Feature: The Gridiron Grind

What's Wrong With Rivers and the Chargers? Nothing

Author: JP Pelosi
Published: November 10, 2011 at 11:59 am



While every broadcaster under the sun gushes over Aaron Rodgers and how he might be the greatest quarterback the universe has ever seen - despite the fact that players like Joe Montana, John Elway and Johnny Unitas dominated the game in the same way and during an era when the QB was less protected - Philip Rivers and his Chargers deserve some credit.

Rivers has been under the microscope for weeks now, mostly because his San Diego Chargers are on a three-game skid, and Rivers is turning the ball over more than usual. But football people on TV also have a tendency to be melodramatic when it comes to mid-season player assessment, and as we all know, if there's one position that receives unwarranted scrutiny, its the man playing behind center.

Rivers is the latest scapegoat story in the NFL, especially for a football team that has raised a few doubts about its consistency and ability to perform under pressure. You see, if the Chargers fall short of matching it with the likes of the Green Bay Packers - who won the last Super Bowl by the way - then Rivers is clearly slipping. At least that's the conventional thinking on such matters. The stats that seem to sway most critics in these instances are the dubious "passer rating", and of course, the touchdowns to interceptions ratio. For those keeping score, Rivers posted four TDs against the Pack last Sunday, along with three interceptions. His passer rating was 85.9.

Be that as it may, Rivers played well. He took command in a tough contest and marched his group up and down the field with aplomb. Yes, San Diego was defeated, but they went down swinging. Some of Rivers throws, in fact, were superbly swung deep balls - well designed and perfectly placed. Just ask Vincent Jackson. For the statistically-minded, Rivers was 26 of 46 and amassed 385 yards in the air, while Rodgers notched 247. He generated 28 first downs to Green Bay's 21. And his team lost by just one touchdown. Is there really cause for concern here?

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: JP Pelosi

JP is a journalist and blogger and a big football fan.

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