I keep seeing articles about Philip Rivers not performing well. Rivers has 7 interceptions through 5 games and only 6 touchdown passes.
So, what is wrong with Rivers? Lets go to the cards. The Chargers are fourth in total yards, and Rivers is fifth in passing yards. So that tells me right there, he hasn't lost his ability in moving the ball.
In evaluating his interceptions, only three were his fault. My perception is this, if the ball hits the receivers hands, and its intercepted, thats not the quarterbacks fault.
So why is Rivers not as crisp as the fans have grown to expect? For one, his bail out man ( Antonio Gates) has been non- existent in all but one game this year.
Rivers go to guy is usually his third look. Lets face it, Jackson and Floyd are usually defended by a zone defense where a safety and a cornerback usually double team them.
Though this has done wonders for the running game, it has done Rivers no favors in the passing department. The Chargers passing game has been so succesful over the past 4 years because of two names :
The void that the Chargers are feeling in the pass game is greatly attributed to their absence. Rivers is forcing passes into double coverage, taking sacks, scrambling , or throwing the ball away because there is no third option.
So this bye week the Chargers really need to figure out a way to give Rivers that third option. That dump off man when there is nothing open down field.
So how can the Chargers correct it?
The obvious choice would be Antonio Gates. However, the smart play would be to give Korry Sperry some passing routes. Lots of passing routes. He is not a great blocker, but he catches everything thrown his way.
The guy is 6'5 260. Rivers needs a dump off guy. This could be the big target that takes a ton of heat off him. If Gates isn't healthy, its time to either develop a receiving threat at TE, or draft high at TE to fill the void.
Option 2 - The slot receiver.
The Chargers have a couple of them. Vincent Brown and Patrick Crayton. They have been so under utilized its shocking. Quick slant routes would be almost a gimmie with safeties and corners playing deep on Jackson and Floyd.
Furthermore it would be instrumental in getting the wideouts from being double teamed. When used correctly, a good slot receiver ie. ( Hines Ward/ Wes Welker) opens up the deep threats , and keeps the quarterback from taking a beating.
Jordan Todman. ACTIVATE the guy. Yeah I get it, he's a rookie, the Chargers already have Mathews and Tolbert, he doesn't know all the playbook. There's no plays designed for him. etc.
But mark my words. Jordan Todman will be the next Darren Sproles. If they can incorporate him into just 4-6 plays a game, the guy will more than pull his weight for the Bolts.
Todman had 1695 rushing yards last season in 13 games at Connecticut. But I think where Todman will excel is in the passing game. If he catches the ball in the open field , he is uncatchable.
Lastly, yeah, I know he's only 5'9" 190 and that concerns a lot of people, but he isn't injury or fumble prone,and he's great in pass protection.
Still not sold on Todman? Look at his pre-season, he killed it, Check out his highlights on Youtube. Or just look at his combine numbers. He beat the overall top picked running back ( Mark Ingram , Saints) in EVERY category. I think he would have been just the spark the Chargers needed in Denver, against Miami, or Kansas City.
In closing, to answer the question. What's wrong with Rivers? NOTHING! He's is just missing his third option. I really hope the Chargers figure that out in the bye week, or else the interceptions, sacks and throwaways will continue.
Bring back his third option, and the Chargers will be way more balanced, and basically unstoppable offensively!