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Saturday, February 1, 2014
Philip Rivers wins Comeback Player of Year

By Eric D. Williams

SAN DIEGO -- Although Philip Rivers believes he didn’t come back from anything, the voters disagreed, naming the veteran San Diego Chargers quarterback the 2013 Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year.

Rivers
Rivers received 13 first-place votes, nudging Denver running back Knowshon Moreno and Philadelphia offensive tackle Jason Peters, who finished with eight first-place votes each.

Rivers is the first San Diego player to win the award since Drew Brees in 2004.

Rivers had one of his best seasons statistically in his 10-year career. Rivers benefited from former offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt's conversion of San Diego's offense to a short passing game. Rivers finished in the top five in completion percentage (69.5 percent), yards per pass (8.23), passing yards (4,478), passing touchdowns (32) and passer rating (105.5).

Rivers had thrown a combined 48 interceptions in the past three years.

Teammate Ryan Mathews also had a resurgent season in 2013. The Fresno State product played a full, 16-game season for the first time in his NFL career, finishing with career highs in rushing attempts (285) and rushing yards (1,255) during the regular season.

The Chargers finished 7-1 in games that Mathews ran the ball at least 19 times during the 2013 regular season. However, Mathews did not receive a vote for the award.