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NFL San Diego Chargers

The Case Against San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers - San Diego Chargers

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

After allowing the defense to go first in the case of the fans versus Philip Rivers, now it is time for the criticism to begin. The San Diego Chargers have tough decisions to make this offseason in many different areas and suddenly the quarterback position is not exempt from further examination. Some have advocated moving on from Rivers as the man under center while others have said the struggles experienced by the signal caller have not been his fault. This is the second of two pieces here giving the facts so that the jury (fans) can decide the verdict. Without further ado, here is the case against Rivers.

What has been the primary criticism of Head Coach Norv Turner during his time with the Bolts? That’s right, his decreasing effectiveness over time. While many have discounted the old QB rating system, the stat is still a beneficial evaluation tool. In looking at this statistic, Rivers climaxed in 2008 with a staggering 105.5 rating. 2009 saw that wane only slightly to 104.4, but 2010 decreased further to 101.8, and 2011 saw a substantial drop off down to just 88.7. At the moment Rivers is an 89.3, but that is only marginally better than a season ago.

If you believe this metric may be a bit dated, he is some more evidence to support the case. During his first few seasons, Rivers’ interception total hovered from upper single-digits to mid-teens. He was responsible for between 15 and 20 turnovers per year when fumbles are added into the equation. In 2011 however, Rivers saw his interception number skyrocket to 20 and he fumbled the ball seven times, both career-highs. This season, the numbers are on pace to be very similar with Rivers already throwing 12 picks and having five fumbles just nine games into the year.

This analysis is in no way conclusive to make a final verdict on Rivers as the Chargers’ quarterback, but these numbers show just how far he has fallen in just a handful of years as the starter. It is getting more and more difficult to mention him in the same breath as Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger even though they were all selected in the 2004 draft class.

Now that both cases have been heard, be sure to check in on Sunday prior to the game to see just what the final verdict is on Rivers’ future with the Bolts.

Follow Anthony Blake on Twitter @AnthonyMBlake or on Facebook at Anthony Mizarkus Blake