San Diego Chargers’ Philip Rivers’ Ascension in QB Hierarchy is Justified

By Anthony Blake
Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This season has been an on again, off again tale for San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. The signal caller in San Diego has backed up less than stellar performances with 400-plus yard showings twice this season resulting in two wins for the Bolts. There’s no doubt the team’s success hinges on Rivers’ right arm, and it seems like the public perception of the beleaguered QB is making a rebound as a result.

In a much talked about preseason QB rankings by talking head Ron Jaworski, the ESPN analyst rated Rivers a very modest 17th below the likes of Robert Griffin III, Tony Romo, and even Jay Cutler. The remix of Jaws’ QB rankings were recently released at the season’s quarter pole, and unsurprisingly Rivers has taken an enormous leap with his play so far this year. The San Diego Chargers trigger man is now ranked on the cusp of the top 5 at No. 6 of all QBs in the NFL.

Whether this is too high, too low, or just right has yet to be determined, but what isn’t up for debate is just how important Rivers is the Chargers’ hopes now and moving forward. There were plenty of whispers that the team could choose to cut bait with their longtime man under center if 2013 was another disappointing showing.

After 2011 and 2012 totaled 55 turnovers combined the concern surrounding the leader in the San Diego huddle was justified. What has happened this season under the watch of head coach Mike McCoy and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is nothing short of a career resurrection. After former coach Norv Turner forced Rivers into a down field throw nearly every play, the new offensive duo in San Diego is preaching quick passes with short drops to minimize pressure and maximize productivity.

The results speak for themselves with just two turnovers through four games for the man everyone had written off coming into this season. His 73.9 percent completion rate is absolutely astounding, and there’s no doubt that the problem for the past few seasons was the offensive system rather than the man running the offense. Hopefully this conscientious play from Rivers continues in 2013, and the Chargers can regain relevancy in what has become a cutthroat AFC West division.

Anthony Blake is a Senior Writer/Copy Editor for Rant Sports. You Can Follow Him on Twitter, on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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