QB Philip Rivers - Los Angeles Chargers
|6-5, 228||Born: 12-8-1981||College: North Carolina State||Drafted: Round 1, pick 2004|
Week 11: vs Denver Broncos
FBG says: Neutral matchup. Philip Rivers had a very quiet game again last week as he didn't need to throw very often with a struggling Raiders offense on the other side. Rivers continues to be efficient though, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes last week while maintaining his streak of passing for multiple touchdowns in every game this season. With as well as Melvin Gordon is running, it is tough to expect a high ceiling from Rivers as the Chargers continue to lean on their ground game. Keenan Allen continues to lead this receiving group as he finally found the end zone last week for the first time since Week 1. Allen has been a very reliable target for Rivers this season, but he has not shown the big play ability of his wide receiver counterparts as Allen is not seeing very many downfield targets. At least he is seeing targets though, as Mike Williams didn't get a single look last week, showing off his floor as a pure touchdown-dependent option. Tyrell Williams has been more consistently involved in the offense as he has posted a couple big games and has multiple receptions in every game this season. Melvin Gordon also continues to be a big factor in this passing offense as he found the end zone for the fourth time through the air last week with five receptions for 72 yards. Gordon is now averaging four receptions and 45 receiving yards per game to help raise his fantasy floor while providing another great playmaker for Rivers to call upon--as if he didn't have enough! The Broncos passing defense has been up and down this season, ranking average at best in most categories against the pass. They got off to a very sluggish start on the season, allowing over 270 passing yards in four straight games. Since Week 5 though, the Broncos have allowed over 215 passing yards just once--to Patrick Mahomes. They received the benefit of a sluggish weather game against the Rams along with some soft matchups with Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold over that span, but this defense has at least looked serviceable since their slow start. The pass rush has been hot for Denver recently. In the four games leading up to their Week 10 bye, the Broncos racked up a league-leading 17 sacks, with the dynamic duo of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb accounting for 11.5 of those. The secondary has been subpar with only Chris Harris to lean on as a solid slot cornerback. Bradley Roby started to play better for a couple games, but he suffered an injury in Week 8 and remains questionable to return. Harris should help keep Keenan Allen in check, but both Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams should have opportunities on the outside to make some big plays in this one.
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs QB 1, QB 12, QB 24
Philip Rivers's percentile rank in each category, among QB with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2018 Week 10 vs OAK (18 / 26 / 223 / 2 / 1 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
The hapless Raiders didn't put up much of a fight, so Rivers wasn't asked to do a ton in this game. Still, he put up respectable fantasy stats and once again found the end zone twice. The afternoon started with a tipped pass on his first attempt, very nearly getting picked off. And the deep ball wasn't much of a factor due to the strong winds throughout the game (one pass he threw deep down the seam to Tyrell Williams was forced into double coverage, but also ended up about ten yards short of the intended target). So he targeted Keenan Allen on a lot of short and intermediate routes, and leaned on Melvin Gordon out of the backfield. The lack of field stretching resulted in the Chargers not converting their first third down until about ten minutes remained in the first half. The first red zone opportunity led to a field goal, as Rivers' third down pass to Antonio Gates in heavy traffic ended up getting knocked away for an incompletion. Finally, Rivers connected on a deep floater near the sideline to the aforementioned Williams. An offensive lineman held on the play, but fortunately for the Chargers it wasn't called. Later on that possession, Rivers fired a perfect strike to a sliding Keenan Allen along the end zone sideline. Rivers was given loads of time to throw, but still had to fit it in the tight window, which he did. It was his 22nd consecutive game with a touchdown pass, but he wasn't finished. Early in the second half, he dropped a pass to Gordon in the flat. It wasn't a screen, since no blockers remained near Gordon. But with a phenomenal individual effort, Gordon managed to elude two would-be tacklers before taking off for the end zone for the 66-yard touchdown. After that score, the Chargers largely attacked on the ground to try and use up clock. Although at one point facing a third down and 4, Rivers hoisted a deep ball downfield to Allen. But the receiver had no position on the ball, and it was easily intercepted by the defense. For the Chargers, it essentially acted as a mini punt since they would have had to kick on fourth down anyway if the ball had been knocked down incomplete.
