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ESPN's Barnwell Lays Out Justin Herbert's Potential Case for 2022 MVP


Justin Herbert is on Bill Barnwell's short list for possible NFL MVP candidates in 2022.

The Chargers QB was among 13 players the ESPN football expert mentioned earlier this week who could take home the coveted award, with Barnwell picking a comparable season from a player who won a previous MVP award.

Barnwell's comp for Herbert was Brett Favre in 1995, when the Packers QB threw for 4,413 yards with 38 touchdowns.

Barnwell recapped Favre's 1995 season:

After being traded by the Falcons to the Packers before the 1992 season, Favre wasn't an instant success. He was a little better than league-average in 1992 and led the NFL in interceptions during a disappointing 1993 before getting back on track in 1994. The future Hall of Famer threw 33 touchdown passes against 14 picks, so while the 9-7 Packers were dropped comfortably by the Cowboys in the divisional round, Favre looked like he was one step away from competing with Troy Aikman and Steve Young in the NFC.

In 1995, he took about four steps forward. He led the league for the first time in passing yards, jumping a full yard per attempt over his mark in 1994. The Packers hit double-digit wins for the first of 10 times under their young quarterback. He won the first of three consecutive MVP awards. Green Bay still came up short against the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game, but it would break through for a Super Bowl victory the following season.

Take a look at some of the best shots of Justin Herbert's 2022 offseason

And he said Herbert could be in line for similar, if not higher, production in his third season in the league.

Barnwell noted:

The quarterback most often compared to Favre is Josh Allen, and the only reason I don't have him here is that he's already a star. We know Herbert's capable of the spectacular -- just watch his string of fourth-down conversions against the Raiders in Week 18 -- but he hasn't yet produced a full season like Favre in 1995 or Allen in 2020. Allen posted a 120 ANY/A+ that season (100 is league-average), while Favre got up to 130 during his first MVP season. Herbert has been solidly above-average over his first two seasons, with a 108 ANY/A+ mark as a rookie and 109 last season.

With the Chargers retaining wideout Mike Williams and using a first-round pick on lineman Zion Johnson, there aren't many weak spots on the Los Angeles offense. The organization seems committed to letting Herbert throw at one of the league's highest rates in neutral situations. Everything you would want to have in place for an MVP campaign is here. In the crucible of the 2022 AFC West, it's not difficult to imagine Herbert thriving.

Herbert has thrived plenty in his first two seasons in the league, as he ranks first in passing yards (9,350) and touchdown passes (69) among quarterbacks who have attempted at least 600 passes over their first two seasons.

Barnwell's full list of potential MVP candidates can be found here.

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