Was there really much doubt? I don't know about you, but when I saw that Philip Rivers would be given over two minutes to drive 80 yards for a touchdown, I knew it would happen. It was just a matter of how much time New York would be given for a rebuttal.
Followers of San Diego are well aware of the late game heroics common to Philip Rivers. We saw it in Oakland week one, and—barring suspect playcalling—against Baltimore week two. Now, after doing it in the mecca of sports, in a game everyone outside of New Orleans was watching, Philip has done it again.
But it was not quite as easy as he may have hoped. Rivers had the ball with about three minutes left, down only a field goal. He felt the rush, deep in the Chargers' zone, and threw a pick which almost went for six.
Irrelevant was the question of whether Rivers made a bad pass, or Terrell Thomas made a fantastic read (although I see it as an combination of both). What matters is the simple fact, do not give Philip Rivers a chance to win the game—and whatever you do, do not—ever—give the competitive quarterback TWO chances to win a game.
Although the statistics do not particularly support a strong game, 24/36-209-3/2-86.5, consider the following:
Two terrible drops from the typically sure-handed Antonio Gates cost Rivers two completions and 30 yards
Two drops from Malcolm Floyd which cost another two receptions and about 40 yards.
Give him those, and thats 28/36-279. A much more respectable line, combined with a strong fourth quarter drive, and those are the numbers you should expect from a Pro Bowler.
And that brings me to my next point, last year Rivers was absolutely snubbed from the Pro Bowl (in favor of Peyton Manning, Jay Cutler and Brett Favre). This year, it may just happen again. Expect nothing less from the fans than to vote for Manning and Tom Brady in overwhelming numbers, enough that the support of coaches and players to make them virtual locks.
After that, Rivers has to fight with fan favorites in Carson Palmer and Ben Roethlisberger, the quarterback of a (as of now) 6-1 team in Kyle Orton, and of course the positively Pro Bowl worthy season offered from Matt Schaub.
So you may ask yourself, where does Rivers fit? Problem is, he does not. Is he having a top 3 statistical season? Absolutely. Does he have the historical success to merit popularity? Just look at last year.
Problem is, he might not be having a better season than Manning and Schaub; he is not as popular as Brady or Palmer; and Roethlisberger may be having his best season, right after winning the Super Bowl.
So make your own decisions when filling out your Pro Bowl ballot(s), and if you do not find Rivers worthy, so be it, I won't hold it against you.
But do me one thing, when you are watching the Chargers struggle against the Eagles and Broncos over the next two weeks, as their defense and marginal offense keep San Diego within a score with two minutes left, prepare yourself for a last minute touchdown from Rivers to any one of his large targets in the endzone.
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