2018 Week 9 vs SEA (13 / 26 / 228 / 2 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Completing just 50% of his pass attempts, Rivers wasn't nearly as efficient as he has been throughout much of the season. And almost all of his damage in this game came prior to halftime. But he certainly made it count on the passes he did complete, using the big play attack to perfection in compiling yet another stellar fantasy performance. The offensive line gave him time early on, and that helped on his first touchdown pass of the game, a back shoulder comeback to Tyrell Williams. Rivers threw the ball low where only Williams could get to it (and Williams also made a terrific individual effort in going to the ground for the ball). Rivers then hooked up with Keenan Allen on a deep ball down the seam for 54 yards to convert a 3rd and 15. He and Allen seemed to rediscover their mojo in this game, as the two connected six times for 124 yards on ten targets. Rivers hadn't been on the same page with his top option in the passing game lately, but that appears to have been rectified now. The two did NOT connect for a touchdown, however, as Rivers connected on the aforementioned score to Tyrell Williams and then later found Mike Williams down the sideline for a 35-yard score. Williams also hauled in a back shoulder pass, and then demonstrated some excellent footwork in breaking loose and spinning out of a tackle while somehow tip-toeing the line towards the end zone for the score. Replays appeared to show Williams' heel coming down out of bounds around the 8-yard line, but after review the call on the field stood. The second half featured a lot of Seattle with the ball, and a lot of running the ball by Los Angeles. Rivers never really came close to another scoring opportunity or very many big plays. One important item to note is that he once again did not turn the ball over. He came close on an early pass attempt over the middle. He double pumped a pass attempt which seemed to mess up his footwork, which caused the ball to sail on him. Fortunately for Rivers, the defender slightly mis-timed his jump and the pass tipped off his fingers for an incompletion.
2018 Week 7 vs TEN (19 / 26 / 306 / 2 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
When Rivers has had games with a heavy volume of pass attempts this season, he has compiled some outstanding numbers. But even on a day when the Chargers didn't have the football for very long stretches, Rivers and the offense proved wildly efficient in putting up some huge numbers anyway thanks to the big play arsenal still being very much a part of the offensive gameplan. The day started as well as it possibly could have, with a long touchdown pass on the Chargers' first offensive play from scrimmage. After going all of the 2017 and 2018 season without scoring a touchdown on its opening possession, the Chargers have now done it in back to back weeks. They took over from the Titans, and on the first play Rivers hoisted a bomb deep down the left side for Tyrell Williams. He had pulled the cornerback off the coverage with a soft pump fake, and Williams simply kept running. The ball was thrown perfectly in stride, and Williams outran the safety for the score. On the ensuing possession, Rivers found Keenan Allen with two completions for nice yardage, but once they got near the end zone they couldn't punch the ball in. The rest of the first half was dominated by Tennessee in terms of time of possession, and Rivers finished the first half with just eight pass attempts. In the second half, the Charger offense again didn't really form very many sustained drives. But again, they benefitted by virtue of the big play. Rivers found Mike Williams behind the defense for a 55-yard score, his second long touchdown of the game. And once again, Tennessee defensive backs were caught peeking in the backfield while allowing the receiver to get deep. Despite the successes, Rivers never really got on track with his number one target Keenan Allen. At one point, Allen was seen throwing a mini tantrum on the field and kicking the end zone pylon after Rivers didn't look his way on a red zone pass. But the two were later seen talking on the sideline and everything seemed fine between them.
2018 Week 6 vs CLE (11 / 20 / 207 / 2 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Fantasy-wise, Rivers was essentially a victim of his own team's success in this game. Despite coming into the game averaging over 24 completions per game, the Chargers were so dominant in this game that they really didn't need to take it to the air all that much. Rivers completed just eleven passes in the game, though he was very efficient in averaging over 10 yards per completion. The majority of his success came on two pass plays to Tyrell Williams on the same drive. With the Chargers backed up to their own end zone for the third time in the half, Rivers hoisted a deep ball down the seam to Williams. There was decent coverage, but Williams went up and made a terrific individual play on the ball. Shortly thereafter, Rivers again targeted Williams deep downfield, this time in the end zone. Despite three defenders surrounding him, and despite the fact that at least one of those defenders had his hands on the ball first, Williams went up and made one of the best catches of the 2018 season by wrestling it away from him and somehow maintaining possession as he came to the ground. Rivers did put it in a great spot for Williams to be able to make a play, but without that great individual effort, it would have almost certainly been a turnover. Later in the first half, Rivers threw another touchdown pass to Williams. This one he floated high in the end zone, but again Williams made a tremendous effort in skying over the defense to make the play. That play never should have happened, however, as Chargers lineman Russell Okung clearly committed a false start penalty prior to the snap. But every official somehow missed it, and the touchdown stood. In the second half, the Chargers took the air out of the football and opted to go with the combo of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler to run out the clock. They even mixed in several wide receiver handoffs (one of which Rivers threw a block on), as the Browns seemingly had no answers for the Chargers ground game. Finally in the fourth quarter with the Chargers knocking on the doorstep of the end zone, Rivers fired a pass to Gordon on a quick slant. If the ball had been thrown in stride, it likely would have gone for an easy touchdown. But the pass was thrown a little too fast for such a short distance and it was also a little bit high. As Gordon leapt to catch it, the pass bounced off his hands and into the waiting arms of a Cleveland defender for the interception. It was Rivers' last pass of the game, as he was relieved by Geno Smith with just under seven minutes left to play in the game.
