Just last week, we were talking about Philip Rivers being a real MVP candidate (well, at least if Peyton Manning wasn’t being Peyton Manning). While the San Diego Chargers quarterback ranks third in passer rating, second in completion percentage, third in yards, and second in touchdowns through five games, his play has been very uneven in between games.
Rivers has already played two of the best games of his career this season. In week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Rivers completed 76.6 percent of his passes for 419 yards, three touchdowns, and topped it off with a game-winning drive. In Week 4 against the Dallas Cowboys, Rivers helped the Bolts overcome an 11-point deficit, completing 83.3 percent of his passes for 401 yards and three scores. The performance was the highest completion percentage in NFL history for a 400-yard passer.
Though he threw for 400 yards for the third time in just five games this season (he had three career 400-yard games in his previous nine seasons) against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Rivers was shaky at times, waited too long for things to develop, and turned the football over three times too many.
Rivers was also pretty mediocre against the Tennessee Titans. Though he finished the game with an 83.3 completion percentage, most of the passes were of the short variety as he only threw for 184 yards. Against the Houston Texans in the season opener, Rivers played equally as bad in the second half as he was good in the first half, starting the game with four touchdown passes and ending the game with four three-and-outs and a pick six.
Rivers has been quite inconsistent through the first five games, and it’s tough to guess which Philip Rivers will show up on each Sunday. The only victories the Chargers have been able to muster out this season was when Rivers had near-perfect games. With all the injuries, a struggling defense, and questionable depth at just about every position, Rivers will need to be near-perfect for the remainder of the season if the Bolts expect to win any more games.