Philip Rivers and The Gang Are Quieting The Critics

Ian PhilipAnalyst IIISeptember 23, 2008

Genius sportswriter Mike Freeman declared during last season that Philip Rivers was as good as he's going to get.  Here's a guy that lied on his resume, yet he's working for the popular CBS Sportsline and taken seriously.  Please.  This guy is a moron.

Who could forget his classic "Philip Rivers = Terrell Owens" line.  That's fine.  Last time I checked, Terrell Owens is a hardworking winner that is sometimes too emotional and vocal, but he is not an immoral, lying scumbag like Mike Freeman.

Well, back to the topic.  Rivers has improved in the following areas:

Pocket Awareness and Mobility - Rivers has repeatedly escaped the pass rush and completed the pass down field.  He hasn't exactly shown that he can take off and run with the ball like Steve McNair, but he's making shifty moves in the backfield to elude defenders while keeping his eyes down-field looking for that open man, and he's hitting that open man consistently.

The Long Bomb - Last season, there were two things I didn't want to see Rivers doing.  One was rolling out and two was going deep.  He was awful at both.  Now, I can only hope his is rolling out and going deep.  Rivers is delivering long passes with an ease I did not know he was capable of.  Rivers is simply flicking his wrist and the ball is in the perfect spot.  Last season he was winding up to throw the long ball and there was no telling where the ball would wind up - like his scouting report said.

Another problem for defenses is that every skill position is a threat in the Chargers offense.  Nearly every skill player on San Diego's offense is capable of out running the defense to the endzone from nearly anywhere on the field and that includes the fullback Mike Tolbert - who had a 65 yard gain against the Broncos.

Regardless of the injury to LaDainian Tomlinson, defenses will have a heck of a time stopping Rivers because they can't double anybody and they can't load up against the run or the pass.

Antonio Gates has no need to catch as many passes as Jason Witten, because he has Chris Chambers.  LaDainian Tomlinson has no need to run for as many yards as Adrian Peterson, because he has Antonio Gates.  Chris Chambers has no need to have as many receiving yards as Hines Ward, because he has Vincent Jackson.  Philip Rivers doesn't need to drop back and force passes into coverage, because he has Mike Tolbert.

Rivers is in an ideal position with the players around him and when the defense plays up to their full potential like they did for 3.5 quarters against the Jets, they'll put up 40 points in a heartbeat. 

Jay Cutler and the Broncos are receiving well deserved praise for their explosive offense, but don't over look Philip Rivers and the Chargers as well.