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QB Philip Rivers - San Diego Chargers

6-5, 228Born: 12-8-1981College: North Carolina StateDrafted: Round 1, pick 4

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Photo: Christopher Hanowickel, US Presswire

Preseason player page

News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Oct 20): Rivers had one of his quietest fantasy games this year because the Chiefs played keep away. When 200+ passing yards and two scores is a down day for a fantasy QB, you know he's a strong weekly play. Don't worry about Rivers heading into a matchup against Peyton Manning on Thursday night.

Week 8: at Denver Broncos

Mark and Joe say: Neutral matchup. This is a crucial AFC West showdown between two of the hottest offenses in the NFL - it should be an exciting, fast-paced game under the Thursday Night lights in Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium tomorrow. Philip Rivers had a tepid game against the Chiefs last week, with 17/31 for 205 yards passing, two TDs and one interception thrown (while taking two sacks for -23 yards). His tight ends handled both TDs, with five targets for 3/61/1 going to Antonio Gates and one target for 1/1/1 landing in John Phillips' arms. Keenan Allen (10 targets for 6/58/0) and Malcom Floyd (seven for 3/50/0) led the Chargers' wide receiving corps last week. The Broncos' pass D is ranked 18th in the NFL averaging 242.5 net yards allowed per game, with nine passing scores given up vs. five interceptions (17th in the NFL) and 21 sacks (tied for third in the league) generated so far this year. San Diego has allowed just 11 sacks (tied for eighth in the NFL), but Rivers will see significant pass pressure from the hard-charging Broncos at home in deafening Mile High Stadium this Thursday night. Last week, Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert attempted 27/46 for 248 net yards, two TDs and one interception at Mile High, while being sacked six times for -53 yards. Geno Smith was sacked four times for -17 yards two weeks back (23/43 for 173 net yards, two TDs and one interception thrown). This is a divisional game at partisan Mile High Stadium - it is a neutral matchup for the visiting Chargers who will be in a fast-paced duel between Rivers and Peyton Manning.

Recent Stats and Projections

4 vs JAX 29 39 377 3 0 1 0 0 0
5 vs NYJ 20 28 288 3 1 2 3 0 0
6 at OAK 22 34 313 3 0 5 13 0 0
7 vs KC 17 31 205 2 1 0 0 0 0
8 at DEN PROJ-Dodds 23 36 * * * 3 * * *
8 at DEN PROJ-Tremblay 25 38 * * * 2 * * *
8 at DEN PROJ-Bloom 23 34 * * * 1 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 5 vs NYJ (20 / 28 / 288 / 3 / 1 pass, 2 / 3 / 0 rush)

Another game, another elite performance from Philip Rivers. Masterfully spreading the ball around, there wasn't a single San Diego player who caught more than four passes. Yet there were five players who caught at least three passes. His favorite red zone target was again TE Antonio Gates, who he connected with twice for touchdowns to extend his own team record to 25 consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass. At times, it looks like Rivers is just flipping the ball downfield and letting his receivers do the work. But in reality, he's putting it precisely where only those guys can go get it and the defender cannot. He has become excellent at reading the blitz, including one instance where he read the blitz pre-snap and changed the play. That audible resulted in a 32-yard bomb down the seam to WR Eddie Royal that was all but placed in his hands. Another example was a 49-yard pass down the sideline to WR Malcom Floyd. Floyd went up high with his defender, and came down with the football. But it's no accident that Floyd is 6'5" with huge hands, and Rivers knows that. Rivers added three more touchdown passes to his 2014 tally, with two of those going to his favorite target TE Antonio Gates. The first score was a floater on which Gates beat his man off the line for the easy score. The second one was considerably more difficult for both men. Rivers had several defenders right in his face, but flipped it out to Gates near the front corner of the goal line at just the right moment. To his credit, Gates managed to get his feet down inbounds just as he hauled in the pass and convert the score. The third touchdown was a quick pass to RB Branden Oliver who did the majority of the work by powering his way into the end zone. The rare poor passes by Rivers were few and far between. He got a little bit greedy on a deep ball to WR Keenan Allen in the end zone. It was a bit underthrown, and while Allen did manage to get his hands on it, the defender had much better positioning to haul it in for the interception. It was Rivers' first interception in his last 128 passes. It was a tough game for Rivers, who got beaten up a little bit. He was seen shaking his hand repeatedly throughout the first half after possibly banging it on another player's helmet during a follow-through. He was briefly checked out, but it didn't seem serious. Later in the first half, however, he was drilled in the ribs and pounded into the ground. He got up very shaky and was in some visible pain for awhile, but he fought through it and remained in the game until it was well in-hand. One thing to keep an eye on is that there was yet another injury to the team's center, as Doug Lagursky had to leave the game with an injury. It was the third injury to a San Diego center since the start of the season. It hasn't really affected them to this point, but it's something to watch.

2014 Week 6 vs OAK (22 / 34 / 313 / 3 / 0 pass, 5 / 13 / 0 rush)

Rivers was under far more pressure in this game than in any other thus far this season. In the early part of the game, he was being rushed on nearly every drop back, although more often than not he was still able to keep his eyes downfield and make some plays. No play better illustrated that than a bad snap early on. The ball was snapped right at his feet. Rather than panicking, he calmly plucked it off the turf, avoided the pass rusher, shoved teammate Branden Oliver out of the way, and found TE Antonio Gates downfield for a completion. Rivers has made plays like that all season long, keeping his cool when things around him are breaking down. And on the occasions that he got a little extra time to throw, it almost looked too easy. On his first touchdown pass, he read the blitz and hoisted a pass deep down the left sideline to WR Eddie Royal. Rivers put a lot of air under the throw, floating it long enough for Royal to run under it. He has really perfected the timing of those types of passes this season. As the game went along and the Chargers continued establishing the run, the pass rush softened up a bit. Rivers found himself with more and more time, picking apart the Raiders by the time the second quarter came around. He found WR Malcom Floyd over the middle on a crossing route, and Floyd did the rest in breaking a weak tackle and lunging into the end zone for the score. The second half featured more of the same, as Rivers continued to get lots of time to throw (particularly on third downs). This gave him plenty of time to look downfield and find Ronnie Brown for 24 yards on a big 3rd and 9 pass play. His last touchdown pass was actually deflected at the line, but had enough juice behind it to continue on its path to TE Antonio Gates. Gates did a nice job of shielding the defender with his body and cradling the wobbly pass for the score. Rivers had previously completed a pass to Oliver down to the 1-yard line, so he won't find himself on any near-miss lists this week. Something Rivers has really improved at is tucking the ball down and taking off on scrambles, especially up the middle. He's obviously never going to be confused with Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson, but his decision-making is much better than it used to be. And when there is nothing for him downfield, he's done a nice job of picking up chunks of yardage with his legs so far in 2014. He didn't make very many mistakes in this one, although he did come close to turning it over on a deep ball to WR Keenan Allen. He threw one deep to Allen into tight coverage and the ball probably should have been intercepted, but it was dropped by the defender. Rivers had better luck on a deep ball to WR Malcom Floyd, a 44-yard bomb that Rivers simply lofted down the sideline for a jump ball. It is something Floyd is very adept at, but something that was mostly missing from San Diego's arsenal with Floyd out for much of last season. It was juggled a bit, but Floyd came down with it for the big gain. It's that type of play that can open up the passing and running game even more for San Diego and make Rivers that much more of a weapon.

2014 Week 7 vs KC (17 / 31 / 205 / 2 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

It was a tough afternoon for Rivers right from the outset. The Chiefs used a perfect gameplan of putting pressure on Rivers from the opening play of the game, and really never let up the entire game. There were a number of hard hits that he absorbed, and when he wasn't being hit he was at least being rushed by the Kansas City defenders. He almost never set his feet to throw in the first half, and there were a few ugly passes being delivered. To illustrate how efficient the San Diego offense can be, Rivers still put up relatively solid fantasy stats despite all of that. It was very difficult for him to get into a real rhythm, because Kansas City's offense dominated the ball for large stretches of the game and relegated the Charger offense to the sidelines. When Rivers WAS given a little bit of time, he looked like he's looked for most of the season. His first touchdown pass came off a nice play fake to RB Branden Oliver in which backup TE John Phillips leaked out into the end zone. Rivers flipped it over the top for one of the easiest scores of the season, passing George Blanda and tying Jim Kelly for 20th all-time in passing touchdowns. Rivers would pass Kelly later in the first half on a very fortuitous bounce. He heaved one downfield to TE Antonio Gates, but it was deflected by a defender just in front of the big tight end. Gates somehow maintained his concentration, cradled the deflected pass, and kept his feet inbounds as he fell to the ground for a gorgeous touchdown. That seemed to get San Diego's offense going a bit, and they did look a little more efficient after halftime. Rivers once again found last year's favorite target, WR Keenan Allen, for a number of key completions to help set up the game-tying field goal. But they never did get going on the deep balls. On two separate attempts to WR Malcom Floyd and WR Eddie Royal, the ball mis-timed near the intended receivers and Rivers was lucky to avoid turnovers. Despite all of the pressure, Rivers managed to remain turnover-free until his very last pass of the game. With the Chargers in desperation mode and trying to drive for a game-tying field goal, Rivers threw a prayer into heavy traffic that was picked off by the defensive back. Rivers had barely avoided a turnover earlier in the contest when he covered up his own fumble by diving on the ball behind him.


Latest News

Chargers | Philip Rivers extends streak (Mon Oct 20, 11:59 AM) - San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers extended his team record to 27 straight games with at least one touchdown pass in the team's Week 7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He was 17-for-31 for 205 yards, two touchdowns and one interception against the Chiefs.

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8@ Denver Broncos
9@ Miami Dolphins
10--- BYE WEEK ---
11vs Oakland Raiders
12vs St. Louis Rams
13@ Baltimore Ravens
14vs New England Patriots
15vs Denver Broncos
16@ San Francisco 49ers
17@ Kansas City Chiefs