Sep 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) celebrates with quarterback Philip Rivers (17) after a touchdown during the first half against the Houston Texans at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Philip Rivers Focused On Scoring 7s

But we’ve got to score touchdowns in the red zone.

The San Diego Chargers struggled in the red zone early last season. There were many opportunities that were wasted down deep in enemy territory and we ended up losing games because of that struggle. Philip Rivers has had an added focus in that area of the game this offseason:

“You look at the red zone and goal-line situations, and we weren’t very good,” Rivers said. “Offense is about scoring touchdowns. We did so many things well. Long drives, third downs, completion percentage — there’s a lot of things we did real well. But we’ve got to score touchdowns in the red zone.” – ESPN

Philip spent all of last season in the offense and will have a few adjustments with Frank Reich taking it over, but that adjustment shouldn’t be drastic. The learning period is over and the team will be looking to perfect the little things in order to keep this offense at the elite level.

The offense plans on using Ladarius Green more and that should be a nice assist in that red zone. He is a large target with solid hands that will be a tough matchup for defenses. The offense also already has Antonio Gates and Keenan Allen that can get open quickly at the line of scrimmage.

A lot of the success in the red zone came last season through the running game. Ryan Mathews and Donald Brown will be big contributors down in that area and they will be a huge factor in the team’s success at scoring touchdowns instead of settling for Nick Novak.

The team needs to put up 7s. Keep scoring those 7s and make the other teams try to keep up with us.

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  • Michael

    Is it just me or does it seem like we stop using woodhead when we get into the red zone,,,,

    • Julien Bélair

      well He had 8 TDs 6 by the pass ….all short yardage

    • Gunnar Martin

      More like we stopped using Mathews when we got in the red zone. Yeah, they mostly learned from their mistake about halfway through the season, but what they did in the first half is practically unforgivable. I’m in a bad mood just thinking about it.

      • Ernie Padaon

        i have no clue why we stopped using Ryan… was stupid

  • Peter Thompson

    Ryan Mathews… that is all.

  • tonyloc1970 .

    I want to see D.J. FLUKER do some WILLIAM PERRY type s… in the red zone. Now that would be fun to watch.

  • trinity

    In other words, they do a lot of good things but can’t close…..that’s the story of Phillip’s career

    • Stefanie Smith

      It’s a team sport.

      • trinity

        “It’s a team sport”- says every fan of Phillip rivers, Tony Romo, and Jay Cutler when attempting to make excuses for why they can’t lead their teams anywhere of any significance, despite being very talented. Matt Stafford and Matt Ryan seem destined to join that tragic club as well. No disrespect, that’s just my opinion.

        • Sergio Quintero

          I would have loved to see Bradshaw try to win 4 titles on a weak team, where he had to carry them.

          Or watch Peyton Manning play on a team with a defense as good as Seattle has had. That not screwing up, is good enough to win 70% of the games.

          Its not basketball, where Jordan willed his teams, same as you its my opinion.

    • Sergio Quintero

      Philip Rivers has lost 1 playoff game where his team was favored to win in the playoffs by the vegas odds makers (2006 vs. the Pats, the Pats were favored by a point, is a common misnomer).

      Rivers is 2-1 in games his team was favored in the playoffs (only loss was a 3 point loss to the Jets, their kicker missed 3 field goals).

      Rivers is 2-5 as an underdog: losses to the 2006 Pats, Pats 2007, Steelers 2008, Jets 2009, Broncos 2013. All those losses except for the Jets they were substantial underdogs.

      • trinity

        Just my opinion….I really couldn’t care less about Vegas odds or being betting favorites in games. I think that’s irrelevant. It’s really just about W’s and championships. And rivers has shown an inability to keep his team relevant in December. It’s a team game to be sure, but the quarterback is the leader. I’ve seen other quarterbacks go very far carrying lackluster defenses on their backs. Rivers isn’t one of them. The san Diego chargers have had some really talented teams in his tenure. It’s gotten them nothing of any significance, and a large part of that is because of Phillip rivers. It just is.

        • Sergio Quintero

          Tell me a specific team where a QB did a “put his team on his back” carried a mediocre to bad team to a title, and was the equivalent of Danny Manning carrying ’88 Jayhawks to a title.

          Elway carried team to Super Bowls not winning them is the closest I can remember, his teams that actually won titles were quite talented, and were quite run oriented.

          • trinity

            Please don’t put words in my mouth. I specifically mentioned quarterbacks making up for lackluster defenses with great play. Peyton manning of the 2006 colts. Aaron Rogers of the packers, Tom Brady carried the patriots all the way to the AFC championship game last year, and the Broncos got all the way to the superbowl with Peyton leading the offense and making up for the defense. Tom, Peyton, and Aaron are always relevant come December. We both know that rivers and the chargers are not, even though they are talented.

