|FBG Mobile Home|
Week 1 vs. KC
Passing: 22 - 39, 298 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 3 / 5 / 0
A mixed bag week one for Philip Rivers but he should be commended for his efforts in bringing his team to within a play of tying it up after being down all game. The final numbers won't tell the true tale for Rivers as the heavy rain affected his accuracy and zip on the ball at times throughout the game and his WR's let him down on more than one occasion. Rivers was pretty effective in the short and mid-range game and found a wide open Legadu Naanee on a busted play for a long TD toss. His toughness and leadership were front and central in week 1 though he could use some help from his WR's moving forward if he wants to stay in the upper echelon of FF QB's.
Week 2 vs. JAX
Passing: 22 - 29, 334 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rivers had something of a rough start, as turnovers ruled the early portion of this game for both teams. He tossed a pair of interceptions in the first half, though in fairness both of them bounced off of his receivers fingertips before being picked. He tossed one to Gates that bounced into the end zone for the first pick. The second one was a poor decision by Rivers, who tried forcing the ball across his body to WR Legedu Laanee. Naanee tried leaping to catch it, but instead it went off his fingertips and into the waiting arms of the defender. After that, Rivers settled down and made much safer passes. And aside from those two miscues (that weren't even entirely his fault), Rivers was pretty much flawless. He tossed a pair of touchdowns to TE Antonio Gates from close range, and then found WR Malcom Floyd wide open for a deep bomb score late. Floyd actually beat his man by a lot and the ball was slightly underthrown, but he made a nice adjustment to haul it in and waltz in for the score.
Week 3 vs. SEA
Passing: 29 - 53, 455 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: 1 / 2 / 0
ivers was under a ton of pressure all game. Throwing on the run is not his strong point, but he was forced to do it far more frequently than he is typically accustomed to. San Diego uncharacteristically allowed four sacks in the game, and it would have been quite a few more if not for Rivers' newfound escapability. When San Diego picked up the blitz, Rivers was nearly unstoppable, as evidenced by his team record 455 passing yards. At multiple points, he simply picked apart Seattle's secondary in moving the Chargers downfield almost at will. We say almost, because once the Chargers got in close to scoring territory, more often than not the Seattle defense really clamped down. The last two sequences in particular saw San Diego get close, but no cigar. On one sequence that they DID score on, Rivers made a terrific individual effort to escape the pass rush hot on his heels and find Antonio Gates in the corner of the end zone for the score. A penalty negated that play, but Rivers found Gates for a touchdown on the next play anyway. His other touchdown pass went to Malcom Floyd, and was a simple quick strike over the middle with defenders nowhere near him. Rivers also threw two interceptions in the game. The first wasn't really his fault, as it deflected off of the hands of Gates and into the waiting arms of a defender. The second pick was the fourth down desperation pass to the end zone intended for Legedu Naanee for the attempted game-tying score. Instead, it was intercepted at the goal line to clinch the win for Seattle. He was nearly picked on one other pass down the sideline, but WR Malcom Floyd made a terrific effort to play defense on the play and knock it away for an incompletion. With all the pressure he faced, one would have expected Rivers to be really beaten up afterwards. He was briefly checked out on the sideline for what appeared to be a cut above his nose, but other than that he didn't seem any worse for wear after the final whistle.
Week 4 vs. ARI
Passing: 15 - 20, 241 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
It's too easy to say that Rivers played pitch-and-catch with TE Antonio Gates, because there was more to it than that. Not much more, but more. For the most part, here was the offensive philosophy. Step 1: Hike the ball. Step 2: Wait for Gates to get open. Step 3: Throw it to Gates. That type of setup pretty much worked to perfection, as Rivers found Gates streaking downfield for two more scores, meaning Rivers has thrown at least one touchdown in seventeen straight games. Rivers pretty much did whatever he wanted in this one, firing missiles all over the field to whoever is the most open. In this game, as usual, there is almost always someone open. Rivers was still throwing it up by 31 points in the fourth quarter. The wiseness of that can certainly be debated by Rivers owners, but on the positive side he was still racking up points at a time when most starting signal-callers would be chilling on the bench. The San Diego passing game is really clicking, and no matter who is on the receiving end and benefitting, the fact is that Rivers is the one constant who is always going to benefit from it. The Chargers have the most yardage through four games in team history. Considering some of the offensive units this team has put out there over the years, that is no small feat. Rivers is playing about as well as any QB in the league right now, something that isn't likely to change anytime soon.
