The 2021 season is in the books and over the next few weeks, we'll be checking in with a few of the team's beat writers, along with fellow team reporter Chris Hayre and yours truly, to dole out some awards and share thoughts on a look back and a look ahead for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Team MVP, and the answer was unanimous.
Chargers 2021 Team MVP: Justin Herbert
Joe Reedy, Associated Press: There definitely wasn't a sophomore slump with Herbert. He continues to get better to the point where we might have to start a new category next year -- Most Valuable Player Not Named Justin Herbert.
Chris Hayre: It's Herbert. He set single-season franchise records for passing touchdowns (38), passing yards (5,014), completions (443) and 300-yard games (9)...and he's just getting started. He'll break several of his own records throughout the course of his NFL career.
Gilbert Manzano, Southern California News Group: Justin Herbert's arm strength gets most of the attention, like his 59-yard strike to Jalen Guyton against the Giants, but it's the little things that made him this year's team MVP. Herbert quickly grasped Joe Lombardi's offense and put his teammates in positions to have career years. Herbert developed into a complete quarterback in his second NFL season and his versatile skill set has expanded the Chargers' playbook.
Hayley Elwood: We marveled at what Justin Herbert did his rookie season and he only built on that in his sophomore campaign to be the team's 2021 MVP. It felt like every week, he broke a new record. Sometimes, he broke multiple. Herbert's talent allowed the team to close out tight games, like in Week 9, holding onto the ball for a 6:07 drive to set up the game-winning field goal, or in Week 18, with the 19-play final drive to tie the game in regulation and send it to overtime. The Bolts are now one of those franchises that has transitioned from one era of top-notch quarterback play to the next, thanks to No. 10.
Fernando Ramirez, Sports Illustrated: This was tougher than last year because Derwin James had an incredible comeback season. At the end of the day Justin Herbert is Justin Herbert and is doing Justin Herbert things. He broke numerous records this season while leading the team to a winning record. Herbert is the undisputed two-time MVP of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Take a look back at the best photos of Justin Herbert's record-setting 2021 sophomore campaign.
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