Once heralded as one of the league’s best quarterbacks, Philip Rivers would be lucky to still be in the top ten quarterbacks on most lists.
But it is tough to tell if the 2012 season was more of a fluke or the start of a decline for the 31-year-old quarterback.
ESPN Analyst and former quarterback Ron Jaworski described Rivers’ play as "deteriorating", which would indicate he favors the latter. Other NFL analysts believe Rivers has lost a bit of his arm strength as well.
Jaws still loves the way Rivers “commands the offense”, but also said the quarterback broke away from his natural pocket passer position and tried to make too many things happen forcing balls down the field. Of course, good quarterbacks should try to make things happen when their team is losing as often as the Chargers did last year.
One should also not discount that last year, besides parts of 2010, was the first time Rivers did not have wide receiver Vincent Jackson to throw to. Jackson was San Diego’s top wide out for much of his career starting in 2005. Jackson had career bests in receptions and receiving yards this past season with Tampa Bay.
The Chargers hope Philip Rivers can return to form this season after breaking his 4,000 passing yards streak last year. Rivers threw for over 4,000 yards the previous four seasons. Rivers also threw for the fewest touchdowns in his career since 2007.
New Charger coach Mike McCoy might be the perfect man to get San Diego’s quarterback back on track. McCoy has a knack for getting the most out of his quarterback no matter what his skill set. McCoy was the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos from 2010-2012, which saw two playoff berths, one with Tim Tebow and the other with Peyton Manning under center.
In fact, many doubted Manning’s arm strength towards the beginning of the season last year, but with McCoy, Denver finished 13-3. San Diego hopes for more of the same this year proving Rivers’ 2012 season was just a fluke.