Wednesday, October 16, 2013
QB Watch: Chargers' Philip Rivers
By Eric D. Williams
A weekly analysis of the Chargers' quarterback play.
Rewind:Philip Rivers had another solid performance against Indianapolis. No, he didn't become the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 400 yards in three straight games, but Rivers finished 22-of-33 for 237 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown to rookie Keenan Allen. He completed passes to seven receivers, took two sacks instead of throwing the ball up for grabs and had a 97.7 passer rating.
Fast-forward: Rivers and the Chargers' receiving group might be salivating after taking a look at Jacksonville's stat sheet defensively. The Jaguars are giving up a league-high 33 points a contest. Jacksonville is tied for last in the league in passing touchdowns allowed (14) and has given up 23 passing plays of 20 or more yards this season. Still, the Chargers aren't in a position to underestimate anyone after what happened in Oakland two weeks ago, and that includes the winless Jaguars.
Dunlap shines: In his first game back after missing two weeks with a concussion, King Dunlap graded out as the best left tackle in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. Rivers praised the play of his offensive line against one of the best pass-rushers in the league in Robert Mathis of Indianapolis. The NFL's leading sack man finished with two tackles and no sacks against San Diego, as Dunlap and D.J. Fluker consistently pushed the speed rusher past Rivers, and the interior held firm, giving the San Diego quarterback room to step up in the pocket.
Prediction: The Chargers will continue to lean on the run game, with the Jaguars giving up a league-worst 152 rushing yards a contest. Rivers finishes 23-for-27 for 240 yards and two touchdowns.