Evan Silva


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Has Philip Rivers Peaked?

Friday, July 06, 2012

Week 1 versus Minnesota (2)

2nd Q (:10) -- Attempting to connect with Antonio Gates on a hitch route, Rivers' arm was obstructed as he threw by Vikings LE Brian Robison, who beat Chargers RT Jeromey Clary around the edge on a speed move. The football rainbowed into the hands of Vikings CB Antoine Winfield.

3rd Q (2:43) -- Rivers took C Nick Hardwick's shotgun snap and stared down RB Ryan Mathews, who was running a flat route out of the backfield. Vikings RE Jared Allen had Mathews covered and read the play all the way. Allen caught the interception cleanly, and returned it 14 yards downfield.

Week 2 at New England (2)

2nd Q (:19) -- Rivers took a quick three-step drop out of the shotgun and targeted RB Mike Tolbert on a flat route down the right hashmark. Pats NT Vince Wilfork read Rivers' eyes and jumped the route, tipping the pass into the air and to himself before returning it 36 yards to the Chargers' 30.

3rd Q (4:42) -- With his first read (Vincent Jackson) covered, Rivers forced a pass down the seam to Gates on a crossing route. Patriots S Sergio Brown picked up Gates in zone coverage and picked off Rivers' pass. Notably, CBS commentator Phil Simms remarked afterwards that Rivers appeared to "take something off the football. I thought (Gates) was open. But it took too long to get there."

Week 3 versus Kansas City (2)

1st Q (7:23) -- On third-and-eight, Rivers threw off his back foot and into double coverage, targeting Jackson on a deep corner route. The obviously underthrown pass was easily picked by Chiefs FS Kendrick Lewis. Rivers complained to the referees that CB Javier Arenas interfered with Jackson.

2nd Q (5:59) -- Challenging the defense deep from a clean pocket, Rivers overthrew Malcom Floyd 60 yards downfield and Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers intercepted the pass over his left shoulder. Rivers did show plenty of vertical arm power on the pass, but that's different from sheer velocity.

Week 5 at Denver (1)

1st Q (6:10) -- Lined up in the shotgun, Rivers flinged a pass into the slot intended for Patrick Crayton. While Rivers' pass was a bit behind the slanting Crayton, the football bounced off his hands and into CB Cassius Vaughn's, who returned it to the house. This pick was on Crayton.

Week 7 at Jets (2)

4th Q (11:09) -- Rivers targeted Jackson on a shallow cross over the middle, but the pass was too far behind its intended receiver, deflecting off Jackson's right arm and into the hands of CB Darrelle Revis. Even though the football hit Jackson's body, Rivers' ball placement was poor on the play.

4th Q (5:34) -- Sitting in a squeaky clean pocket, Rivers forced a throw down the middle intended for Jackson. Rivers apparently thought CB Kyle Wilson would break off his slot coverage, because he gunned it on a beeline to the Jets' nickel back, who was stationed directly in front of V-Jax. Wilson had Jackson covered throughout his route, so this seemed like either a poor read or an errant throw.

Week 8 at Kansas City (2)

1st Q (9:04) -- Rivers took a five-step drop after taking the snap from center, and threw deep down the middle for Gates. The pass was badly overthrown and picked off by Chiefs FS Kendrick Lewis. "As I've watched Philip Rivers this year, his ball control has not been good," ESPN's Ron Jaworski stated immediately after the interception, examining the replay. "(Gates) is there, but the ball sails."

1st Q (5:00) -- On third-and-four in the shotgun, Rivers threw short for Jackson over the middle. The ball was deflected by DE Wallace Gilberry at the line, and ILB Derrick Johnson came down with the pass. While Rivers should have had better awareness, Gilberry simply made a big-time play. "That was unlucky," said Jaws. Jon Gruden praised Romeo Crennel for deceptive combination coverages.

Week 9 versus Green Bay (3)

1st Q (4:49) -- Lined up in the shotgun on third-and-seven, Rivers threw behind Antonio Gates deep down the seam. The pass was tipped by Packers ILB Desmond Bishop and into the hands of SS Charlie Peprah, who returned it 40 yards to the house. Poor placement was to blame for this one.

1st Q (2:02) -- Rivers floated an underneath throw to Patrick Crayton on a quick out. Packers CB Tramon Williams jumped the route and easily picked off Rivers, returning the pass 43 yards to pay dirt. FOX analyst Brian Billick credited Packers DC Dom Capers' "trap coverage" for the big play.

4th Q (:33) -- Rivers tried to power a pass into double coverage of Vincent Jackson, but his throw had an egg-beater rotation, lacking velocity. Peprah got a great jump on the ball and intercepted it to seal the win for Green Bay. "Underthrew it, double coverage over the top," Billick observed.

Week 10 versus Oakland (1)

4th Q (3:38) -- Rivers dialed up a 42-yard touchdown bomb attempt in the direction of Vincent Jackson. Jackson lost it in the lights on Thursday Night Football, and wasn't even looking as Rivers' pass was caught in the end zone by Raiders FS Matt Giordano. "You gotta go after the football," NFL Network's Mike Mayock said after the play. We'll chalk this one up to bad luck.

Week 11 at Chicago (2)

4th Q (9:39) -- On third-and-ten, Rivers stepped up in the pocket and wobbled a 16-yard attempt in the direction of Vincent Jackson in scoring position. The pass was underthrown and picked off by Bears S Major Wright five yards deep in the end zone. Chicago had three defenders in the vicinity.

4th Q (1:56) -- Rivers rolled to his right on first-and-ten, and his body language suggested he was trying to throw the ball away. Instead, CB Corey Graham made a diving interception 20 yards downfield. "I am convinced he was trying to throw it away," said Simms. "And he just hooks it."

Week 16 at Detroit (2)

4th Q (4:50) -- Rivers dropped back with strong pass protection, and looked to test deep with Vincent Jackson facing off coverage and a safety over the top. Launching 43 yards downfield, Rivers underthrew his bomb attempt and the pass was picked off by Lions LCB Chris Houston.

4th Q (2:33) -- Rivers wanted to hit Ryan Mathews in the flat, but Lions LE Cliff Avril pushed RT Jeromey Clary backwards and leaped flat-footed into the air, intercepting the short pass. San Diego was backed up toward its own end zone, so Avril walked in untouched for the ten-yard touchdown.

Week 17 at Oakland (1)

1st Q (13:17) -- Rivers made a five-step drop, stepped up in the pocket, and took a shot downfield targeting Jackson. Jackson was surrounded by CB Lito Sheppard and FS Matt Giordano, and Rivers' pass was way off, overthrown and off target to the right. Giordano came down with the pick.

Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
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