2018 Week 5 vs OAK (22 / 27 / 339 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / -2 / 0 rush)
Rivers turned in one of the most efficient performances of his career in this game. He completed over 80% of his passes and averaged over 12 yards per attempt en route to a dominant victory. This, despite the fact that the Raiders actually got pretty decent pressure on him throughout the game. Rivers demonstrated some rare escapability in this one, rolling out of the pocket on several occasions and getting creative with release angles to put his receivers in great position to succeed after the catch. There were a lot of checkdowns early on, as there just wasn't enough time to look too far down the field. But a play that was nearly a disaster, ended up being the play that started breaking the game open for the Chargers. In shotgun formation, Rivers bobbled the snap and nearly fumbled it. But he quickly turned and fired a pass to Austin Ekeler in the flat. Ekeler made two defenders miss, then took off like a bullet up the left sideline, racing past every defender on his way to the end zone for the score. Rivers nearly added another touchdown late in the first half on another screen pass to a running back, this time Melvin Gordon. Gordon took the ball 34 yards down the field to the 15-yard line, but tripped on his own blocker when he tried cutting to the outside towards the end zone. It's likely that if he hadn't tripped, it would have gone for a touchdown. Gordon rushed into the end zone three plays later, potentially costing Rivers a score. Rivers did add that second touchdown in the second half, floating one over the top of two defenders and into the waiting arms of Virgil Green on a designed screen. Green took off for the end zone, following his blockers in for the easy score virtually untouched. The longest pass play of the game was a bomb from just in front of his own end zone. Following a Chargers interception, Rivers connected deep with Tyrell Williams for a 48-yard connection. Williams had to wait just a bit for the ball to get to him; otherwise it too may have gone for a score. Late in the game, the Chargers didn't simply run the ball to eat up the clock. They opted to throw it multiple times too, with Rivers marching the team down the field with a couple of creative pass attempts to keep the drive alive and keep that clock moving.
2018 Week 4 vs SF (25 / 39 / 250 / 3 / 1 pass, 4 / -3 / 0 rush)
Rivers had a rough start to his afternoon. He tossed a pick-6 on his second pass attempt of the afternoon on a pass that sailed over the head of Keenan Allen, and opened the game 0-4 overall. But he quickly rebounded from the poor start to complete 25 of his next 35 passes, including three touchdowns. After the Chargers fell behind early, he engineered a drive with back to back perfect passes to each sideline, one to Allen and one to Antonio Gates. When they got near the goal line, he found a wide open Gates in the corner of the end zone for the easy score. Rivers connected with Austin Ekeler for his second scoring play, this one a strike thrown perfectly in stride to connect from 22 yards out. Ekeler was lined up out wide, and Rivers just dropped it right over the defender for the score. Rivers then found Melvin Gordon on the two point conversion attempt (kicker Caleb Sturgis had earlier missed an extra point). In the second half, the Chargers drove down to the doorstep of the end zone. Rivers rolled out and fired a pass to Gordon, but it was too low and he was unable to bring it in. If it had been thrown higher and in stride, it was an easy touchdown. But it was rendered moot, because two plays later those same tow connected for a touchdown. Gordon was left alone near the sideline, so Rivers fired a bullet pass in his direction and Gordon did the rest walking through some tacklers into the end zone. Rivers didn't engineer any other touchdown drives, but he did complete a pass to Mike Williams in a lot of traffic that really exemplified the accuracy of Rivers. No defenders were even looking at the ball, but he snuck it in between multiple players for a nice 15-yard gain to keep a drive alive. It was reported early in the second half that starting OL Russell Okung was questionable to return with a groin injury. He did not return, and no further update was given on his condition.
2018 Week 3 vs LAR (18 / 30 / 226 / 2 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Even on a day when he was constantly under pressure and was never in sync with his top option Keenan Allen, Rivers still compiled fantasy-relevant numbers. He connected with his old pal Antonio Gates multiple times, but saved his best for second-year man Mike Williams. The two first hooked up on a deep bomb down the seam for a 42-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter. It was an absolutely perfectly-thrown ball, and Williams made a phenomenal effort to lay out and haul it in with full extension. Some of the other highlights included a long hookup with Antonio Gates for 27 yards (most of which Gates picked up after the catch) and another perfect pass to Allen for 25 yards to convert a 3rd and 17 pass play along the sideline. Rivers had to drop it right between defenders to convert. There was a lot more defensive pressure in the second half as the Rams led throughout and started to bring a lot more heat at Rivers. He did a decent job of avoiding sacks and finding receivers at the last moment, but he never looked fully comfortable in the pocket. Rivers did add a second touchdown pass to Williams, this time on a huge fourth down pass play midway through the third quarter. Williams had the defender all but wrapping him up at the 2-yard line, but he extended at the goal line and lunged his body across for the score. Unfortunately for Rivers and the Chargers, late in the fourth quarter they faced another fourth down with the game on the line and did not convert. He completed a short pass to Austin Ekeler that was short of the marker, and Ekeler fumbled the ball away as he was trying to extend towards the first down marker, which all but ended the game.
