like that should make it likelier that head coach Anthony Lynn will return for a fifth season and a second year with Herbert at the helm of the offense. Herbert had already set the record for touchdowns by a rookie quarterback and he ends the year with 31 of them.
He also ran for a score on Sunday and threw for 302 yards in the victory. Herbert and Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson will likely be the leading candidates for offensive rookie of the year.
With Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and many other sitting for the Chiefs, there wasn’t much reason to think they could match the Chargers’ offensive output. Chad Henne led a couple of early touchdown drives, but the team only managed 268 yards for the game.
That probably won’t cause too many sleepless nights in Kansas City because the Chiefs know the path to the Super Bowl goes through Arrowhead Stadium.