2017 Grade: .495
2017 3rd Down: .362
Week 1 at Denver: After a tumultuous start, Rivers had a hell of a night. Eight of his first 12 attempts came on third down and just one of his final 31 attempts came on the money down. It was a strange game for a number of reasons, but Rivers pinpoint accuracy and penchant for big plays late in this game gave his team hope when all seemed lost. He protects that bad offensive line from being even worse, by getting rid of the football just before chaos ensues.
Week 2 vs. Miami: Phil Rivers is such a star. Pairing anticipation with a quick release makes him a first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback (in my book.) His intimate knowledge of the Chargers passing concepts and ability to put the ball exactly where it needs to be, on time, is truly a joy to watch. Through two games, he has just five negatively graded plays out of 69 registered drop backs. The GIF below is a great display of his release and anticipation.
Week 3 vs. Kansas City:Phillip Rivers has two or three games a year where it just doesn’t go well for him – this was one of those games. Each of his three interceptions were terrible throws and or decisions, he missed open targets throughout the game, and couldn’t deal with the Chiefs tough pass rush. Burn the tape and move on.
Week 4 vs. Philadelphia: Rivers’ game was saved by a perfect throw, splitting two Eagles down the middle of the field for a 75-yard touchdown. Outside of that, Rivers is having a difficult time with the poor pass protection in front of him. No one throws the ball away more than LA’s newest quarterback, and his propensity to gamble is increasing with each loss the Chargers endure.
Week 5 at New York Giants: In a game with an over-the-hill-quarterback on the other side, Phil Rivers might be joining his fellow 2004 classmate. Rivers missed two WIDE OPEN touchdowns and had another horrendous pick in the end zone. He doesn’t trust his protection (and who could blame him) and his once flawless accuracy seems to be slipping. I’m not used to seeing Rivers play this poorly.
Week 6 at Oakland: Rivers sparkled on the last series of the game. Starting inside his own five-yard-line, Rivers led the Chargers into field goal range. Two dimes to Hunter Henry (one on a smash concept against cover-2, another on a wheel in man-coverage), got the LA offense rolling. Rivers had some misfires early, but his ability to step out of pressure was the difference.