2018 Week 2 vs BUF (23 / 27 / 256 / 3 / 0 pass, 3 / 5 / 0 rush)
Rivers' day started off and ended with him on the run. But in between, he once again put up some large fantasy numbers. The opening play was a scramble where he was chased from the pocket, but the slow-footed Rivers actually ended up gaining six yards on the play. Soon after, he was firing strikes all over the field to multiple receivers. He found Virgil Green on the run for 25, then perfectly placed a lob in the end zone for Mike Williams with defenders all over him. The announcers speculated that it may have actually been a bad decision to throw it, because the safety read it and Rivers may not have noticed. But the end result was beneficial regardless. Next, Rivers found Melvin Gordon out of the backfield for a really easy score. He just has so many weapons at his disposal, and almost always connects with the MOST open receiver, that it wasn't difficult to see how he opened up 7-7 for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Later in the first half, he was under a bit of pressure but managed to dump it off to Gordon, who took it down to the doorstep of the goal line. The two followed that up with a really tough connection in the end zone for Rivers' third touchdown pass of the first half. Gordon was in motion at the snap, and with the defender's back turned, Rivers fired it just under his arm. Gordon deserves credit for perfect timing and excellent concentration in hanging on. The second half was much different for the Charger offense as a whole. Rivers fired a pass that was batted in the air and could have easily been intercepted had it not been for Virgil Green boxing out defenders and knocking it down to save the turnover. But all of a sudden, Buffalo was getting pressure on Rivers from the edge. He was sacked on consecutive possessions (one of which nearly resulted in a fumble if the officials hadn't ruled that Rivers' forward progress had been stopped), and before you knew it the third quarter had ended with the Chargers having gained four total yards of offense. Rivers finally found Tyrell Williams on a crossing route to beat a blitz for 18 yards early in the fourth quarter, and made another couple of nice passes to Keenan Allen who got close to a score but not quite in. But a bad snap late nearly caused another turnover, but once again Rivers was bailed out by a teammate when Austin Ekeler pounced on the loose football.
2018 Week 1 vs KC (34 / 51 / 424 / 3 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
It took him over fifty pass attempts but as usual, Rivers put up huge statistics. After just one touchdown pass against six interceptions in his two games against the Chiefs last season, Rivers turned those stats around in a big way. And those numbers could have been even bigger if his receiving corps had given him a bit more help. There were multiple dropped passes in the game, most of which were potentially big plays and several of them would have likely been touchdowns. There were a handful of pass attempts that were slight overthrows or slight underthrows, most of which were still the fault of the receivers more often than not. But there were also at least two pass attempts that hit receivers right in the hands in the end zone for easy scores, and they failed to hang on. The running game was effective and the backs hauled in most of their passing targets, so it's not as if Rivers had zero help. And both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams seemed to catch everything in site. But Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin did their quarterback no favors in this one. Rivers looked outstanding, consistently putting the ball right on his receivers fingertips in positions to continue the play, and on several occasions he made perfect passes despite some heavy defensive pressure coming right at him. His first touchdown was a floater to Austin Ekeler in the end zone in single coverage. He read the coverage perfectly as the defense was bearing down on him. In the second half, he flipped an easy score to a wide open Keenan Allen and then later bought some time on a rollout to find Tyrell Williams in the back of the end zone for another score. But on what should have been his fourth touchdown pass, Benjamin just allowed it to bounce off his fingertips in the end zone. Rivers didn't play mistake-free football, as he threw one interception that was clearly his fault, and nearly threw another one on an underthrown ball. But on a day that the Chargers trailed throughout, he was relied upon far more than he should have been. With his old teammate Antonio Gates back in the fold, the two didn't have a regular connection out of the gate. But they did connect on a successful two point conversion attempt in the second half.
Latest NewsChargers | Philip Rivers tosses two TDs (Sun Nov 11, 09:49 PM) - Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers completed 18-of-26 passes for 223 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the Week 10 game against the Oakland Raiders. link to story Chargers | Philip Rivers throws two more scores (Sun Nov 4, 10:38 PM) - Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers completed 13 of his 26 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns in a 25-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9. link to story
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|11||vs Denver Broncos|
|12||vs Arizona Cardinals|
|13||@ Pittsburgh Steelers|
|14||vs Cincinnati Bengals|
|15||@ Kansas City Chiefs|
|16||vs Baltimore Ravens|
|17||@ Denver Broncos|