5 Bad Stats: Green Bay Packers at San Diego Chargers

3
Interceptions by Philip Rivers for the first time in his career. The San Diego Chargers are not a good team this season, and the biggest reason for that is the inability to win the turnover battle. The most blatant reason for not being able to win the turnover battle? Turnover-prone Philip Rivers.

I would say that the most annoying thing about Rivers' picks is that they seem to either come early (sucking all life out of the team) or late (once the team has convinced themselves that they can overcome the early hurdles they place in front of themselves). However, the most annoying thing about the picks is that it doesn't seem to matter if the Chargers are playing against a good team or a bad team. The secondary doesn't even need to be good. Rivers will find a way to get the ball into the hands of the defense, even if he's playing against a Pop Warner football team.

 

8
Tackles by Marcus Gilchrist. Any time a cornerback leads the team in tackles while having no defended passes and no interceptions of any kind, it means that he was beat early and often in his coverage. Marcus Gilchrist has 3 starts this season, with his last two coming after he replaced Antoine Cason. He's young, so he gets a few more excuses, but Gilchrist's performance has not been any great improvement over Cason's.

 

81.4
QB Rating for Philip Rivers so far in 2011, the lowest of his career. The scary thing about this "slump" for Rivers is that his completion percentage, yards per completion and yards per game are all better than what he put up in 2006 and 2007. The only differences between Rivers in 2011 vs his first two seasons as starter are that he's throwing more interceptions (4.6% of his throws are being picked off, against 2% and 3.3% in 2006/2007) and he's getting sacked more (he's being sacked on 5.9% of his pass attempts, against 5.5% and 4.6% in 2006/2007), which is leading to more fumbles (on pace for 14 fumbles this year, his career high is 11 in 2007).

In a nutshell, I'm saying that we've seen a Rivers very similar to this one before. He had two full seasons that were like this with less mistakes. Maybe the three good seasons from 2008-2010 has given him more confidence, and more pressure, so that he's forcing more passes than he used to. Maybe those three season were luck, or just a ticking time bomb as we waited for defenses to figure him out.

 

64
Penalty yards surrendered by the Chargers, or nearly double the amount of penalty yards given up by the Green Bay Packers.

 

3
Days until the Chargers have to play the Oakland Raiders on national TV. Despite the fact that both teams lost yesterday, it looks as though young RBs Darren McFadden and Ryan Mathews will be able to play in the game.

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