A pair of gunmen from the Wild West square off for the fourth round of their duel Thursday night.
The AFC West is still up for grabs, and the week 15 “Thursday Night Football” showdown between the Chiefs and the Chargers could prove to be a huge turning point for either team.
The Chiefs are red hot on a five-game winning streak, while the Fightin ‘Herberts are on a short two-game winning streak.
There’s more than just playoff positioning on the line coming in on Thursday; Bragging rights for fans are also up for grabs. With Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert meeting for the third time in their careers, the Week 15 showdown provides a rubber match for the pair since the start of 2021.
Here’s how the two coincide:
Patrick Mahomes vs. Justin Herbert’s record
With Herbert facing the Chiefs for the fourth time Thursday night, the second-year quarterback and the Chargers currently hold a 2-1 lead over Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs since early 2020.
That comes with a little caveat: Mahomes didn’t play in Week 17 in 2020, a game the Chargers won 38-21. So in the games started by both Herbert and Mahomes, the record is really 1-1, and the rubber match will be on Thursday.
While the two don’t play against each other on the field, here’s how their numbers have piled up in previous matchups:
|Year||Final score||Mahomes Statistics||Herbert Statistics|
|2020, week 2||23-20, KC||27-47, 302 yards, two TDs, 54 rushing yards||23-33, 311 yards, one TD, one INT, 18 rushing yards, one TD|
|2020, week 17||38-21 LAC||N / A||22-31, 302 yards, three TDs, nine rushing yards, one TD|
|2021, week 3||30-24, LAC||27-44, 260 yards, three TDs, two interceptions, 45 rushing yards||26-38, 281 yards, four TDs, 16 rushing yards|
Patrick Mahomes vs. Justin Herbert Stats
Justin Herbert sprang into action following an unfortunate setback with starting starter Tyrod Taylor prior to Week 2 of 2020. Unlike other first-round players, Herbert was tasked with sitting down until he was ready, which obviously it didn’t happen. Since then, Herbert has been in Los Angeles. factor No. 1 starter and won the 2020 AFC Rookie of the Year.
Mahomes is in the fifth year of his career after sitting down his first year, in 2017. Since then, Mahomes has visited the Super Bowl twice, won a league MVP and has a ring to show for it.
Here’s how their numbers match heading into Round 4 on Thursday night:
Justin Herbert vs. Patrick Mahomes: Who’s Faster?
While Mahomes isn’t necessarily known as a first-run quarterback, he’s not exactly lazy running the ball, either.
While he doesn’t have the breakneck speed that Lamar Jackson does, he posted a 4.8-second, 40-yard rushing time in the NFL Combine in 2017, which doesn’t exactly show he’s stationary.
The same can be said for Herbert, though he has the pure measure of speed over Mahomes: In the 2020 NFL Draft, Herbert ran a 4.68 40-yard run, a number that is doubly impressive when you consider his sheer size (6- 6, 236 pounds).
Justin Herbert vs. Patrick Mahomes: Who’s Better?
Whether it’s Herbert or Mahomes, fans in the AFC West should be happy to have passers who will lead their teams for the next decade or more.
Mahomes has had something of a low year by Mahomes standards, but reducing it to a simple number would paint the picture quite well: In 2021, Mahomes has a PFF rating of 73.9, a number that is down for each of his three seasons. Previous in the NFL (91.8, 90.2 and 92.9 in 2020, 2019 and 2018).
Herbert, in his second season, is still on the rise: With an overall rating of 86.6 at PFF, the Chargers quarterback is the fourth-ranked quarterback in the NFL in 2021. He’s having a better season overall than Mahomes at the year 2, but Mahomes, in year 5, still has the record on Herbert.
Other numbers indicate how close these two are statistic by statistic in 2021 (all values courtesy of PFF):
|3.0 percent||Big launch percentage||3.3 percent|
|78.8 percent||Adjusted termination||77.4 percent|
What Herbert has beaten Mahomes this season, more than anything else, is the fumble battle: Mahomes has thrown 12 interceptions in 2021, equaling his career record, and he’s just one more than Herbert. There’s more: While Mahomes’ turnover-worthy game mark of 2.6 percent is not terrible (and is almost in line with his career 2.8 average), Herbert’s 1.7 TWP percentage mark is the lowest in the NFL, tied with Tom Brady and Russell. Wilson.
All of that basically means that while Mahomes has thrown more interceptions this season, the number of plays he has thrown is a pass that should have been delivered, unlike Herbert, who has thrown one less interception, but has fewer plays overall in which the ball should have been plucked.
This is all a pretty long way of saying something really very simple: These guys are good.