QB Watch: Chargers' Philip Rivers

October, 9, 2013
10/09/13
12:00
PM ET
A weekly examination of the Chargers' quarterback play:

Rivers
Rewind: Philip Rivers was productive against the Raiders, throwing for more than 400 yards for the third time in his past four games. Of course, the issue with Rivers was the three interceptions, including two inside the red zone in the final quarter that stopped potential scoring chances. Up until the Oakland contest, Rivers had been careful with the ball, with just two interceptions through four games. Even with the tough outing against Oakland, Rivers is fourth in the NFL in passing yards (1,610), second in passing touchdowns (13), second in completion percentage (73.8 percent) and third in passer rating (110.5).

Fast-forward: San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt needs to get Rivers back on track by emphasizing the importance of taking care of the football. The Colts have forced 10 turnovers through five games, including seven interceptions. So Rivers has to balance when to take shots down the field versus being conservative and willing to punt. With that approach, Rivers can avoid making bad decisions and turning the ball over against a ball-hawking Indianapolis defense.

Brown emerges: Third-year receiver Vincent Brown has developed into a reliable target for Rivers. Brown has been targeted 18 times in the past two games, totaling 15 receptions for 158 yards. Brown has 23 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown on the year, and seven of his receptions have come on third down.

Prediction: Balance on offense will be important for Rivers this week. With that in mind, Rivers will complete 27 of 34 passes for 285 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Eric D. Williams

ESPN San Diego Chargers reporter

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