Rivers may have played the best game of his career, and I believe that he is poised to break out this year and become an elite passer.
His 125 quarterback rating is fine and all, but the Panthers' pass rushers were frustrated all game long, as the suddenly elusive Rivers ducked, shuffled, and dodged his way away from defenders.
The middle linebacker stormed into the backfield totally unblocked on one play and was so easily evaded by Rivers that I was forced to rewind the play immediately. Oh yeah, and Rivers completed the pass.
In the past, it was a sure incompletion if Rivers attempted to go deep or pass on the run. Rivers threw two TDs in each one of these fashions, to my stunned disbelief.
There is no doubt that it took a while for the ill-prepared Chargers to warm up, and it ultimately cost them the game. However, if one looks past the loss, you are clearly going to see that Philip Rivers did things in the game that he simply could not do in the past at all.
There is no doubt in my mind that Rivers was the best player on the field yesterday.
Frankly, Philip Rivers looked like Dan Marino out there, with his ability to dodge defenders in the pocket and then release the ball with a lightning-quick release. The rangy Rivers' pocket awareness was off the meter! He should have been sacked at least four or five times, yet he was only sacked once.
If you do not believe what I'm saying, if you are thinking "hyperbole, thy name is Ian," take a look at this clip and realize that Rivers did this the entire second half.
I talked to Chargers fans that were upset.
"Why'd this have to happen to me?"
I am ABSOLUTELY fired up! I shudder to think how many 40-burgers the Chargers are going to serve up this season if Philip Rivers continues to play like this.
Besides, the last time the Chargers lost a game this way (to the Baltimore Ravens in 2006); they won 10 games in a row.