Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Looking at the box score would give the impression that quarterback Philip Rivers had a heck of a game. Most quarterbacks would be happy throwing for 411 yards, completing 36 passes on 49 attempts (73.5 percent) and two touchdowns, not to mention move into a tie for most touchdown passes in team history.
But looking at a football player simply through a box score would be incorrect.
The veteran signal-caller had his worst game of the season, throwing three interceptions.
The Chargers offense looked off for most of the night, and while there is plenty of blame to go around as to why, it is hard to argue Rivers was not a factor in the offense sputtering.
The first interception was like a punt, and it looked like the receiver cut off the route leaving the safety all alone to snag it with ease.
The next pick was absolutely Rivers’ fault, underthrowing the receiver in the back of the end zone. If Rivers had thrown that on target, it would have been a touchdown and made it a one-score game (27-24). At worst, even if the receiver dropped the ball, San Diego could have kicked a field goal to still make it a one-score game (27-20).
The last pick was an overthrow to a receiver being closely defended. The safety easily came down with the ball.
When given time, Rivers looked very good. When Rivers was on, the Chargers put together long drives. But San Diego also had 37 yards of offense in the first quarter and had three drives in the game where the team failed to get a first down.
The good looked great, but the bad looked really bad.
At best, Rivers was trying too hard to make plays, which ended up creating plays for Oakland.
At worst, Rivers’ bad decisions and bad throws gave Oakland momentum, confidence and an early lead, but they erased a late-game comeback attempt.