          • Sergio Quintero

            Not a fan got it, we have 2 options we can go detailed team by team and year by year about chargers seasons. And I will tell you that the only truly super talented teams the chargers had under Rivers tenure were 2006 & 2007 when Merriman was a monster, the rest were quite overrated and overhyped in the talent department.

            Or we can agree to disagree. I offer lets agree to disagree, if you want to go into specifics by year we can do that, my memory is quite good.

          • trinity

            :) actually, lets talk.

            If you want to be an adequate quarterback, win in the regular season. When it comes to being more than adequate, or even great, nobody gives a damn about your regular seasons. Great quarterbacks GET to the postseason, and they win. Philip Rivers is not that, and his playoff record indicates that. (When he manages to get there that is). His playoffs records are as follows…….

            Game 1, loss, 24-21 NE. stats:14-32, 230 yards, 0TDS, 1int.

            Game 2, win, 17-6 TEN. stats:19-30, 292 yards, 1TD, 1INT.

            GAME three, win, 28-24 INDY. Stats: 14-19, 264 yards, 3tds, 1int.

            Game 4, loss, 21-12 NE. stats: 19-37, 211 yards 0TDS, 2int.

            Game 5, win, 23-17 INDY. stats: 20-36, 217 yards, 0TDS, 1int.

            Game 6, loss 35-24 PITT. stats:21-35: 308 yards, 3tds, 1INT.

            Game 7, loss 17-14 NYJ. Stats: 27-40, 298yards 1TD, 2int.

            Leading into this past season in which he one one, lost to Denver and that was all she wrote. Bringing his playoffs record to 4-5. Stat interpretations are as follows….

            Coming into last year, in 7 playoff games Philip rivers had a grand total of 8 touchdowns. Along with a total of 9 interceptions. Coming into last year, he had literally given the ball to the other team more than his own recievers.

            Observation 2. Coming into last year, in 3 playoff victories, he only threw a grand total of 4 touchdowns to 3 interceptions. Very subpar, and yet they still won. Which leads one to conclude that those untalented teams that you remember oh so well, actually played a healthy role in his few victories :).

            Observation 3. Coming into last season, he only had a grand total of 2 playoff games where he threw for 3 touchdowns. Against 5, count them, FIVE games where he threw 0-1 touchdowns. Which goes to my very first point in this discussion, an inability to finish/put the ball in the end zone.

            And there you have it. That is all that needs to be said on this matter, so I will depart. Oh, and nice try sport :).

          • Sergio Quintero

            Give this a read, its pretty fair in breaking down Rivers play and his playoff history, I found it pretty objective and fair, if you have take, please share:


          • Daniel Sutter

            Good article…

        • Daniel Sutter

          Your dead wrong about Philip in December. Since 2006, no NFL quarterback has won as many games in December as Rivers, who is now 30-5 during the month. That is playing extremely relevent as you stated he hasn’t. He is the biggest reason why SD even made it into the playoffs with a historically ‘lackluster defense’. He is also the franchise’s leading QB with an all time QB rating of something like 96.4. So what the hell are you smoking? Get your facts straight so you dont sound like a freaking douch…

  • Gunnar Martin

    By the way, I really like the home page format. It’s a good look.

    • Ernie Padaon

      thank you… just made the change today

  • Sergio Quintero

    If I were them:

    1) Stop being a finesse team in the red zone, what are you doing playing 3-4 WR in the red zone on first down, in particular inside the ten. Put in those TE’s and play power football, they said they want to be a running team, put in those 2-3 TE sets, run inside, and play action pass of the illusion of that inside run.

    2) Play action pass more: I can’t remember more than 3 play action pass attempts inside the 10, you can get some gimme TD’s if the defense over commits.

    3) Ladarius Green vs. corners: he made look easy the one time they through a fade his direction, he is 6’6, throw him the damn ball!!

    4) Run Ryan Mathews more: In combination with getting more blockers, Mathews proved to be your best inside runner, time to show the trust in him in the red zone.

    5) Study the “rub” plays of the Broncos & Patriots: Isn’t this a copycat league, study the best teams in the redzone and copy-paste their stuff. The Broncos run a myriad of “rub” plays in which one WR opens the play for another.

    • BoltNative

      All excellent points! I couldn’t have said it better.

  • BoltNative

    Perhaps the new offensive coordinator will have new ideas in the red zone. Maybe Clary won’t jump offsides or give up red zone sacks. Maybe Troutman won’t get thrown aside like a rag doll. Good play calling is one thing we need. Solid OL play in the red zone is paramount.