1. Welcome to Los Angeles Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the Los Angeles Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Philip Rivers: Calm amid the raging storm

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Chargers QB becoming expert at late heroics

    If not for three points, a mere 26 seconds, Philip Rivers is being compared with Joe Montana.
    Too much, too soon? Perhaps.
    But factor in the overtime victory at Tennessee last December and the one-legged performance in January's AFC Championship Game, and Rivers is building a legacy of heroics.
    He is doing that regardless of the Chargers' 0-2 start going into Monday night's game against the New York Jets, it's just not quite what it might have been.
    "These are the situations you dream about," Rivers said this past week. "But winning them is the key."
    True, few have probably ever dreamed of leading their team back from nine points down with 10 minutes to play and 14 down in the third quarter in back-to-back weeks, taking leads, then standing helplessly on the sideline as their opponent snatched the victory away – the Panthers winning 26-24 on a touchdown as time expired, the Broncos winning 39-38 on a touchdown and two-point conversion with 24 seconds remaining.
    Not Rivers' fault, at least not at the end.
    While Rivers has spent much time lamenting after both games plays he could have made early, there is not much more he could have done late in either contest.
    From the moment Carolina went up 19-10 and Denver went up 31-17 to the time a Rivers touchdown pass put the Chargers up in both games, he completed 16-of-25 passes for 297 yards and four touchdowns. That's a 144.5 passer rating.
    "It's been a lot of fun," he said. "... The feeling of scoring and going ahead when you've been down, it's ... I don't know how to explain it. But then you end up on the wrong end of it."
    His success is a result of increased patience, resilience and understanding of his offense and the players in it.
    The Rivers of now, two games into his third season as a starting NFL quarterback, can best be contrasted to the Rivers of early 2007 and even 2006 by considering the contrast between two words – calm vs. antsy.
    Play after play shows this is a man who knows the offense and is comfortable in it, practically sharing a mind with Norv Turner, and who has developed a sort of sixth-sense rapport with his receivers.
    He used to look at times as if he were imitating a horse, galloping in the pocket. If the Chargers' line didn't open up the Red Sea for him, there was often trouble.
    In 17 games (including playoffs) from mid-2006 to late 2007, Rivers threw 18 touchdown passes and was intercepted 17 times. His completion rate wasn't even 57 percent, and his passer rating was a mere 75.5.
    In the 11 games since last Nov. 25 against Baltimore, Rivers has completed 61 percent of his passes, thrown 20 for touchdowns and been intercepted eight times for a 96.7 passer rating.
    It's not just the numbers. It's how he sidestepped a half-dozen sacks against Carolina. It's how he stepped up away from a defender in front of the end zone and threw a perfect 21-yard pass over one defender and in front of another into Vincent Jackson's arms at Denver.
    "It's letting everything happen," Rivers said. "... It's not like it's things I've never done, but it's being more consistent."
    Rivers believes his success is a result of the Šnatural process‰ of being together with a group of receivers and a play-caller (Turner) for a period of time.
    It is true he is blessed with Chris Chambers, Antonio Gates and Jackson. Turner is an unquestioned quarterback builder. Rivers has also benefited from teams stacking against the run.
    But Rivers deserves much credit.
    Chambers has noticed the ball coming out of Rivers' hand quicker and sailing through the air more like a jet in his second year of them working together.
    "He has some steam on the ball," Chambers said. "Last year they would float a little bit."
    Rivers and others believe that is because of his offseason rehab from ACL reconstruction. He strengthened the leg muscles around his knee in addition to working more strenuously on his upper body.
    Less tangible but perhaps more important, there is an air about Rivers, always there in spurts, never more evident in every move.
    "He looks healthier and more athletic than I've seen since I've been here," Jackson said. "It's in his confidence, his relationship with Norv, being on the same page, having a better feel for this offense. He's doing everything with confidence."
    And never more evident with a game in the balance.
    "You can feel it in the huddle, feel it in two-minute drives, when we're backed up," Jackson said. "He's coming into the huddle with an aggressive mind-set, like we're going to score."

  2. HughC

    HughC BoltTalker

    May 3, 2008
    Can't wait to hear the national mediots' explanations when Rivers wins tonight while their hero Lord Favre loses another game.

Share This Page