115.8 QB rating, 65.8 completion percentage, 7 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio, and leading the league’s 7th ranked offense and 4th best scoring offense. Those are the stats of an elite NFL quarterback, and those are the stats of San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.
Through two games, Rivers looks elite.
These are the type of numbers Rivers put up when he was considered a top-5 quarterback in the league and the numbers we have grown to expect from him. He’ll need to keep this up through the next 14 weeks to prove his doubters wrong and help his team into the playoffs, but so far, so good.
After playing with a subpar supporting cast over the last two seasons, Rivers finally has a competent offensive line, a decent running game, a stable core of playmakers at receiver, a healthy Antonio Gates, and a reliable outlet receiver in Danny Woodhead. Through two games, Rivers has proven his fall from elite status in 2011 and 2012 was more due to lack of a supporting cast than loss of skill. What 2013 has shown us so far is that the pieces around Rivers are good enough for him to be successful, and there are no more excuses for him not to succeed. Maybe he was right when he said he didn’t need to be “fixed.”
Rivers’ pocket presence has been great, and accuracy has been on point, but more importantly, he hasn’t made any poor decisions. Even against the Houston Texans in the season opener, his fourth-quarter interception to Brian Cushing was more a good, athletic play by Cushing than a poor decision on Rivers, who was under heavy pressure.
Obviously, it’s too early to say Rivers is elite again, but the arrow is pointing upwards and things are looking good so far for the 10th-year veteran.