Regardless of whether a quarterback's team wins or loses, the signal-caller typically plays the key role in every outcome.
Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers on Monday against the Denver Broncos was a prime example.
Rivers played near flawless in the first half, and the Chargers led 24-0 when the second half kicked off. Long story short, pro football is 60 minutes, not 30.
San Diego ultimately lost, 35-24, and Rivers' performance during the final 30 minutes was one to remember...or forget, depending on who you were rooting for and the fantasy football implications.
To that end, Rivers hasn't been the only quarterback this season or of his era to finish horribly. With that, here's Rivers, along with some others we all know too well.
Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense were immensely assisted by the Broncos' ineptitude during the first half.
In short, San Diego's defense was locking down, and the Bolts quickly pulled ahead. Rivers had thrown a pick during the second quarter, though, and it was essentially a punt, as Jim Leonhard's pick significantly changed the field position by backing the Broncos up.
Aside from that, Rivers tossed two scores in the first half and was dicing up Denver quite well. Then Peyton Manning stole the momentum with his opening possession of the second half and got the Broncos seven points.
It was San Diego's next possession that ultimately cost the Bolts this game. In Denver territory, Rivers simply held onto the rock too long, and it was knocked out by Elvis Dumervil. Tony Carter recovered and returned it for a touchdown, and all of a sudden, the Chargers' lead was 24-14.
Rivers proceeded to toss three more interceptions, and San Diego was blanked in the second half.
It's games like this where the legends such as Manning don't falter. We've seen this one too many times from Rivers and the Chargers, and it's no surprise San Diego has made just one AFC Championship game appearance during his tenure.
After all, he did toss to over 3,000 yards in 2010 with 21 touchdowns to only six picks. Unfortunately, 2011 was far from an encore performance, and 2012 has only produced worse.
For one, his completion percentage dropped almost three percentage points between 2010 and 2011. Throwing eight more interceptions in the process, Vick also fumbled 10 times last season. Unsurprisingly, Philly finished a disappointing 8-8 and missed the postseason.
This year, Vick has already thrown eight picks to his eight touchdowns, and he has coughed up the rock nine times. Tossing six interceptions through the first two weeks, Philly managed to survive both and win. As the law of averages would have it, however, continuing to turn the ball over will soon cost you a victory.
Well, Vick lost two fumbles against the Arizona Cardinals and two more against the Pittsburgh Steelers. As expected, Philly lost both games and the Eagles sit at .500 through six contests. It doesn't matter how much potential rests on the Eagles defense.
Because, if the offense and more specifically the quarterback keep providing opponents with additional opportunities, a bending defense will eventually break. Eliminate those turnovers, and Philadelphia is extremely difficult to beat.
Tony Romo just can't catch a break.
Everything began with the fumbled snap against the Seattle Seahawks during the 2006 NFC Wild Card.
A year later, Romo and the Dallas Cowboys were the NFC's No. 1 seed and hosting the New York Giants, a team they swept during the 2007 regular season. Romo had thrown for eight touchdowns to only two picks and a 66.95 completion percentage between both games.
Then the postseason bit Romo again, and he completed only 50 percent of his throws, and another Dallas season ended in disappointing fashion.
Fast forward to the 2012 season, and Romo was entering off his best year as a pro. Plus, Big D's failure down the stretch of 2011 was no his fault. So, there was reason to except an impressive season from the Cowboys, and the hype only increased after defeating the Giants in New York to kickoff 2012.
Jump to post-Week 6, and Romo has thrown only four touchdowns to eight picks the past four games. Dallas has dropped to 2-3, and his indecisiveness against the Chicago Bears was tough to watch. And if the Cowboys' struggles continue, expect more criticism to fall on Romo once again.
Right now, Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears offense is being saved by Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and the Monsters of the Midway.
Entering Week 7 of 2012, Cutler has seven touchdowns to seven picks, and had it not been for the defense, Chicago wouldn't be 4-1. Although four of Cutler's picks came against the Green Bay Packers, they have been the only legit playoff-contending team Chicago has faced.
The St. Louis Rams are definitely better, but not quite a postseason-caliber team, and Cutler only completed 54.8 percent of his throws in that game. Revert back to 2009 and 2010, and Cutler tossed for nice yards and touchdowns. He also had 42 interceptions combined in those years.
Not to mention going just 6-of-14 for 80 yards and an interception against the Packers in the 2010 NFC title game. The key factor here is Cutler ultimately getting over the Green Bay Packers and helping lead Chicago back to the Super Bowl.
Yes, those are high expectations. Still, he can't remain turnover-prone or indecisive when in the pocket. That has played a major role in him getting sacked quite often as opposed to the offensive line failing to block, and it's proven to cost Chicago against tougher teams.
So, provided Cutler makes quicker decisions consistently and doesn't force as many throws when under duress, the Bears will then roll through January.
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