If the Los Angeles Chargers had any hope after last week’s surprising win over the Green Bay Packers, Philip Rivers made sure to throw it all away in Week 10.
The Los Angeles Chargers needed to win on Thursday night. Then Philip Rivers happened.
The future Hall of Famer was inexcusably awful in the crucial primetime matchup, throwing three interceptions against the Oakland Raiders in a 26-24 loss. Rivers actually tossed five, but the others were called back on penalties.
The Chargers entered the affair with zero margin for error. And instead of building off their big win over the Green Bay Packers in Week 9, the Chargers proceeded to lose a critical game. This, just when it seemed like they were finally making some headway into entering the wild card picture.
Although the offensive line allowed five sacks and were eaten alive by rookies Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby, Rivers was the chief reason for the defeat.
Once again, Rivers was inaccurate and failed to move the ball effectively against a beatable Raiders secondary. Aside from the poor decisions that led to interceptions, Rivers averaged under seven yards per pass attempt, wasting a 100-yard day from running back Melvin Gordon.
Rivers relied far too much on dump-off passes to top option Keenan Allen, who was the only receiver to catch more than four passes among Rivers’ 31 attempts. The experienced signal-caller did just about everything wrong, failing to provide the leadership and timely play that the Chargers so desperately needed in this game.
That the Chargers even had a fighting chance in this game despite Rivers’ poor play speaks to how well Gordon and the defense played. Still, Los Angeles simply could not overcome Rivers’ mistakes and unthreatening checkdowns.
The Chargers are not eliminated from playoff contention at 4-6, but prospects are grim. The remaining schedule includes the Kansas City Chiefs twice, the Minnesota Vikings, a rematch with the Raiders and trips to Denver and Jacksonville.
Coming into the season, the Chargers were supposed to be a lock to win the Wild Card and a Super Bowl sleeper after last season’s 12-4 campaign. Now, the Chargers look like one of the 2019 seasons’s biggest disappointments, and it could take a miracle for them to crack the postseason. Based on how inconsistent Rivers, his line, and his receivers have been this season, that miracle may not come.
At the age of 37, Rivers’ lasting legacy in the NFL may be as the quarterback who was good but never quite good enough.
The time is ticking on Rivers, whose final chance at winning a Super Bowl ring may soon slip past his fingertips.