Week 5 vs. OAK
Passing: 27 - 42, 431 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 1 / 14 / 0
Philip Rivers was asked to do to do way too much for his team in this game. He was routinely asked to drive the length of the field, with a limited running game due to the special teams debacle San Diego faced early game. Being down 12-0 early pushed the Chargers into passing mode, and Rivers excelled through the air after a slightly rough start. His defense gave him a lot of possessions, but he always had a huge field to drive and struggled at times to punch it over the goal line. Rivers is the master of testing defenses downfield, he used Floyd as a nice deep target time after time as the Oakland defense completely focused on Gates and left Floyd in very nice one on one situations. He never overthrows people downfield, and it truly is a fine art he has mastered as a QB. Rivers utilises all the weapons at his disposal and really spreads the ball well, though without a doubt Floyd and Gates are his go to guys. He threw a perfect pass in the endzone early on to Gates between two defenders into a very tight window. Rivers had two fumbles, but they can almost be excused due to the number of times he had to drop back and win the game for his team time after time.
Week 6 vs. STL
Passing: 22 - 37, 249 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rivers really struggled in the first half. The Rams applied a ton of pressure, sacking Rivers four times by the second quarter and seven times overall. A lot of the sacks came on plays where Rivers uncharacteristically held the ball far too long. The Chargers didn't even get into the red zone the entire first half, and Rivers was intercepted on a jump ball he threw to Malcom Floyd in the end zone. He missed two deep routes to wide receivers and another to TE Kris Wilson, all of which could have been long touchdowns. It wasn't that the balls were poorly thrown; it's that Rivers simply never saw them. He also underthrew Buster Davis on a long pass down the sideline on a third and long play that could have gone for a score if thrown in stride. He also had his share of bad luck, as he looked deep downfield to Malcom Floyd on a wide open deep ball that Floyd couldn't find, and had TE Antonio Gates drop a perfectly thrown ball right down the seam on third and long. Rivers was without Gates the entire second half due to the tight end suffering a lower leg injury of some sort. He was also without Floyd for much of the fourth quarter after Floyd injured his hamstring. Despite the loss of those two, Rivers nearly brought the Chargers all the way back anyway. Late in the third quarter, he nearly had a touchdown pass to Darren Sproles on a swing pass, but Sproles was knocked out at the two yard line. Mike Tolbert scored two plays later. Rivers eventually did throw a touchdown to Buster Davis. He did a great job buying time in the pocket by rolling out against his throwing motion, and the receiver did a nice job hanging onto the ball in traffic. Rivers should have had a second interception after trying to force one to TE Randy McMichael in traffic, but the defenders bounced the ball off of one another one too many times before it hit the ground.
Week 7 vs. NE
Passing: 34 - 50, 336 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 6 / 9 / 0
While his two starting wideouts were inactive and his go-to tight end was hobbled, Rivers was done no favors by the receivers who did suit up. He did all he could do to keep his team in the game, but the barrage of dropped passes made that extremely difficult to do. Three different times his receivers had the ball in their hands, tried to turn upfield before securing it, took their eyes off of it, and dropped it. Two other times they dropped balls that were right in their hands. Even Rivers himself, however, wasn't immune from taking his eyes off the ball when he allowed a snap to bounce off his fingertips while looking up at the defense. He was credited with two turnovers, neither of which were entirely his fault. On the first, an interception down the sideline, Rivers seemed to forget that he's no longer throwing the ball to Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd. Patrick Crayton was the intended target, but he's not the type of player who can out-leap the defender quite like the others. Crayton seemed able to at least get a hand on the ball, but made little effort to do so. Rivers was also called for a fumble on a lateral that replays appeared to show was really a forward pass. Even if it was a lateral, the intended target --- Jacob Hester --- made no attempt to recover the ball as it lay on the ground. On a more positive note, he tied a team record held by Dan Fouts by throwing a touchdown pass in his 20th consecutive game. He nearly added a touchdown run later on a sneak from the four yard line, but he was stopped just shy of the goal line. Mike Tolbert scored soon after.
Week 8 vs. TEN
Passing: 27 - 36, 305 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 2 / 3 / 0
Rivers played much of the game with Tennessee defenders in his face. Despite that, he was sacked just once because he typically made very good decisions with the football. He was intercepted late in the first half on an attempted sideline route with the clock winding down, but it didn't end up costing San Diego anything defensively. Rivers did a nice job standing in against the rush, flipping the ball out to his receivers at the last possible moment several times for nice gains. He put perfect touch on a deep floater down the sideline to TE Antonio Gates for a 48-yard score. That play was a scary one, as Rivers was hit below his knees by a defender who rolled him up after the play was already over. Rivers was fortunately uninjured on the play. His second touchdown was a short pass in the flat to RB Darren Sproles. The pass itself was nothing spectacular, and Sproles did the rest by fighting his way into the end zone with a great individual effort at the end of the play. Rivers passed former Charger great Dan Fouts for the most passing yards in NFL history after a team's first eight games. Rivers had a pick-6 negated by a holding penalty, a play that would have greatly turned the game in Tennessee's favor. It is important to note, however, that the interception likely would not have happened without the penalty being committed.
