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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

Week 9: at Miami Dolphins

Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. Though Philip Rivers has slung 47/72 for 457 yards, five TDs and three interceptions over the past two games, the Chargers have dropped two straight. He's relied on Antonio Gates the most in scoring situations of late (with 13 targets for 8/115/3 receiving), while throwing double-digit targets to three other players over that two game span: Keenan Allen (23 for 15/131/1); Branden Oliver (10 for 9/38/0 receiving); and Malcom Floyd (14 for 7/108/0). The Chargers' pass offense is productive of late despite the slide in the W-L column. The Dolphins' pass D is ranked third in the NFL averaging just 211.6 net yards allowed per game, with 12 pass TDs given up, vs. six interceptions generated, and 21 sacks thrown down (tied for 17th- and ninth-ranked, respectively). Blake Bortles was sacked four times for -20 yards last week (18/34 for 201 net passing yards, one TD and two interceptions thrown). Jay Cutler was dumped three times for -18 yards two weeks ago (21/34 for 172 net yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown). This is one of the best pass defenses in the NFL folks, and they have the home crowd behind them this weekend. Advantage, Miami.

Recent Stats and Projections

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 30 41 252 3 2 1 17 0 0
9 at MIA PROJ-Dodds 23 36 * * * 3 * * *
9 at MIA PROJ-Tremblay 24 37 * * * 3 * * *
9 at MIA PROJ-Bloom 24 35 * * * 1 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

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.

2014 Week 8 vs DEN (30 / 41 / 252 / 3 / 2 pass, 1 / 17 / 0 rush)

The Chargers were in ultra-conservative mode early in the game, with Rivers taking what the defense was giving him (which wasn't much). There were very few passes deep down the field, partly because the Broncos did a pretty nice job of applying pressure in the early going. The Chargers hung around long enough that when they finally found a crack in the defense, it put them right back in the game. Rivers engineered a perfect 80-yard drive midway through the second quarter, culminating with a touchdown pass to WR Keenan Allen. It was a simply quick strike from two yards out where Allen walked into the end zone untouched, but it was set up by a perfect lob down the seam to TE Antonio Gates (more on him later). In the second half, Rivers was picked off on a longer pass to Allen. Allen fell down coming out of his break, which made it an easy interception. And when the Chargers got the ball back next, Rivers missed Malcom Floyd on a deep route down the sideline that was just thrown out of his reach. Soon after, however, they finally did connect on a deep ball. That eventually led to the first of two touchdown passes to Gates, the first of which was a bullet pass over the middle. Late in the game, he flipped one up to the front left corner of the end zone for Gates, who out-leaped (and boxed out) his man for the jump ball score. Unfortunately for Rivers, that was his final highlight. Trailing by two touchdowns late in the game, he got a little bit careless and a lot bit greedy and tried connecting with Floyd for another deep ball. It was intercepted inside the 5-yard line, ending the drive and all but ending the game.


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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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