Three guarantees for Chargers-Patriots playoff game

By Jason Gilder
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 06: Melvin Ingram #54 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after sacking Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens during the third quarter in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 06: Melvin Ingram #54 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after sacking Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens during the third quarter in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed 68.3 per cent of his passes in the 2018 regular season, which is the second-highest single-season completion rate of his career. This photo was taken on Dec. 22, 2018. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed 68.3 per cent of his passes in the 2018 regular season, which is the second-highest single-season completion rate of his career. This photo was taken on Dec. 22, 2018. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Philip Rivers bounces back with a 300-yard passing performance

The Chargers’ outstanding and knowledgeable defensive performance against the Ravens was coupled with a lackluster outing from their offense. Baltimore’s defense frustrated the Bolts’ attack for most of the afternoon, and that had a profound effect on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

After having one of the greatest regular seasons of his career, the 15-year veteran had a rather pedestrian output in his 2018 playoff opener. Rivers recorded just 160 passing yards with zero touchdowns. He did complete 68.6 percent of his passes and did not have any turnovers, but more yardage and touchdown throws are needed for prolonged postseason success.

Expect that much-needed improvement to arise against the Patriots, mainly because their pass-defense is far worse than Baltimore’s.

New England was not prone to containing opposing pass attacks during the regular season. The Pats gave up 246.6 passing yards per game in 2018, which was 10th worst in the NFL. They also allowed 57 pass plays of 20-plus yards, placing them in the bottom-third of the league in that category.

The latter statistic will make Rivers’ eyes light up with glee, as he completed 60 passes of 20 or more yards, which was the fourth-most in the NFL.  Overall, the Chargers’ gunslinger tossed 32 touchdowns to only 12 interceptions this season and recorded 4,308 passing yards. His 105.5 passer rating was tied for his career-high.

Expect Rivers to have a stat line hovering around 300 yards passing and two touchdown throws, with a 67 percent completion rate.

facebooktwitterreddit