Giants get front-row seat at what might have been in clash vs. Justin Herbert, Chargers

Justin Herbert Chargers
Justin Herbert
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants’ season seems all but over at this point — and Sunday could very well add insult to injury. 

Big Blue, at 4-8, heads to Los Angeles to face a 7-5 Chargers team that is in the hunt for the top spot of the AFC West and led by a quarterback that very well could have been theirs.

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has been one of the NFL’s premier young quarterbacks since being taken sixth overall out of Oregon last year — two spots after the Giants had taken Andrew Thomas out of Georgia. Of course, the Giants still believe that Daniel Jones is the franchise quarterback, and the need to bolster a sieve-like offensive line was atop the list of the organization’s priorities. 

But Herbert almost was there for the Giants’ taking a year earlier for the 2019 draft. Believed to be one of two top quarterback prospects alongside Kyler Murray — who went No. 1 to the Arizona Cardinals — Herbert very well could have been available for the Giants at No. 6 that year.

He opted to stay in school for one more year, however, prompting the Giants to surprise most of the football world by taking Jones sixth overall out of Duke.

Jones has struggled to show that he truly can be Eli Manning’s successor in an offense that is one of the worst in football while Herbert has taken off. 

Despite playing 11 fewer games, Herbert has just 515 fewer yards passing than Jones, 13 more touchdowns (58 to 45), and eight fewer interceptions. His completion percentage is also nearly four points higher than Jones’ (66.6% to 62.8%). This season alone, Herbert has more games with 300 passing yards or more (seven) than Jones does in his entire career (six).

While Hebert will be taking it to the Giants’ defense on Sunday, Jones will likely be on the sidelines a strained neck continues to ail him. It also appears as though backup Mike Glennon won’t be available after suffering a concussion during a Week 13 stinker to the Miami Dolphins. 

That means, as it stands, Jake Fromm is in line to start for the Giants against Herbert and the Chargers. 

Just a few weeks ago, he was the No. 4 quarterback on the Buffalo Bills’ depth chart after being taken 161 picks after Herbert in the 2020 draft. He has never appeared in an NFL regular-season game and now, he could be tasked with trying to keep up with the quarterback who got away for the Giants.