The San Diego Chargers saluted their award-winning quarterback on Twitter:
The idea of the Comeback Player of the Year is a bit malleable. Sometimes, it goes to a player who's recovered from a major injury. Other years, it's somebody who saw a huge jump in his production from one year to the next.
For the Chargers QB, it was a case of the latter.
Some, like Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, wondered if Rivers was a deserving winner. After all, he wasn't completely awful in 2012:
Why is Philip Rivers the Comeback Player winner? He played 16 games in 2012 and had 26 TDs and 88.6 rating.— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) February 1, 2014
However, as Grantland's Bill Barnwell pointed out, playing for Norv Turner can be its own kind of punishment—one difficult from which to return:
Philip Rivers overcomes the adversity of Norv Turner, wins Comeback Player of the Year.— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) February 1, 2014
Was Philip Rivers a deserving Comeback Player of the Year?
Not only did Rivers recover from an underwhelming 2012, but he also had one of the best seasons of his career in 2013. He led the NFL in completion percentage (69.5 percent) and had 4,478 yards, 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
What also boosted his Comeback Player of the Year credentials was how well the Chargers did this season. San Diego was up and down for most of the season but won five of its last six to get into the playoffs. It upset the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card Round before falling to the Denver Broncos in the Divisional Round.
All in all, the 2013 season was a rousing success for the Chargers, and winning Comeback Player of the Year is affirmation for what was a great campaign from Rivers.