Rivers Struggles Await

Sit and watch is what quarterbacks secretly want as a rookie. When that turns into the same situation as a second year player anxiousness is arise. Philip Rivers drew the heat on the Chargers franchise to make a decision last year, and they countered by signing Brees to a one year deal. The deal was a move to lay over the franchises decision on which quarterback to move forward with. With Drew Brees’s shoulder injury as a major question, the Chargers decided they could not afford that with a talented Rivers awaiting. So unlike fellow drafted quarterback Eli Manning, Rivers will enter his third season basically as an untested rookie. Did Rivers learn a lot mentally from watching or will he need to take all his bumps and bruises this season?

The two best things for Rivers are the same two reasons Brees looked so calm as a Charger. LT and Antonio Gates play their positions at the top rank, and will surely keep their skill levels at a high rate. With LT on the field he makes it tremendously easy for the quarterback. Whether it is a simple ordinary handoff or LT’s dangerous abilities out of the backfield as a receiving back. The assurances of a reliable back will always be there.

A worry there could be that LT has taken a lot of burden on his shoulders, and started to wear down a bit last year because of it. If there is ever a year the Chargers will need to work him more early on in the season, it will be now. The Chargers do not want to risk the health of LT and may give an extra dosage to backup Michael Turner.

Another concern has to be the Chargers wide receivers. Yes, Antonio Gates has been used primarily as the main receiving factor, but they will need someone other than Gates to emerge. Keenan McCardell has done a decent job as a Charger, but has to feel the age of his recently retired partner Jimmy Smith. It is odd to have a 36 year old receiver as your number one, especially with no one reliable behind McCardell on the depth chart. Eric Parker has been a Charger for years but has never emerged because he should not be a starting wide receiver.

As long as LT and Antonio Gates stay healthy then Rivers should be fine. Do not expect Rivers to have many huge passing days, but to have a solid season. Maybe an average of 210 to 220 yards a game and fifteen to the high teens in touchdowns. Marty Shottenheimer is going to do everything in his power to keep games close. The defense is strong especially at stopping the run, and that alone will keep them in games.

What the Chargers do not want to do, is let Philip Rivers lose games for them. That’s a department the Chargers never were too concerned with Drew Brees. He always kept his interceptions low, and that was vital in the Chargers success.

So from a fantasy standpoint, Rivers is not worth drafting at all. You may think about snatching him off the waiver wire in preseason, if the offense looks smooth with him out there. Rivers will be one of a few starting quarterbacks to get plenty of time in the preseason. Like most first time starters Rivers will be sluggish and that will lead to him shying away from the big play. Over time though he will be a nice fantasy quarterback as he has all the intangibles to be the cornerstone franchise quarterback for the Chargers.


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