Chargers History

Which coach did Philip Rivers play the best football under?

By Ross Litscher
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers v Oakland Raiders
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers v Oakland Raiders / Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
5 of 7
Anthony Lynn
Anthony Lynn, Los Angeles Chargers v San Francisco 49ers / Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Head Coach #4: Anthony Lynn (2017-2020): 27-23 with Philip Rivers starting

Offensive Coordinators: Ken Whisenhunt (2016-2019), Shane Steichen (2019-2020)

Anthony Lynn was hired on the same day that Dean Spanos relocated the team to Los Angeles. Also given the Chargers 9-23 record over the past two years, it's safe to say Lynn wasn't exactly walking into a great situation.

This was further proven when the Chargers started 2017 0-4, mainly due to some special teams issues. But the Lynn era was quickly turned around, as the Chargers finished the 2017 season over .500 for the first time since 2014, and made the playoffs in 2018 with their best record (12-4) in nine years.

The Chargers' offense found its rhythm in the second half of 2017 and in 2018. The run game was decent at best but wasn't so terrible that it held the team back like in previous years. Philip Rivers was even in some MVP talks in the 2018 season, which was impressive due to Rivers' age and many people thinking he didn't have it in him anymore.

He ranked in the top 10 in both passing yards and passing touchdowns in 2017 & 2018. He also completed 68% of his passes in 2018, the second-best mark of his career. 2018 was highlighted by Rivers leading two clutch primetime comebacks on the road in Pittsburgh and Kansas City, leading to the Chargers having the second-best record in the AFC.

Although injuries and bad coaching soon caught up to the Chargers once again. They were unable to stay with the Patriots in the divisional round due to a decimated linebacking core and a coaching staff that struggled to make adjustments.

This continued in the 2019 season, which was yet another frustrating Chargers season where the Chargers struggled to close out games and underachieved. Rivers showed some regression, throwing 20 interceptions, the most he's thrown since 2016. His offensive line dealt with injuries all year and the running game lacked consistency all year.

OC Ken Whisenhunt was fired midseason and replaced with QB coach Shane Steichen. Overall, despite Rivers ranking in the top 5 in pass completions and pass yards, the team couldn't overcome their poor red zone play and inability to finish games, leading to a 5-11 record. After the season, GM Tom Telesco announced that the Team would not re-sign Rivers, leading to him entering free agency for the first time in his career.

Offensive stats under Lynn: 59% pass plays, 41% run plays, Highest pass yards rank: 2nd (2017), Highest rush yards rank: 15th (2018), Highest PPG rank: 7th (2018)