QB Philip Rivers - Los Angeles Chargers
|6-5, 228||Born: 12-8-1981||College: North Carolina State||Drafted: Round 1, pick 2004|
News you need to know
General News (Sun Jan 27): is taking a "year-by-year" mentality to his playing future but believes he has a "handful" of seasons left, according to comments he made during a recent interview with XTRA 1360 San Diego.
Week 21: bye week
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 19 vs NE (25 / 51 / 331 / 3 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Philip Rivers had a disappointing performance in a loss at New England that ended one of the better seasons of his career. Rivers was under pressure throughout the game and did not respond well. He was frustrated throughout, which resulted in erratic and high-risk throws. Rivers had a better fantasy day than real game, with three touchdown passes. He first to Keenan Allen was on the second drive of the game, when New England busted a coverage to allow Allen deep behind the defense. His two later touchdowns were in garbage time, including a goal line touchdown to Virgil Green and red zone corner route to Antonio Gates. Rivers was intercepted once on an underthrown corner route to Allen, but he could easily have been intercepted three times.
2018 Week 18 vs BAL (22 / 32 / 160 / 0 / 0 pass, 3 / 15 / 0 rush)
Philip Rivers played tight to the vest on the road against Baltimore. The Chargers led early, and Baltimore struggled to move the ball, so the Chargers were able to play a conservative game plan that called on Rivers to make no mistakes. Rivers had an opportunity at the goal line to score a touchdown on a throw into the flat where Derek Watt nearly fell into the end zone, but the play was ruled just short of the end zone. Rivers also had the opportunity to hit Tyrell Williams up the seam for a possible touchdown but missed him high while anticipating pressure. Rivers also scrambled twice, including once for a third down conversion, and surpassed his season total in rushing yards during the game. The Chargers will travel to New England next Sunday to face the New England Patriots in what promises to be an entertaining game.
2018 Week 17 vs DEN (14 / 24 / 176 / 1 / 2 pass, 1 / 0 / 0 rush)
After spending most of the season as a legitimate MVP candidate, Rivers has faltered badly down the stretch. Despite the win today, he has turned in his two worst statistical games of the season in each of the past two weeks. After tossing just six interceptions in the season's first 13 games, he has now thrown six in his last three games after tossing two more in this game. And after throwing at least two touchdowns in each of the team's first 12 games, he has now failed to reach that mark in three of the last four games (totaling just four over that 4-game stretch). This game was a microcosm of recent weeks for Rivers, particularly when he threw a very costly interception early in the game. On a pass intended for Tyrell Williams, Rivers fully advertised the look and threw the ball weakly to the back shoulder. The defender easily jumped the route, as the ball never came close to getting to Williams. Later in the half, Rivers threw a pass for Antonio Gates but this time he failed to account for the defender underneath. That player easily stepped in front of the route for the interception, and clearly Rivers didn't expect anyone to be in the passing lane. He was just 7-15 for 84 yards at the half, with the only Charger scoring coming on defense. Finally Rivers made some adjustments in the second half. He appeared to step into his throws a little better, and the accuracy really picked up. He made a couple of nice passes into tight windows, and was helped out by some outstanding athleticism by Mike Williams. After a connection with Tyrell Williams put the ball on the Denver 3-yard line, Rivers used a play fake to draw the defense up to the line. Once they bit, he fired a pass into the end zone to Mike Williams for the lone offensive score of the game. The ball was actually a bit behind Williams, but he slid down and made a nice snag on it. Rivers came extremely close to scoring late in the second half when he floated one to Keenan Allen right near the end zone. Allen hauled it in right at the goal line and if it had gone to replay it might have been ruled a touchdown, but the play was negated by a tripping penalty on Justin Jackson. Rivers then found Allen on a crossing route, but again the officials determined he didn't get in even though he tried reaching the ball over the goal line at the end. Austin Ekeler followed up with a touchdown soon after. Once the Chargers got word that the Chiefs had won their game (at the 5:40 mark of the Los Angeles fourth quarter), they opted to pull the starters including Rivers from the remainder of the game.