Week 9 vs. HOU
Passing: 17 - 23, 295 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 4 / -7 / 0
Rivers further solidified his case to be in the MVP discussion with his performance in this game. Despite being without his top five passing game targets, and Ryan Mathews for the second half, Rivers still put up huge fantasy stats and led another comeback victory for his team. He twice found undrafted free agent Seyi Ajirotutu for wide open long touchdowns, the first coming from 55 yards out and the second from 28. Each time, Ajirotutu had gotten well behind the last line of defense, and all Rivers needed to do was put the ball on its mark. Rivers threw two other scores, both to veteran TE Randy McMichael. The first was an absolute laser pass by Rivers, who was moving forward and rifled it into traffic on the run just high enough for McMichael to snatch it out of the air. He later found McMichael coming across the back line of the end zone, but that score was much more owed to a phenomenal individual effort by McMichael than anything. He grabbed it out of the air with one hand and cradled it into his body. Rivers very rarely has made glaring mistakes this season, and he also kept those to a minimum in this game as well. On his only interception, he was actually hit low by a defender on a play that should have been called a penalty, but wasn't. The only other mistake was when he overthrew WR Patrick Crayton by five yards on a deep bomb that would have been an easy score had the ball been on-target.
Week 11 vs. DEN
Passing: 15 - 24, 233 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 4 / 6 / 0
Still down a handful of key contributors and despite losing one more in this game, Rivers just kept the truck rolling right along. He tied a career high with four touchdown passes, and extended his league-best streak to 23 consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass. Early on, the Broncos were forcing the Chargers to look underneath. On an early possession, San Diego stayed mostly conservative and methodically moved the ball down the field. That drive culminated in a touchdown pass from Rivers to Malcom Floyd in the back of the end zone, a play on which Rivers did a nice job buying some time for Floyd to break open. Rivers mostly did a good job of not forcing anything, but one got the sense that he was just biding his time and waiting for the moment that he could look down the field. About the only time he looked to force the issue was on a deep ball down the sideline to Floyd. He threw it up for grabs despite Champ Bailey's excellent coverage, and the future Hall of Famer Bailey came down with the ball for the interception. Rivers' second touchdown was mostly the result of a terrific individual effort by Patrick Crayton. The pass was a simple screen to the left, but after making the first defender miss, Crayton took off like a bullet down the sideline. He was dragged into the end zone and landed awkwardly on his left hand, forcing him to leave the game. Early in the second half, Rivers found Darren Sproles out of the backfield with a quick pass over the middle and Sproles did the rest. It was a great job by Rivers to get him the ball on the move and with perfect timing, but again it was Sproles' speed that mostly enabled that to become a score. Finally, the knockout blow was a short touchdown to FB Jacob Hester in the flat for the wide open score, a play that Rivers orchestrated in a very Peyton Manning-esque way on the pre-snap read and setup. Rivers just looks better and better each week, whether it's a perfect pass or a great read or a lunging dive for the first down marker on a third and long (which he did in this game as well), he's playing about as well as any quarterback in the game right now.
Week 12 vs. IND
Passing: 19 - 23, 185 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 3 / 7 / 0
It's very telling about how good of a player Rivers has become that he had probably his worst statistical game of the season, yet didn't make a single costly mistake. His streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass ended at 23, and he never really came all that close to one either. He overthrew Malcom Floyd and Seyi Ajirotutu on fade patterns in the corner of the end zone, respectively. But he didn't take very many downfield shots because there wasn't much need to. The San Diego running game was highly effective, and the defense was utterly dominant. This resulted in the passing game staying very much under control and not forcing anything. Rivers did show some nice escapability on several occasions, rushing for nine yards on one play and avoiding a sack on a short scramble on another.
