You won’t find us saying that Philip Rivers is washed up, not a year after he enjoyed arguably the best season of his career. However, it’s 2019 now and a new season, and Rivers has not come close to reproducing the Hall of Fame-level play he showed last season, raising serious concerns about his future.
Rivers was intercepted four times in Monday night’s 24-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Mexico City. For the second straight game, Rivers threw multiple interceptions and was picked off on his final pass of the game as he was trying to lead his Los Angeles Chargers to a comeback win.
Rivers went 28-for-52 for 353 yards with a touchdown and four picks. He fumbled once, but his team recovered the ball. The team had a few drops, while the offense’s plan seemed to be having Rivers heave the ball into traffic and hoping his receiver would come down with the ball. He didn’t see Tyrann Mathieu on an interception that led to Kansas City’s first touchdown of the game. The way he was picked off on that play was reminiscent of what happened in the loss to the Raiders when Erik Harris got him three times, though the third interception was negated by a penalty.
Rivers appears to be telegraphing passes. When he’s not doing that, he’s getting fooled by coverages, according to ESPN analyst Booger McFarland. He also was sloppy in getting balls batted down at the line of scrimmage or even throwing balls into his lineman’s head.
Can Rivers not throw over a defenseman lineman’s head?
— SportsTalk with Kash (@lazysportsdude) November 19, 2019
Rivers has been outright bad and costing the Chargers the last few games. He’s up to 14 picks in 11 games thanks to his seven interceptions in their last two losses. The 14 interceptions puts him second in the league behind only Jameis Winston.
The combination of facing the Raiders on the road in a short week and then heading to Mexico City was tough, but Rivers’ stretch really could not have gone worse. He needs to improve his play rapidly to show that he’s not done as a successful quarterback in this league. He’s been able to defy age — he turns 38 next month — but he has not looked good this season — especially the last two weeks.