2018 Week 16 vs BAL (23 / 37 / 181 / 0 / 2 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
Rivers entered the game with an NFL-best 27 straight games with a passing touchdown, and had thrown at least TWO touchdowns in all but one game this season. He wouldn't come close to finding the end zone in this one, as he turned in his worst fantasy performance of the year at a very inopportune time for his owners. His afternoon started off as badly as possible when he was intercepted on his first pass attempt of the game. He was looking deep down the sideline to Mike Williams in blanket coverage. It ended up as a jump ball, but the defender simply made a great play on it. On a later possession, Rivers had 28- and 27-yard pass plays negated, both by penalties on Keenan Allen. The second pass play, to Mike Williams, was simply a perfect touch pass but it was all for naught. After getting almost nothing done the entire first half, they actually moved the ball fairly well just before the half (helped along by two Baltimore penalties, so it's not like the offense was really crushing it). The Ravens turned it over to open the second half, but the Chargers ran it three straight times to get into the end zone, so again there was no opportunity for Rivers to get a score. And after that score, the Baltimore defense really put the clamps on. They began sacking Rivers almost at will, getting to him four times in total. He couldn't even look downfield to his receivers because he had no time, which resulted in a ton of dumpoff passes to the running backs and tight ends (who accounted for 15 of his 23 completions). At one point late in the third quarter, they were getting out-gained in total yardage 329-104. Despite everything, the Chargers had the ball on the Baltimore 39-yard line with three minutes left to play and down by just six points. But Antonio Gates fumbled the ball away on a short reception over the middle, and it was run back the other way for a Baltimore touchdown. Following that, the Chargers had to go into desperation mode a little bit. And due to that, Rivers forced a pass into the end zone to Travis Benjamin with just over a minute remaining. The defender made a nice play on the ball, intercepting it and sealing the victory for the Ravens.
2018 Week 15 vs KC (26 / 38 / 313 / 2 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
One week after failing to throw at least two touchdowns for the first time this season, Rivers got right back on track against the Chiefs suspect defense. And he did it all without his number one target, Keenan Allen, who was injured early on and didn't even catch a pass. Rivers' day started off as bad as could be, with an interception on his first pass of the game. He threw a floater down the seam to Tyrell Williams, who had a couple of steps on his defender. But the ball was thrown behind Williams, which was unfortunate since it could have been a 75-yard score if it had been thrown in stride. The defender had a better read on the ball than Williams did, and it resulted in the first interception thrown by Rivers in 103 pass attempts. He was pressured and hurried multiple times the rest of the half, and continuously sacked despite Kansas City featuring one of the league's worst-ranked defenses coming in. At times, Rivers appeared to hold the ball for far too long and seemed a little gun shy when he did see the pressure coming by just tucking and holding the ball instead of getting rid of it. As the half went on, however, he started to get into a little better rhythm and stood tall against the pressure. He was hit on one play just as he released the ball. He was looking to go deep, but the hit caused it to come out short. Fortunately, Antonio Gates came back to the ball for a short gain. He then connected with Mike Williams for a big gain, but again that one only went for 37 instead of a long touchdown because it was badly underthrown. He was nearly picked again on a pass attempt in the end zone to Gates. The officials called a questionable holding penalty which would have bailed him out from a turnover, but it just showed how off he was early on. Rivers then appeared to connect with Allen in the end zone for a touchdown, but replays showed that Allen made the remarkable catch while his shoulder was touching the sideline, and so that too was incomplete. Finally, Rivers found Mike Williams on a jump ball in the end zone, with Williams skying high for the score. After seemingly calming down and engineering a scoring drive, the Chargers appeared primed to tie the game just before halftime. But Rivers made an horrific decision, floating one up off of his back foot to the corner of the end zone to Tyrell Williams. Instead, the pass was picked off, effectively ending the half. Rivers got lucky to open the second half when a deep ball to Travis Benjamin was also nearly intercepted, but the defender allowed it to bounce off his hands and Benjamin followed up with a hit to make sure it would be incomplete. But it started to appear as if the absence of Allen plus some time-consuming drives by the Chiefs, were going to doom Rivers to fantasy afterthought. Just when it all appeared lost, however, the Chargers got hot. They cut it to a 1-score game late in the fourth quarter with a rushing score (after Rivers should have had a touchdown pass to Tyrell Williams that was just dropped outright, bailed out by a holding penalty) and then Rivers engineered one of his most impressive drives of the season. He finally got some time, and picked up chunks of yardage at a time. He made a perfect pass to Benjamin down the seam perfectly in stride for 31 yards and putting the ball deep in Kansas City territory. And then he made a simply unbelievable pass to Benjamin down the seam again, dropping it just ahead of the defender and right on his receiver's hands to convert a fourth and 8 pass to save the game. Rivers did underthrow Justin Jackson for what should have been the game-tying score, then nearly cost his team when he rolled out to his left and was taken down inbounds with the clock running. But after another questionable penalty in the end zone set the Chargers up with a new set of downs, Rivers found Mike Williams along the end zone sideline. The ball was juggled just a bit, but replays confirmed he had maintained possession long enough for it to count. Then, rather than kick the extra point and go to overtime, head coach Anthony Lynn opted for a game-winning two point conversion. Rivers floated one to a completely wide open Mike Williams for the conversion and the victory, capping a wild fourth quarter comeback.
