Thursday, September 5, 2013
What the stats say about Watt vs. Rivers
By Tania Ganguli
HOUSTON -- On his conference call with Houston media on Wednesday, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers discussed the turnover on his offensive line.
"We have four guys that are in new spots, three of them are new to the team," Rivers said. "Jeromey Clary moves right tackle to right guard. [Center] Nick Hardwick is the only guy in his spot from last year, so there’s been a lot of change. But I’m real confident, the team’s real confident in those five guys up front.”
Change could be a good thing for that line given some of last season's numbers. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Rivers was sacked on a league-high 8.4 percent of his drop-backs last season. The number was high for him, too. From 2008 to 2011 he was sacked on just 5.3 percent of his drop-backs.
That's a bad sign when facing a team that includes J.J. Watt, who led the NFL with 20.5 sacks last season and was especially effective against six or more pass blockers, notching a league-high 13.5 sacks in those situations.
Another fun stat to watch for this game: While Watt went on his swat party last season, Rivers did well avoiding that. Watt led the NFL with 16 batted passes, nearly twice as many as any other defender. Rivers only had four passes batted, fewer than 29 other quarterbacks.