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NFL San Diego Chargers

NFL MVP Race: 5 Reasons Philip Rivers Should Receive Serious Consideration

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5 Reasons Philip Rivers Belongs in MVP Discussion

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Christopher Hanewinckel - USA Today Sports

2012 was a season to forget for Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers. Despite not putting up horrible numbers (3,606 yards, 26 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and an 88.6 QB Rating) it was close to some of the worst numbers in his career. The year before Rivers threw a career-high 20 interceptions, and fans were starting to lose hope in the quarterback and the Chargers altogether.

Right now the Chargers sit at 5-7 this year but they are only one game out of the final wild card spot in the AFC. Because of tiebreakers they have to jump three teams to make it happen, but they are certainly not out of the discussion.

They have a pretty difficult schedule remaining with three of their final games against opponents in their own division. But if the Chargers are going to have any chance of making the playoffs it is going to be on the arm of Rivers.

His numbers this year are reminiscent of the three year run Rivers had when he was considered one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. From 2008-2010 Rivers threw for over 4,000 yards, at least 28 touchdowns, 13 or fewer interceptions and a rating of at least 101 in each of the three seasons. I will get into the numbers further down, but Rivers is right on par with this run. He was a Pro Bowler in two of those years and was All-Pro in 2009.

The team isn’t as good as years past, but they are in the hunt because of Rivers. That and these five reasons are why Rivers belongs in the NFL MVP discussion.

Zach Slotter is a contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @zslot6, Like his Facebook page and add him on Google.

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5. The Numbers

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Denny Medley - USA Today Sports

Rivers is 4th in the NFL in yards with 3,633 and sixth in rating at 104.4. He also leads the league in completion percentage as he’s currently going off at a 70 percent clip. The numbers don’t lie, and he is right up there with the rest of the league’s elite QBs.

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4. Signature Wins

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John Rieger - USA Today Sports

An MVP puts a team on his back when they need a win the most, and Rivers went on the road and beat the Kansas City Chiefs by having his best game of the season, throwing for 392 yards and three scores.

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3. Gets the Most out of Players

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Geoff Burke - USA Today Sports

Eddie Royal has seven touchdowns this season. That should be self-explanatory, but in case it’s not Rivers does a great job of allowing guys to overachieve because of what he brings from the quarterback position. He gets guys open with his arm, and guys like Eddie Royal and Ladarius Green are reaping the benefits.

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2. No Help

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Christopher Hanewinckel - USA Today Sports

Rivers is putting up some of the best numbers of his career while not having a ton of weapons. He lost two of his top receivers in Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd, and Antonio Gates is not the same player he once was. His leading receiver is a rookie in Keenan Allen. Rivers hasn’t been given much to work with, but he is putting up huge numbers regardless.

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1. Who Else?

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Steven Bisig - USA Today Sports

If you take a look at the potential MVP candidates right now it leaves room for Rivers to make a move if his team can put together a winning streak. Russell Wilson gets help from his defense, Nick Foles won’t even throw for 3,000 yards this year, Peyton Manning has nine interceptions in his last eight games and Cam Newton already has double digit interceptions. Every MVP candidate has something going against them, and if Rivers puts together a four-game winning streak, continues his gaudy numbers and leads the Chargers to the playoffs, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be in the discussion.