I love my Chargers. I really do. They're currently at 10-5 following a horrendous 1-3 start. They've won 10 or more games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since Reagan's inagural year. LaDainian Tomlinson is leading the chase for the rushing title. I love my Chargers.
Although I'm disappointed in them, too. A while ago I stated that, should the Chargers finish anything less than 12-4, I would consider the season a disappointment. Well, the best they can finish is 11-5. And, yes, I consider this season a disappointment. Salvaged, of course, but still disappointing.
And then there's Philip Rivers. The highly-touted, overrated, and underperforming quarterback of the team. He replaced Drew Brees last season, and despite leading the Chargers to 14-2 last year, Rivers hasn't come anywhere close to Brees' accomplishments.
Brees' QB rating last year was 96.2 compared to Rivers' 92.0. This year, Brees is sitting at 90.8. Rivers? 81.4. Brees connects to receivers anywhere on the field. Long, short, left, middle, right. Rivers? Oh, he's got the long and short down. The middle, too. But left and right? The dude can't throw a screen pass to stop a fly. Brees has 10 more touchdowns in the past 2 years then Rivers does, and only 3 more interceptions. To qualify that, Brees has thrown over 1100 times for over 8500 yards. Rivers has less than 900 attemps for barely 6400 yards.
Sure, the Chargers have a better running game than the Saints, so perhaps Rivers doesn't need to throw as much, but then again, perhaps the Chargers coaches don't trust Rivers to throw more often.
Regardless, I believe that Rivers will continue to improve and eventually become one of the elite quarterbacks in the National Football League, like Drew Brees currently is. He probably won't ever be as efficient at Brees (hard to do), but he'll probably become as effective. Although Rivers has yet to win a playoff game. Brees has.
Still... Rivers needs to learn to shut up. He has a reputation around the league for being a shit-talker. And while he may feel he deserves to shit-talk due to his 24-8 record as a starter (including playoffs), he hasn't shown enough consistency to claim a large enough portion of credit for those victories.
What he was taped doing on the sidelines to Broncos QB Jay Cutler was ridiculous and embarrassing. Yes, there is room for talking smack in football. But Rivers is not a linebacker, not a guard or tackle, not a running back or a safety. He is a quarterback. The most professional of positions. The de facto leader of the team. Even the other NFL quarterbacks who have a propensity to mouth off rarely, if ever, go after an opposing quarterback the way Rivers did.
I love my Chargers. But Philip Rivers needs to just play the game... and shut the fuck up.