2018 Week 14 vs CIN (19 / 29 / 220 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / 7 / 0 rush)
For the first time this season, Rivers failed to throw multiple touchdown passes. On the opening drive, it looked there was going to be no way to stop the Chargers. Rivers scrambled for five yards on the first play which is odd in and of itself, but then he fired a couple of easy looks down the field with ease to get the team into the end zone. He found Mike Williams for 19 yards on a pass play that featured one of the cleanest pockets you'll ever see, and capped the drive with a perfect floater to Keenan Allen along the end zone sideline. But just as quickly as the Chargers began dominating, the offense kind of stalled. The Bengals started getting a lot of pressure on Rivers, and he was forced to hurry throws and was sacked multiple times. On one play, Rivers had Austin Ekeler wide open down the sideline for a potentially long score, but since he was rushed, the pass ended up getting overthrown out of bounds. Rivers also had a couple of passes tipped at the line that nearly went for interceptions. In the second half it was more of the same, as the Charger offense stalled multiple times. Rivers was nearly intercepted again on what appeared to be a back shoulder pass to Allen, but the problem is that Rivers threw it out in front of him and it was nearly intercepted. Basically everything that went right on that opening drive, went wrong the rest of the way. And yet Rivers still completed over 2/3 of his pass attempts and didn't turn it over. It just seemed like the Chargers almost couldn't wait for the clock to finally expire and sneak out of the stadium with a win. Fortunately they were able to bleed enough clock late in the contest to give Cincinnati no chance to come back. And unlike the mental mistake in the Denver game a few weeks ago, this time Rivers didn't throw an incompletion on the last drive to save the Bengals any time on the clock. He actually ran to the outside on the third down play and made sure he was tackled inbounds to keep the clock moving.
2018 Week 13 vs PIT (26 / 36 / 299 / 2 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Rivers continues to enjoy an MVP-type campaign. He extended his streak of being the only quarterback in the league to throw at least two touchdown passes in every game this season, and nearly went over 300 yards again in the process. He started off hot, picking up right where he left off last week. One week after completing, he completed 10 of his first 11 passes in this one. Included in that group was a very suspect touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin. It appeared the Chargers had committed a false start penalty, but the officials all missed it. Rivers took advantage, lofting a bomb down the sideline to Benjamin, who waltzed into the end zone for a 46-yard score. The offense slowed a bit later in the first half, as Rivers completed just 3 of his next 9 pass attempts. But in the second half, the Chargers caught fire once more. Rivers almost exclusively leaned on Keenan Allen any time he was looking for a big play, and time and time again Allen got open and came down with the football. An astounding 14 completions went to Allen, out of a total of 26 in the game. On the rare occasions he ventured elsewhere, good things happened (the Benjamin touchdown, and he was 4-4 on first down conversions on passes completed to Tyrell or Mike Williams). Rivers' second touchdown pass may have been even luckier than the first one. He threw a bullet to Keenan Allen into double coverage in the end zone. The pass appeared destined to be intercepted, until two Steeler defenders collided with one another. The impact popped the ball up in the air, and Allen managed to snag the spinning football out of mid-air and keep control on his way to the ground for the score. He then floated a perfect touch pass to Antonio Gates in the corner of the end zone for the two pointer. Following a punt return touchdown by the Chargers, Rivers then found Allen for yet another two pointer. This one took considerably longer to convert, but once he broke into the open it was a perfect pass. With the game tied at 30, Rivers made two crucial completions to keep the drive alive. The first was a flip to Austin Ekeler while under heavy duress that resulted in a first down, and the next (also under pressure) was a pass to Allen on 3rd and 4 to convert another first down. Those two plays helped extend the drive and set up the eventual game-winning field goal.