Week 13 vs. OAK
Passing: 23 - 39, 280 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 1 / 5 / 0
Rivers had by far his worst game of the season, and it couldn't have come at a worse time for the Chargers. Needing to keep pace with the first place Chiefs, Rivers instead turned in a dud, resulting in the first December loss of his career. Right from the beginning of the game, Rivers just didn't look sharp. He may have been too fired up because he was constantly overthrowing his intended targets on passes that didn't really feature a very high degree of difficulty. He had Seyi Ajirotutu open on a deep ball to the end zone, but overthrew him. He tried forcing one to Malcom Floyd over the middle but instead sailed it over everyone and into the waiting arms of the defender for an interception. He was saved from an interception on another high ball to Floyd over the middle. He twice misfired to a wide open Legedu Naanee out in the flat, one of which could have gone for a long gain. It didn't help that Rivers rarely threw a pass without a defender in his face. He had to rush a number of passes, and the pressure never let up at any point. Even on the positive plays he made, it was only after avoiding the rush in some way. On a 24 yard pass to TE Antonio Gates, Rivers threw the ball with a defender's arm dragging him down by the back. He put a perfectly-placed ball to Ajirotutu in traffic late in the third quarter for 25 yards, and immediately after finding his rhythm he was sacked to set up a third and 12. On the next play, he had a rush coming right in his face and threw up a jump ball to Floyd in the end zone that was knocked away incomplete. Finally in the fourth quarter, Rivers found a wide open Gates in the corner of the end zone on a simple corner route for his only touchdown pass of the game. But even with all the momentum, the Charger defense couldn't hold Oakland on its ensuing possession, and by the time the Chargers got the ball back the game was essentially over.
Week 14 vs. KC
Passing: 18 - 24, 226 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 2 / 5 / 0
Rivers did a little bit of everything in this game. He of course threw two wonderful touchdown passes to each corner of the end zone for WR Malcom Floyd. And in doing so, he became the first quarterback in Chargers history to toss at least 25 touchdown passes in three consecutive seasons. He also found his old favorite target WR Vincent Jackson on two different occasions for nice gains, and once for a 37 yard hookup that was negated by a penalty. That connection bodes well for the confidence and the rapport between these two moving forward. Despite being without star TE Antonio Gates and a number of other weapons (as usual), Rivers still completed 75% of his passes for over 200 yards and a pair of scores. In addition to the typical stellar passing numbers, Rivers showed nice footwork on a couple of scrambles early in the game. His footwork and escapability is a much-improved facet of his game that has gotten little recognition to this point. In addition, he made a very nice block to seal the edge on Jackson's wideout reverse run early in the first quarter. About the only mistake Rivers made was an interception down the deep sideline that was picked off by Eric Berry, who did a phenomenal job of keeping his feet inbounds while hauling in the pass.
Week 15 vs. SF
Passing: 19 - 25, 273 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
After a couple of sub-par statistical performances, Rivers rebounded in a big way in this game. He stood tall against the pass rush that was there, and the San Diego line did a great job of picking up the blitzes as well. Most of what he did was to toss the ball up to WR Vincent Jackson and see what he could do. The first big play they connected on was early in the first quarter. Rivers hoisted up a jump ball to Jackson down the right sideline that the big wide receiver managed to come down with, before racing away from his defender for the score. He threw two more touchdowns to Jackson, one on a crossing route over the middle and one on a back shoulder pass late in the game followed by a Jackson dive into the end zone. On all three of Rivers's touchdown passes, he threw it on the field of play and Jackson did the majority of the work after the catch. If there was any doubt about whether Rivers and Jackson were going to be able to pick up where they left off in 2009, this game answered a resounding yes. They looked to have their connection and chemistry back, and the two appeared to know exactly what the other was thinking. Rivers made very few mistakes, though he was nearly intercepted on two separate occasions when he was hit just as he released the ball. One pass in particular was an easy pick right in the defender's hands, but it was just outright dropped. Rivers came out of the game late in the fourth quarter with the Chargers up big, but they had long earlier taken the air out of the ball and focused on the ground game.
Week 16 vs. CIN
Passing: 27 - 40, 256 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 1 / 2 / 0
Rivers didn't play badly, but he wasn't effective enough against a fired up Bengals defense to offset what his defense gave up on this day. Nothing came open in the first quarter, but Rivers kept firing and moved the offense well when he was with the wind in the second and third quarters. Vincent Jackson drew a pass interference in the end zone, but the running game could not finish from the one and Rivers never got a shot to pass to finish the drive. Rivers interception happened when Randy McMichael got hurt and didn't finish his route, although he wasn't really open anyway. The stats got fattened a little on a garbage time drive, but Rivers still ended up being one of the worst fantasy plays at QB this week, even though he has been one of the best all year.
Week 17 vs. DEN
Passing: 21 - 37, 313 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 1 / 1 / 0
Rivers had another very good game despite losing his #1 receiver in the first half and facing a ton of pressure. He was sacked five times but benefited from big plays from the running game via Ryan Mathews. Rivers did move around well to keep plays alive, although he drew an intentional grounding and sack in the red zone to stall one drive. The Chargers had to settle for field goals any time Ryan Mathews didn't finish a drive with a TD, but one of those was on Malcom Floyd for a drop in the end zone. Rivers should still be an elite fantasy QB next year regardless of who he is throwing to.