Ravens vs. Chargers: Comparing Joe Flacco to Philip Rivers

Thomas ConroyCorrespondent IDecember 18, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 11:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers scrambles to make a throw against the Buffalo Bills at Qualcomm Stadium on December 11, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The hometown football fans have been frustrated with the play of Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco and San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers, as their quarterback ratings has been disappointing all season. This year, both have had trouble keeping possession of the football with either an ill-timed interception or a momentum-changing fumble.

The Ravens want to win another Super Bowl, as they have rededicated themselves to running the football once again. The game plan has gone smoothly all season, as Baltimore is tied atop of the AFC with a 10-3 record.

But, still the fans want Flacco to throw the football more consistently deep down field to their talented wideouts, Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. Some will argue that it’s tough to be successful when your offensive coordinator’s play-calling is too predictable and easy to defend against.

Rivers’ play has regressed this season, as he rarely looks comfortable in the pocket. The lack of pass protection has forced him to dump the ball off to the backs standing in the flat area more frequently this season. Rivers is trying too hard to make plays, but he’s slowly regaining his swagger back on the field.

Lately, TE Antonio Gates has been playing his best football in a real long time, as he has found renewed speed with no hindrance of a foot injury that plagued him all season. If Rivers can get on a roll throwing the football to Gates, the Chargers can become a very dangerous team in the AFC. His leadership skills can get this team back into the playoffs once again.

It’s too early to sour on both of these quarterbacks, as their play in previous seasons has confirmed that they’re top performers in the NFL. Both head coaches will argue that the slip in their quarterback ratings are very misleading, with both quarterbacks suffering from too many dropped passes. The receivers have run wrong routes all season, and often have disappeared during crunch time of key losses.

Neither Flacco nor Rivers worry about their passing stats, as their main concern is leading a team to the playoffs.  Sure, both are streaky passers that can look incompetent against tough defenses. But on certain Sundays, they can look flawless in the pocket, and it’s fun watching them hit on all cylinders.