2018 Week 12 vs ARI (28 / 29 / 259 / 3 / 0 pass, 1 / 3 / 0 rush)
Rivers had a record-breaking day against the Cardinals in the blowout home win. Philip Rivers set an NFL record for completions to start a game and tied Ryan Tannehill for the most consecutive completions overall. Rivers was surgical at times with his accuracy and pocket pressure was the lone element to slow down the Chargers offense throughout the game. Rivers' best throws including intermediate throws to Sean Culkin down the sideline plus multiple high-point touchdowns to Mike Williams. Rivers even scrambled away from goal line pressure to find Keenan Allen for a toe-dragging touchdown. Rivers' lone incompletion did not come until the mid-third quarter an Rivers was out of the game by the early fourth with a huge lead. Rivers has thrown multiple touchdown passes in every game this season and has a pivotal road matchup with Pittsburgh next week.
2018 Week 11 vs DEN (28 / 43 / 401 / 2 / 2 pass, 1 / -4 / 0 rush)
Despite huge counting stats, Rivers probably turned in his worst game of the season overall. He threw two terrible interceptions, and a mental mistake on the team's final possession allowed the Broncos to have an extra forty seconds to drive downfield for the game-winning field goal (they kicked the game-winner as time expired). With the game remaining close for most of the day and the Broncos clearly making a concerted effort to shut down the Los Angeles rushing game, the Chargers took to the air early and often. Denver was getting a lot of pressure on Rivers in the early going, but he was making them pay more often than not with quick decisions and piles of yardage over the middle of the field. On numerous occasions, he stood tall in the pocket and delivered perfect passes just prior to taking a big hit or two. It didn't help that he was forced to handle a couple of bad snaps, which disrupted the timing of the plays. On one such play, Rivers regrouped enough to attempt the pass. But the timing was messed up so much that he underthrew the pass to the outside and it was intercepted. He was later nearly intercepted in the end zone after throwing a ball behind Antonio Gates. One defender got a hand on the ball, deflecting it straight up in the air while another defender nearly intercepted it. Under heavy duress and with defenders all around him in his face, Rivers did manage to keep his head up and found Keenan Allen wide open in the back of the end zone for the score. Rivers used excellent footwork to shift in the pocket while keeping his eyes on his target, and it was a really impressive job by him. In the second half, the Chargers appeared to take control of the game on Rivers' second touchdown toss of the game. He floated a pass to Gates to the left side of the end zone, Gates leaped a bit, and easily hauled it in. That kept his streak of throwing at least two touchdowns in each game this season intact. With the Chargers looking to put the game away, however, Rivers threw a terrible interception. He never saw the defender step into the passing lane on a pass intended for Travis Benjamin, and Denver drove down for a touchdown. Shortly after, Rivers was seen having his hand and forearm worked on on the sideline, getting massaged and stretched. But he never came out of the game, and engineered a drive that came close to putting the game away late in the fourth quarter. Facing a third and long and trying to run out the clock, he floated one down the sidelines to Gates. The big tight end bobbled it just a bit, but finally secured it for the first down. Needing just one more timeout to clinch the win, the Chargers then fell apart. Facing a second down, Rivers and Gordon miscommunicated on the handoff exchange, resulting in a 5-yard loss. And then on third down and Denver with no timeouts, Rivers inexplicably threw the ball into the ground to stop the clock and save the Broncos over forty seconds. They would go on to kick the eventual game-winning field goal as time expired.
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.
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