Breaking Down the Biggest Flaws in Philip Rivers' Mechanics

Alex Ramirez@@alexramirez127Correspondent INovember 7, 2012

November 1, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) reacts after a called penalty during the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE
Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Throughout his career, Philip Rivers has been a perfect example of a quarterback with an unorthodox throwing motion. It's been a topic of discussion just about every year, but never as much as these last two seasons. It's mainly being brought up more recently because of his interception numbers. 

Philip Rivers has thrown for 4,000+ yards in the past four seasons, but he's only on pace for 3,732 this year. At the halfway mark of the season, the quarterback out of North Carolina State has 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Despite all the interceptions and bad decisions, Rivers has the highest completion percentage of his career early in the season. He's also been sacked 20 times in eight games, which is 10 shy of last year's total. 


It's ugly, we all know this. When Philip Rivers delivers the ball, it resembles an Olympian competing in a shot put competition. He, instead of the normal over the top throwing motion, pushes the ball to his receivers—or in this year's case, his running backs. Many scouts lowered his draft stock in 2004 because of this aspect of his game. 

It's never really been a concern in the NFL for Rivers, besides the last two seasons. I've watched every game of Philip Rivers since he took over the starting position from Drew Brees and can say that his release is not the problem. 

Weight Shift and Footwork

This is definitely the biggest issue in Philip Rivers' game. In the past two seasons, most of the interceptions thrown by number 17 have been under-thrown balls. This happens from not shifting his weight forward, probably because he has no pocket to step up into. Nonetheless, he's never been known to have extreme velocity on his throws, but recently they've looked even worse. 

He must focus on moving up into the pocket and getting consistent velocity on his throws.

Decision Making

This really isn't a "mechanic," but it's definitely a big flaw in Rivers' game. Half of his interceptions have come from poor decisions, whether it's down the field or just boneheaded plays on the sideline or in the end zone. 

Before all fans lose hope in Rivers, he needs to improve in all these aspects. I'm not writing to change your outlook on this team or this quarterback, but hear me out when I say this: Philip Rivers is not the problem in San Diego.


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