San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers yesterday threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s 34-24 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rivers completed 29 of 37 passes in the contest, a completion percentage of 78.4 percent.
With that performance, Rivers became the 49th QB since 1966 to have a completion percentage at 75 percent or above with 35 or more passes in a game his team lost.
Rivers was also the fifth such quarterback to reach these numbers this season. The others: Tony Romo, Christian Ponder, Matthew Stafford and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Five QB’s reaching these numbers in a season ties the league mark, which was set in 2007.
Here’s a look at the five quarterbacks who have had the highest completion percentage (minimum of 35 passes attempted) in a game in which his team lost.
1. Drew Brees, New Orleans: Brees was 32-for-37 (86.5 percent) on Dec. 12, 2009 in a game where the Saints lost 20-17 to Tampa Bay.
2. Jim Kelly, Buffalo: Kelly was 29-for-35 (82.9 percent) on Nov. 24, 1994 in a game where the Bills lost 35-21 to Detroit.
3. Jeff Garcia, Tampa Bay: Garcia was 37-for-45 (82.2 percent) on Oct. 21, 2007 in a game where Bucs lost 23-16 to Detroit.
4. Chad Pennington, New York Jets: Pennington was 32-for-39 (82.1 percent) on Sept. 30, 2007 in a game where the Jets lost 17-14 to Buffalo.
5. Drew Brees, New Orleans: Brees was 39-for-48 (81.3 percent) on Sept. 21, 2008 in a game where the Saints lost 34-32 to Denver.
Rivers also became the fifth quarterback since 1966 to have multiple games with a passing completion mark above 75 percent with a minimum of 35 passing attempts in a loss. Brees and Brett Favre top the list with three. John Elway and Jeff Garcia join Rivers with two such games.
Last year, Oakland Raiders QB Greg Gatson became the youngest QB to reach these numbers in a Dec. 18 game when he was 32-for-40 (80 percent) in the Raiders’ 28-27 loss to the Lions. He was 22 years of age.
Doug Flutie was the oldest QB to reach these numbers. He accomplished this feat on Nov. 25, 2001 in the Chargers 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Flutie was 33-for-44 (75 percent) in the game and 39 years old at the time.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp