San Diego Chargers: Ron Jaworski's No. 17 Ranking for Philip Rivers is Surprising

By Kenny Gardner
Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski is ranking the 32 starting NFL quarterbacks and San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers ranked 17th on his list in 2013 after he ranked seventh on Jaworski’s list last year.

Rivers’ ranking is surprising in a sense that when the former Philadelphia Eagles QB ranked him seventh last year, Rivers was coming off a 2011 season in which he had 27 touchdowns and 25 turnovers. Rivers had 26 touchdowns and 22 turnovers this season, but his offensive line was worse in 2012 than it was in 2011.

San Diego’s offensive line allowed 30 sacks in 2011 which ranked 25th in the league, while they allowed 49 sacks in 2012 which ranked fourth in the NFL.

There is no denying that Rivers has to cut down on his unforced turnovers to be a better QB in 2013 because they are the main reasons why he did not play like the elite QB he was from 2008-2010.

Rivers had better weapons when Jaws ranked him seventh because San Diego was sixth in receiving yards and 10th in yards per reception in 2011, while they ranked 22nd and 30th in these categories last season.

The loss of Vincent Jackson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a huge blow to the passing attack, but Rivers also struggled due to a horrific rushing game which took little to no pressure away from him. San Diego ranked 14th in yards per rushing attempt in 2011 compared to 31st in 2012.

San Diego also went from ranking seventh in rushing touchdowns with 16 in 2011 to four rushing touchdowns in 2012, which was tied for last with the Oakland Raiders.

Rivers had about 64 fewer passing yards per game in 2012 than he had in 2011, which was due in part to his offensive line and a lack of weapons, but his QB rating in 2011 was 88.7 while it was 88.6 in 2012. Rivers also had a slightly higher completion percentage in 2012 than he had in 2011.

A case can be made that Rivers was better in 2012 than he was in 2011 when one factors in everything which makes his 10 spot drop on Jaworski’s 2013 list surprising to me.

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