- Bill Williamson, ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter
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Circa 2008-2010, that was not an unreasonable response. Rivers was on the cusp of being an elite player quarterback. However, things have changed in the past couple of years. Rivers’ turnover rate has gone out of control and several talented quarterbacks emerged and overshadowed him.
I still think Rivers, 31, can be a top quarterback. It is not his fault the previous San Diego regime let skill-position players like Vincent Jackson, Darren Sproles and Mike Tolbert leave. It is not his fault his offensive line was ravaged by injuries. Rivers needs help. If he gets it, he can be terrific again.
But I can’t say I don’t have a big problem with Rivers not being on ESPN.com’s list of the top 100 players on offense. There are 15 quarterbacks on the list, which shows this is a golden age for NFL quarterbacks.
So, tough decisions have to be made. Rivers’ recent play doesn’t give him much equity. Of the 15 quarterbacks on the list, perhaps the only one I think I’d put Rivers over at this point is Chicago’s Jay Cutler, who is ranked at No. 97.
The new Chargers’ brass is excited about Rivers moving forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if his national reputation soars again, but because of the last two years, his omission from this list is understandable.
A few years ago, when asked my thoughts on San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers, I would give this stock answer: He’s the best player in the NFL without a Super Bowl ring.