All through 2013, we heard how the San Diego Chargers needed a new quarterback and how Philip Rivers was done as an elite signal-caller in the NFL. Then the season arrived and No. 17 decided he had enough of all that talk. Rivers capped a glorious season with 4,478 yards, 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions — second-best of his career in all three categories. In addition his passer rating of 105.5 was fourth among full-time starters in 2013. However, the fact he won Comeback Player of the Year is just a consolation as the Chargers’ quarterback was gunning for more this year.
After a sluggish start to the season (what else is new?), the Chargers won five of their last six games to clinch the final Wild Card spot in the AFC playoffs and then knocked off the Cincinnati Bengals on the road before mounting a ferocious comeback in the divisional round against the Denver Broncos that came up just short. Now the fact San Diego finished the season 8-8 puts a slight damper on Rivers’ fantastic season, but it also adds to his value to the team in 2013.
Still, the Chargers beat the Broncos on the road in Week 15, so they believed they could do it again in the playoffs and almost did after getting drubbed through the first three quarters. Rivers knows that his team was a lot more talented than its .500 record, but hasn’t that been the case with the Chargers pretty much every season for the entire Rivers era?
Make no mistake: Rivers was the unquestioned choice for Comeback Player of the Year. However, he would have much rather put together a better season and deeper playoff run, which seems to be getting harder for him, rather than easier as his career progresses.