Justin Herbert has had two very impressive seasons to start his NFL career but he is not beating Miami Dolphins Dan Marino’s first two seasons.
A stat that the Dolphins haters want to throw around lately is that Herbert has one more touchdown in his two seasons of football than former NFL leader Dan Marino had. Herbert, through two years of football, has 69 touchdown passes, one more than Marino who had 68.
We can go back and forth all day about the rules and regulations and how coverage rules are so different in 2022 than they were in 1983. We can also discount all the debate on how the passing game has evolved over the decades since Marino was a young kid out of Pittsburgh.
Instead, we can talk about actual statistics that can be measured easily. Playing time.
Marino reached his record-setting touchdown statistic in 27 games. Of those games, Marino started 25 games. Herbert has started all but one game of his career. In addition, Herbert benefited from 17 games in 2021 giving him one more game to reach and beat Marino.
In fact, that 17th game came against the Raiders last year. Herbert threw for three touchdowns in that game taking him one TD away from Marino, tying Marino, and eclipsing Marino.
No other QB has come close to the 68 TDs thrown in their first two seasons in the NFL. Derek Carr has 53 and is in third place
This is not an indictment on Herbert. He is showing that he has very good poise at the position and throwing for that many TDs is impressive but let’s be real too. The NFL has changed a lot and while his 69 TDs are impressive, I would have to assume that Marino with another game in his first two years would likely have given him enough that even Herbert couldn’t catch.