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San Diego Chargers 2016 Positional Grades: Quarterback

Jan 1, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) runs off the field following the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chiefs won 37-27. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) runs off the field following the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chiefs won 37-27. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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Now that the season is officially over (and because we want to talk about something other than Los Angeles), we’ll look a little further into the season that was for the San Diego Chargers.

Yes, it was a rough season, but that’s been discussed ad nausea as well.

In the upcoming weeks, I am going to hand out a letter grade for every positional unit on the team based on its performance in the 2016 season.

Naturally, I’ll start at the quarterback position,

Now, in most of these positional grades, I will be grading more than one player. In this case, only one player played quarterback this season for the Chargers, and that was Philip Rivers. That should come as no surprise, as he’s taken every single snap since 2006.

In the preseason, the Chargers had four quarterbacks in camp. However, Zach Mettenberger proved he didn’t belong and undrafted rookie Mike Bercovici didn’t do enough to earn a spot on the roster. So the team went into the regular season with Rivers and Kellen Clemens, who did what he does basically every year, hold a clipboard.

Let’s look back at the statistical production Rivers had this season.

Completion Percentage: 60.4

Passing Yards: 4,386

Touchdown Passes: 33

Interceptions: 21

Fumbles: 7

QB Rating: 87.9

Statistically, Rivers didn’t have his best season, but he didn’t have his worst either. It’s hard to imagine where this team would be without him, considering all of its injuries. Rivers was the glue that held the team together…. again.

That said, leading the team to a 5-11 record is not enough to get a pass for many Chargers fans, who won’t allow the myriad of injuries to be an excuse. Chargers fans have to ask themselves in Rivers is still the guy.

Throwing 33 touchdowns in the NFL is a respectable season to be sure, but the number to really focus on is 28. That’s how many times Rivers turned the ball over this season, and that’s just way too many. There were also games where it seemed like Rivers had too much on his shoulders, almost feeling like he just didn’t have adequate help and had to do too much himself.

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The loss to the Miami Dolphins—specifically his performance in the final quarter—was a shining example of this. He also made critical errors in losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers. Rivers isn’t the player that needs to put the ball in the air 40 times per game any more. In fact, he passed for over 300 yards six times this season and San Diego only won one of those games.

Rivers is still among the top 10 quarterbacks in the league, at least in my opinion. There aren’t 10 guys I’d rather have, that’s for sure. However, the turnovers are concerning and the injury bug can only be mentioned so many times.

2016 Grade: C

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