Monday Night Football in Mexico City. The stage was set for Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers to keep their season alive and take down a division foe. Unfortunately, the football gods had other plans.
In all honesty, if you look at the stat sheet, you would think that the Chargers dominated this game, and for the most part, they did. The Chiefs had 180 yards passing. The Chargers had 345. The Chiefs had 310 total yards. The Chargers had 438.
But games are won on the field and not in the box score. LA had horrible red-zone efficiency and lost the turnover battle by a large margin. Philip Rivers threw four interceptions, two of which came on the final two drives, the final being the game-ender.
It’s beginning to sound like we are beating a dead horse, but the Coach and I have talked multiple times on the Bleav In LA Football Podcast about whether or not Coach Anthony Lynn should take a chance at starting one of his other two quarterbacks that he has on the roster.
Rivers means so much to this franchise, but when it comes down to it, it’s a result’s business. Seven interceptions in the last two games and multiple game-sealing INTs throughout the season are very difficult for a team to overcome, regardless of the quarterback.
The team currently sits at 4-7, most likely out of the playoff race for the 2019 season. Whether or not you think Rivers is to blame for a few of these losses, what harm would it do to see what you have in either Tyrod Taylor or Easton Stick? I respect the hell out of Philip Rivers and his Iron Man streak, but at this point in the season, it would be foolish to not at least explore if your QB of the future currently resides on the roster.
Another game that the Chargers were in late but yet another Chargers loss. The LA Bolts lost to division rival Kansas City Chiefs in Mexico City 24-17. The defense played spectacularly and while many on the offensive side of the ball did what they were supposed to do, one key name left quite a bit to be desired. Philip Rivers.
The 16-year veteran threw four interceptions in the game and the final one came on a passing play that could’ve resulted in the game-tying score. Instead, Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen was able to high point the underthrown ball and seal the Chief’s victory.
Rivers has looked bad this year. It is clear as day that his ability is not what it once was. In the final year of his contract, it is worth discussing the realistic possibility of #17 not being a Charger anymore. Whether that be due to retirement or Tom Telesco deciding to end an era while simultaneously starting a new one.
I am not sure which would be weirder, the NFL without Philip Rivers or seeing him in a different uniform. I remember the first time I saw him play. It was December of 2003 and I was sitting with my grandfather in his basement watching the Tangerine Bowl. Rivers and his North Carolina State Wolfpack completely handled my favorite college team, the Kansas Jayhawks, 56-26.
Rivers was near perfect in his final game as a collegian. Going 37/45 for 475 yards and five touchdowns with zero interceptions. I was 13 years old at the time and thought to myself, “that guy is going to be awesome in the NFL.” That following April he became the fourth overall selection and the rest is, as they say, history. It was really easy for me to carry disdain for the guy that threw all over my beloved Jayhawks and then became the eventual face of the Chargers, a division rival of my beloved Chiefs.
As natural as it felt to dislike him, I respected him from the moment I saw him while visiting my grandfather on Christmas 16 years ago. While my respect for him only grew, my dislike dwindled over time. I found it difficult to dislike someone with such a competitive passion. Now, as I have had the pleasure to cover him the last few years, Philip Rivers deserves to be mentioned with some of the best to ever play the game. Regardless of what happens during the rest of 2019 and especially beyond, I will always tip my hat to #17 and remember him as one of the greats.