The San Diego Chargers need Philip Rivers to play better in the playoffs

By Kenny Gardner

The San Diego Chargers had seasons in which it looked like they were going to make it to the Super Bowl.  They were 14-2 in 2006, made it to the AFC Championship game in 2007 and had a 13-3 record in 2009.  Philip Rivers is considered by many to be an elite quarterback in the NFL.  Rivers has a career regular season record of 63-33 while completing 64 percent of his passes with 163 touchdowns and 78 interceptions.  Most people expect a drop off in production from the regular season to the playoffs because there is more pressure.

Rivers has a career playoff record of 3-4 while completing 59 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and nine interceptions.  There have only been two games in Rivers’ playoff career in which he threw more touchdowns than interceptions. Rivers was great against the Indianapolis Colts as he threw three touchdowns and one interception in a playoff victory on January 13, 2008.  Rivers also threw three touchdowns and one interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers on January 11, 2009, but San Diego lost.  In his other five playoff games, Rivers combined for two touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Rivers was not the only one at fault in terms of struggling in the playoffs.  LaDainian Tomlinson combined for 30 rushing attempts, 75 yards and one touchdown in two full playoff games during the 2007 season, and left the third game with an injury.  He also had 12 attempts for 24 yards in San Diego’s only playoff game during the 2009 season.  San Diego gave up an average of 24 points per game in Rivers’ four playoff losses as well.  Tomlinson is no longer a member of the Chargers, and Rivers is looked at as the franchise guy right now.  San Diego needs him to play like one if they are to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1994 season.




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