5 Reasons Why Philip Rivers Deserved the 2013 Comeback Player of the Year

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5 Reasons Why Philip Rivers Deserved the 2013 Comeback Player of the Year

CPOY
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Inconsistent, turnover-prone, loser; those are a few words the media used to describe Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers prior to the start of the 2013 NFL season. For two years he was an outcast in football. He was the leader of a team that failed to make playoffs while also leading the league in turnovers and producing mediocre passing statistics.

Most of this came as a surprise, because Rivers was everything you wanted in a quarterback in years prior. Since his first season in the league he commanded the field like a veteran, thriving off high percentage passes. Rivers appeared to be unbreakable. His love for the game flowed out of him on field, and no one could question his dedication to football.

Years and years of success still wasn't enough to get everyone behind his outstanding play. Failure in big games, like his AFC Championship loss to the New England Patriots in 2009, would eventually take a toll on Rivers and the Chargers' organization. The weapons Rivers once had were gone, and so were their chances of being contenders in the NFL.

For a while Rivers held it together, making due with players most of the world had never heard of. Again failure would put a damper on things, and Rivers' play would begin to slip. His stats started to fall right along with his team's production on the field. By the end of the 2011 season, Rivers was just another quarterback. His stats were down all across the board, including touchdowns, yards per completion and quarterback rating. He also threw for a league leading 20 interceptions. The 2012 season would be even worse as he threw close to 1,000 less yards than he had the year before. He was among the most sacked quarterbacks in the league, and he led the NFL in turnovers.

In 2013, the Chargers organization would be broken down and rebuilt. Head coach Mike McCoy was brought in to lead the change. Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt was called upon to work with Rivers in hopes of reestablishing him as one of the best players in the league. Rivers would step up in 2013, resurrecting his career and saving his legacy. He led the Bolts into the playoffs for the first time since 2009 while earning a selection in the Pro Bowl. His efforts wouldn't go by unnoticed. In the offseason, Rivers was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year, and here are five reasons he deserved the honor.

Brian Anderson is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrAnderson035 “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Less Turnovers

TOs
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After leading the league in turnovers in 2012, Rivers would cut his turnovers down by more than 50 percent. He finished the year with only 11 interceptions and two fumbles lost.

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4. Accuracy

Acc
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rivers' accuracy fell below the 65 percent mark from 2007-2011. In 2013, Rivers led the league in passing percentage by completing 69.5 of his passes.

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3. Leadership

Leader
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rivers' poise as the leader of the Chargers would serve as motivation for key players on the roster. Keenan Allen emerged as one of the best rookie prospects in the league behind Rivers' strong play. Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews also gained recognition this season with career-best numbers, and that wouldn't have happened without Rivers' help.

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2. Winning

Win
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers fought hard to make it into the postseason. Their chances were slim by Week 14, but Rivers would lead them on a winning streak that earned them an AFC Wild-Card spot. They would continue to surprise the league as they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 27-10 in the first round.

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1. QB Rating

qb
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Rivers finished the year with a 105.5 quarterback rating after failing to eclipse 90.0 in the two years prior. He threw for 4,478 yards and 30 touchdowns.


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