Breaking Down Philip Rivers' Form at the NFL's Midseason Mark

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Breaking Down Philip Rivers' Form at the NFL's Midseason Mark
Harry How/Getty Images

Behind the constant embarrassment surrounding the San Diego Chargers, Philip Rivers is getting all the heat.

Experts and analysts bring up names like Norv Turner, A.J. Smith and even Dean Spanos when discussing the recent failures of the organization, but fans are mainly focusing on No. 17.

To a certain extent, criticism is fair.

Rivers hasn't looked like himself for quite some time now. Why, some ask? Well, there isn't a specific reason, but a variety of them.

First off, Norv Turner is still the coach and we all knew the ship would crash sooner or later.

Second, the offensive line protecting Rivers is a laughable unit.

And lastly, the receivers aren't as talented or connected with Rivers as in previous years.

You either love him or hate him, I understand. Sometimes instead of immediately calling a statement "excuses", we need to look at the big picture.

Throwing Motion - C+

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Philip Rivers has the ugliest throwing motion in the NFL, period.

It's obvious that his style is unorthodox. Rivers basically shot puts the ball all over the field. The throws come off as a sidearm motion that many said would be the ultimate downfall of Rivers in the NFL. This was back at the 2004 draft, but let's look at his career.

He has an average of 94.9 for his passer rating in his career, with over 25,000 yards and 173 touchdowns. The awkward throw has worked for Rivers in the past, so this may not be the biggest concern.

The Chargers have had Malcom Floyd since 2004, the same year Rivers was brought in. They also had Vincent Jackson for every year Rivers was a starter, with this being the first season he's on another team.

So for Philip Rivers' entire career, his wide receivers have been 6'5'' with excellent leaping abilities. His sidearm throwing motion worked with them, mainly because of their height. This season, it's clear Floyd is the number one target behind Antonio Gates. He just can't get the ball to Meachem and others.

Drop-Back and Pocket Presence - C+

One thing that Philip Rivers isn't, is a mobile quarterback. When he leaves the pocket, it looks as if his knees are about to give out. His lack of mobility limits himself to strictly the pocket.

Thus far in 2012, Philip Rivers has been sacked 18 times, which is sixth most in the league. The pressure is getting to him, which is forcing interceptions and incompletions.

His drop backs seem on point, but he needs to take about a half-step more when releasing the ball. Fixing this issue would add more velocity, which he needs, to his throws. More velocity will get the ball to the receivers both quicker and more safely.

Decision Making - D

Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Most will say he deserves an F in this category. I agree to disagree.

Let's be honest, Philip Rivers is a risk taker. He lets it fly down the field if there's just a slight chance his receiver can come down with the ball. On those decisions, especially if the receiver has a legitimate opportunity at catching the pass, I don't blame Rivers 100% of the time.

When it comes to shorter passes, Philip Rivers has been a mess. His lack of confidence with the receivers is forcing him to throw passes he doesn't want to.

Rivers needs to realize that if there is any chance of the ball is getting intercepted on a short or medium pass, don't throw it.  It's time for him to relax as a quarterback, although I don't believe this is possible with this team presently.

Overall - C-

Philip Rivers needs to adjust to his new surroundings. From offensive line to receivers, he needs to open his eyes and understand it's not the same team he's used to.

Rivers is the leader of the San Diego Chargers. He's the heart and soul of this team. I'm not saying he's not the problem, but give credit where credit is due. Like I said, everybody needs to look at the big picture before pointing the finger.


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