I’ve always thought Philip Rivers to be a bit of an ass. He and Jay Cutler are the two quarterbacks in the league who yell at their teammates more than any others. He’s been rather productive in his career, throwing for over 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns in the last four seasons. His teams, however, haven’t risen to the occasion and a lot of that blame can be placed on coach Norv Turner. Rivers is at fault for his team’s incompetence as well and that has been highlighted in the last four weeks.
He was unable to generate any fourth-quarter offense as the Chargers blew a 24-14 lead. His last three drives included a three-and-out, an interception, and a fumble. We all remember the second half meltdown he suffered against the Broncos a week later. Four interceptions and two fumbles are not the way to hold onto a 24-point halftime lead. Coming out of the bye week, he continued to falter as he had his lowest completion percentage of any game this year at 52.9 percent.
Football Outsiders highlighted Rivers’ lackluster performance in the game. Specifically, they pointed out that Rivers was making bad throws on deep pass patterns. Some of the decisions were poor mentally and others were poor physically. He threw into double coverage on multiple occasions, underthrew balls, and had the bad luck of one of his receivers dropping an easy touchdown.
Thus the question must be asked: Is Rivers OK? He was terrible last year until a strong second half. This year he’s only thrown one more touchdown than interception through seven games. Maybe the poor quality of his offensive line is causing him to not feel comfortable in the pocket. Maybe the loss of his best receiver from last year, Vincent Jackson, is causing him to try to do too much with a mediocre group of receiving options still around.
Whatever it is, Rivers needs to do something fast to salvage his team’s season and his career. It’s possible he needs a change of venue, but the Chargers don’t appear likely to make that move anytime soon. Unlike Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger from his draft class, Rivers has been unable to make the Super Bowl, let alone win one. He doesn’t look much good right now and it’s getting really painful for Chargers’ fans and Rivers’ fantasy owners.
Survivor Pick of the Week:
SAN DIEGO over Kansas City
It’s not the best week for survivor picks, but times are always tough by Week 9. You’ve most likely already used Green Bay (like against Jacksonville last week), who should have an easy time at home vs. the putrid Cardinals. Houston was the pick in Week 1 against Miami and they’ve been dominant in other big spread efforts, so you probably can’t use them against Buffalo this week. The Chargers would be the next up on the list. Kansas City hasn’t had a lead at any point during a game this year. Their only win was on a game winning field goal in overtime against the Saints. (I still can’t believe that happened.) The Chargers have a 32-12 record in November since 2007 and are going against arguably the worst team in football.
If you have to look elsewhere, Seattle is 3-0 at home this year and is a reasonable favorite against a Minnesota team that’s 1-2 on the road. Atlanta, New Orleans, and the N.Y. Giants are all home favorites against tough opponents. Washington is a home favorite as well, but Carolina looked a bit stronger last week and the Washington is only as good as RG3 plays.
Thursday Night Pick:
SAN DIEGO -8.5 over Kansas City
All signs point to a Chargers’ blowout tonight. That’s what really has me worried. This almost looks too good given how bad the Chiefs have looked recently. There’s really no reason for them to compete in this spot. Then again, it’s not like the Chargers have been clicking on all cylinders. This game would fit in as a trap game of the week if it was listed in the Friday column. I’m thinking the warm San Diego weather will allow Rivers to feel comfortable and Ryan Mathews should see success running the ball. The Chiefs do weird things with Jamaal Charles, somehow only giving him five carries last week. There are just more question marks on their side than there are on the other.