Greatest seasons by a Chargers quarterback: 1. Philip Rivers, 2013
We probably did not realize it at the time but this was prime Philip Rivers. And you might scoff at the notion that the Rivers that led the 2013 Chargers was the best in franchise history but he was so dang good this year despite not having that much help.
Rivers completed 69.5% of his passes, which is the best mark for a Chargers quarterback. He finished with 4,478 passing yards, 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His 105.5 passer rating is tied with several other of his seasons for the best in franchise history.
Just look at the supporting cast that Rivers had. It was not terrible, but he certainly has had much more in his career.
Ryan Mathews had a solid season, so we have to give credit where credit is due there. Rivers’ number one target was a rookie Keenan Allen, who is a beast, but was still just a rookie. Antonio Gates was still good but not prime Gates and his other receiving targets were Eddie Royal and Vincent Brown. Again, not the best weapons.
His offensive line was better than it has been in other years but it was still not great as he was sacked 30 times. Justin Herbert was sacked 32 times this season.
Rivers took a not-that-talented Chargers team and beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Wild Card Round and went toe-to-toe with the best team in the AFC that season, the Denver Broncos.
The Chargers lost just 17-24 and could have had a chance to tie and win the game. The Chargers had all the momentum down the stretch, scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter, 10 of which were unanswered.
The Bolts had a chance, but could not get a stop. With 3:06 left in the game, the Chargers forced the Broncos to a third and 17 that the Broncos were able to convert. With 2:12 left in the game they forced another third down, third and six, and again could not get a stop.
If 2013 Philip Rivers had the 2006-2009 supporting cast then I think the Chargers would have won the Super Bowl that season.