October 15, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) looks to the endzone before throwing a 11-yard touchdown pass during the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
For some time now, there have been articles flying around the web about Philip Rivers. Most of them site concerns that are well documented, then point to his struggles over the last two seasons, to make the case he somehow needs to be “fixed”. Numbers never lie, but they do not tell the “whole” truth either. Using them out of context, is just as irresponsible. Depending on what numbers you use, you can make a case for Rivers to be traded. So this article isn’t about Rivers, but rather perspective on where in falls with other QB’s
Rivers QB rate 88.6 in 2012. This is not the lowest one he’s had. He was 82.4 in 2007, the year they went 11-5, won two playoff games. he also threw for 21TD an “15INT”. There were only 10 players with a better rating in 2012, two of which (Romo, Rothlisberger) did not make the playoffs. The two who did (Flacco, Dalton) were lower than Rivers. This shows you don’t need 100.0 rating to win a championship, like Rodgers, Manning, RG3, and Wilson had. Flacco won it all, yet threw for 22 TD, 10 INT and 3800 yards with a 87.7 QB rating. By this number alone, maybe the Ravens, Bengals, Giants and Colts should consider their QB to be trade bait as well.
Rivers had the 7th highest Completion percentage at 64.1. That’s higher than Wilson, Rothlisberger, Brees, Brady, Dalton, Eli and Flacco. Only Ryan, Manning, Rodgers, RG3, Romo, Schaub were better. McCoy made the claim that Rivers could be a 70% completion percentage. Why is it so far-fetched to get 6% increase in efficiency from Phillip, when McCoy made Kyle Orton the 4th highest rated passer in the league? Of the 527 passes Rivers attempted, 338 were completed, that’s a little more than 2/3. I think it works out to getting 15 or 20 more completions for 6% increase (terrible at math). Other comparable QB’s, Manning threw 583 attempts, 400 completions. Rodgers 552 attempts, 371 completions. Schaub 544 attempts, 345 completions. If this is being fixed, then Rivers is not alone.
Rivers was 17th in passing yards with 3,806. The Champ, Flacco was 14th with 3,817. Stafford, Romo, Freeman and Palmer were in the top ten, of 4,000 or more. Yet all those numbers didn’t turn into playoff hopes either.
To sum this up, I’ve seen Rivers in camp at least 4 times. In those observations, he’s been on point. The only thing that has changed, the defense is not giving up the big plays as much. A ball that Rivers used to be able to complete, is being batted down by defensive backs. When I’ve seen him drop back, he is making his reads and not staring down the deep ball. He seemed content to get rid of it, and chuck it to down to Royal, DePalma, Gates, or however was open underneath. It’s a new system. And no matter what I say, it will take time for him to master it. Don’t take my word for it, his head coach seems to be pleased with what he has picked up on. And I’m not worried about his McCoy either.