The Pittsburgh Steelers had an interesting final week to their 2021 regular season, as the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers played a crazy overtime game that would decide the fate of the black and gold’s postseason chances. Had it ended in a tie, the Steelers would have missed the playoffs. Due to the importance of the game, seemingly all of the Steelers players were tuned in to their TV’s for the Sunday Night Football tilt.
“I just got done talking to him at the Pro Bowl. Justin Herbert… man he is special,” Heyward said to Meltzer. “The amount of fourth down plays he converted [was crazy]. He converted every single one, and you’re like man, the only way Las Vegas is going to win, is if they have the ball last. Because they [Chargers] were going up and down the field the entire time.”
Heyward’s comments seem to reiterate those of many around football, as the Oregon product is special. Herbert’s quickly evolved into one of the game’s premier quarterbacks, after just two seasons in the NFL. The Chargers selected him sixth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he hasn’t looked back since.
In two seasons, he’s completed 66.2% of his passes, and thrown for 9,350 yards, alongside 69 passing TD’s. Herbert’s even shown his underrated athleticism, as he has over 500 rushing yards and eight TD’s as well.
After winning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year over Minnesota Vikings wide receiver, Justin Jefferson, Herbert followed that up with his first career Pro Bowl appearance in 2021. Now, he just needs to lead the Chargers to the playoffs in what will be an insanely tough AFC West this upcoming season.
Chargers fans seemingly aren’t the biggest fans of Heyward, as many were upset with his play on Herbert when the two sides faced off earlier in the season. Heyward actually clarified his side of things on The Pat McAfee Show back in March, as he simply was trying to catch himself when falling down. Instead, it ended up looking like he purposely punched the Chargers franchise quarterback.
He apologized to Herbert, to which the star QB stated he didn’t even feel the unintended punch. Herbert appeared on The Pat McAfee Show as well, shortly after the game in the midst of the season. He had this to say on the play with Heyward:
“I think it was a mistake, I think he slipped. I don’t think anything was intentional,” Herbert said in regards to the play. “Football’s an awfully emotional game, and sometimes you get caught up in the pile. I’ve got no hard feelings towards him. He’s an incredible player, and I’ve got so much respect for his game.”
Clearly, no love lost between the two sides. Maybe, Heyward’s comments will bring him out of the doghouse with Chargers fans. While the play looked bad, I think we can all agree there was no purposeful, malicious intent from Heyward.
What are your guys’ thoughts on the future of Justin Herbert? What would you do for the Steelers to have a franchise quarterback like him? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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