Luckily for us, this game is not in primetime and is very important for both teams. Because of that, the Philip Rivers vs. Eli Manning storyline isn't getting as much attention as it normally would. Chargers fans are more concerned with a victory, which is desperately needed, and Giants fans are more concerned with Eli's health. Still, there's a way in which the QB conversation can be had in the context of this game and I'd like to do it.
|2009 - Philip Rivers||7||95.9||142||238||59.7||2036||290.9||8.6||11||4||14||32||4.6||2.3||1||16||102|
|2009 - Eli Manning||8||86.4||140||242||57.9||1855||231.9||7.7||13||8||10||40||5||4||0||8||55|
It's not difficult to argue that Philip is having the better season. He has about as many TDs (12 to Manning's 13) with half as many interceptions and a higher completion rating. These stats were also mostly attained under duress, evidence by the 16 times Rivers has been sacked in comparison to Manning's 8. That doesn't tell the whole story though.
Eli Manning injured his foot in a week 4 matchup against the Chiefs. The following week, it seemed all was fine as he destroyed the Raiders (8-for-10, 173 yards, 2 TDs). The three weeks since, however, have shown that Manning is struggling to be an effective QB because he's not comfortable planting on to that injured foot while throwing.
On the flip side, Philip Rivers has stayed healthy and consistent throughout the season. The last three weeks have resulted in 2 wins and 3 of Rivers' 4 best games of the season. So if we compare how the QBs have been doing over the last three weeks, it probably won't be pretty.......
Rivers - 61.3% comp., 791 yards, 5 TD, 1 INT, 6 Sacks, 104.8 QB Rating
Manning - 49.5% comp., 643 yards, 3 TD, 6 INT, 6 Sacks, 54.3 QB Rating
Okay, so everybody saw that coming. Also, before Giants fans start screaming about competition, here come more unsurprising stats about the last 3 weeks.
Week 6-8 Competition (Pass Defense DVOA):
Rivers - Broncos (6th), Chiefs (26th), Raiders (18th)
Now we'll start tearing down Rivers and Manning's stats. Rivers' stats look great for a 3 game stretch, but how much of that was beating up on KC? Let's see what happens when we take out that game....
62% comp., 523 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 6 Sacks, 95.6 QB Rating
Not bad, but the TD/INT numbers are less impressive and the 6 sacks are more striking over two games. I don't doubt Rivers will be fine against the Giants, but the team will need TDs to win and not just FGs.
Here's the most telling stat when looking at Eli's last 3 games. Watch this.....
- @NO: 1 INT, 1 Sack
- ARI: 3 INT, 3 Sacks
- @PHI: 2 INT, 2 Sacks
Ron Rivera, you should probably make a note of that. The more sacks (and pressure) you can get on Eli Manning, the more turnovers he'll create. Keep those Safety blitzes and Corner blitzes coming!