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NFL San Diego Chargers

Mike McCoy has high expectations for Philip Rivers

Mike McCoy San Diego Chargers

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

According to Brian Murphy of fftoolbox.com, San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King that Philip Rivers could complete 70 percent of his passes this season.

McCoy made a bold statement because according to pro-football-reference.com, this has only been done five times by four quarterbacks in NFL history.  New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees completed over 70 percent of his passes in 2009 and 2011.  Former San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young completed 70 percent of their passes in 1989 and 1994, respectively, and former Cincinnati Bengals QB Ken Anderson accomplished this in 1982.

Rivers completed 66 percent of his passes in 2010 when he led the NFL with 4,710 passing yards and that was the highest completion percentage of his career.

Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd were San Diego’s leading receivers in 2009 and they missed 22 games in 2010 when Rivers completed 66 percent of his passes.

San Diego’s offensive line has to play better in 2013 than they did in 2012 when they allowed 49 sacks which ranked fourth-worst in the league.  If the offensive line can protect Rivers, he is capable of completing 70 percent of his passes in 2013.

San Diego’s receivers have to play better as well because they ranked 13th in receptions, 22nd in receiving yards and 30th in yards per reception last season.

Rivers ranked ninth in the NFL with 26 touchdown passes and 11th in passer rating last season, but San Diego’s rushing attack, which ranked 31st in yards per attempt, has to take pressure away from him.

McCoy’s statement about Rivers’ potential in 2013 shows that McCoy has confidence in his system and Rivers because completing 70 percent of one’s passes is uncommon in NFL history.

Anderson, Brees, Montana and Young made the playoffs when they completed 70 percent of their passes while Montana, Young and Brees won Super Bowls and were Super Bowl MVPs in 1989, 1994 and 2009.  If Rivers completes 70 percent of his passes, San Diego will make the playoffs and could make a run at a title this season.