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Is This the Beginning of the End for Philip Rivers?

It’s clear to me that Philip Rivers has regressed. Can he prove that he still is an elite quarterback?

NFL: Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

I realize I might get a lot of hate for this article, but I think it’s pretty clear that Philip Rivers is in a down year, and if you couple that with the fact that he’s 35, and has 8 children, he’s gotta be worn down. I personally don’t have kids, but spending more than 2 hours with my niece (4) and nephew (6 months) tires me out pretty quickly. I’m also not a professional athlete, but 8 has to be hard to handle.

In terms of completion percentage, he’s way down from 66% from the last two seasons to 61.5%, which is about middle-of-the-league currently. He’ll finish the year around 4340 yards passing, which is about his career average and is 4th most in the league. When you look at his yards per attempt, it’s close to his gunslinging days with Norv Turner, when he was throwing the ball downfield quite a bit (proved considering he has the 2nd most completions over 40 yards with 15), which tells me that he feels he has to carry the team (which seems right, considering the low level of his receivers). He ranks 7th in that category in the league currently. This is the one redeeming quality in his stats because it shows me that he might not be regressing, he just feels more pressure to succeed because the rest of the team is falling apart. Either way, we should get a good view of what he is next season, with probably a new coach, and some new pieces on offense. As far as quarterbacks go, he’s been about as average as you can be this season.

He’s been throwing a lot of interceptions and is on pace to throw for over 20, but when you consider what I just wrote, I think that ties in pretty well, and we should only worry if it continues with a new coach. To me, it’s clear that he doesn't have the arm strength he did years ago, based on his accuracy at times downfield, but I believe with a solid team around him, he can easily be an elite quarterback. With an improved offensive line, and the return of all of his offensive weapons, he’ll easily approach the 70% completion percentage mark again and drastically cut down on interceptions. With better receivers, he’ll have more reliable targets that he doesn't have to pray they catch the ball. With Danny Woodhead back (I hope), he’ll have an even more reliable safety blanket than what Melvin Gordon has been this season, and he can utilize both of them instead of forcing the ball upfield.

Do I think Philip Rivers is nearing the end of his career? Yes, I truly do. I think he has a solid 3 seasons left before he calls it quits. While that is the case, I don’t think he will be playing poor at that point, but I wouldn't be surprised if he loses his love for the game because of the poisonous owners named Spanos. They have continuously played games with San Diego, and show that they aren’t exactly smart businessmen. I believe if the Chargers rebrand and move to LA, Philip Rivers won’t stay as long as we think he will.