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Justin Herbert Sets New Rookie Record With 28th Touchdown Pass

Move over, Baker Mayfield—there's a new leader in the rookie record book.

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert broke Mayfield's regular season mark for touchdown passes, finding the end zone for the 28th time on Sunday against the Broncos.

Midway through the second quarter, Herbert found running back Austin Ekeler for a 9-yard score to put the Chargers up, 10-0. Ekeler is the ninth different player to catch a touchdown pass from Herbert this season.

Herbert reaches the mark in his 14th start after beginning the season backing up veteran Tyrod Taylor. Mayfield followed a nearly identical trajectory in his rookie campaign—he appeared in 14 games with 13 starts that season after the Browns opted to start Taylor to begin the season.

Herbert is the heavy favorite to win this year's Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He's been named Rookie of the Week eight times already, and has had seven 300-yard passing games this season prior to Sunday's game.

Mayfield completed 63.8% of his passes as a rookie in 2018, with 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Entering Sunday's game, Herbert had a higher completion rate (66.5%), more yards (3,781) and fewer interceptions (10).

Mayfield broke the previous rookie record of 26 that was shared by Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson. Manning started every game as a rookie and led the league with 28 interceptions in 1998. Wilson also made 16 starts and was much more efficient, with just 10 interceptions and a passer rating of 100.0. He also went 11-5 as a starter and led the Seahawks to the divisional round of the 2012-13 playoffs.