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Rivers Shares the Wealth in Win
Having an elite quarterback goes a long way in the NFL, and Philip Rivers proved that Monday night in Oakland. The Bolts signal caller was in fine form, firing on all cylinders as he led the San Diego Chargers to a 22-14 opening night win.
For the game, the Chargers quarterback was 24 of 33 for 231 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 102.0%.
“I thought he managed the game well,” said head coach Norv Turner. “He did a good job on the critical third downs, getting us out of bad (situations). I thought he was accurate passing. He did throw the ball away when we didn't have anything."
Equally impressive was his ability to spread the ball around, connecting with seven different receivers. The longest tenured wideout, Malcom Floyd led all pass catchers with 66 yards and a touchdown on four receptions. The other six guys to haul in a pass were Robert Meachem (two for 49 yards), Antonio Gates (four for 43), Curtis Brinkley (three for 28), Ronnie Brown (five for 26), Le’Ron McClain (four for 15) and Eddie Royal (two for four).
“We’ve always had a lot of different guys touch the ball,” said Rivers. “It’s always been that way. It’s funny, because you always get asked in the offseason who is the one receiver, who’s the two, and the three – well they are all ones. That’s due to our system set up and our guys’ ability. The more you spread it out the harder it is for the defense to key in on one guy.”
That certainly was the case against the Raiders, as Rivers kept the defense off balance while methodically picking them apart. While the majority of the receiving core is new, Rivers was comforted by having some of his old reliable pass catchers out there, particularly Floyd.
“That’s how it’s been with him,” he said. “That’s the type of me-to-you, you –to-me factor that you get when you’re with a guy for nine years. Malcom always has made great plays on the ball if you give him the chance, and he did that tonight. The touchdown to him was just him knowing and me knowing. He made some great catches.”
Still, as Rivers was quick to reiterate, the offense isn’t about just one guy, but rather a number of receivers who can make a big play.
“All the guys contributed tonight,” he said. “It was nice to hit Meachem on a long one and get him going early. It’s the first start. It’s a long year, but all those guys will contribute.”
Equally as important as the number of passes number 17 completed was the fact that he didn’t throw any interceptions, an issue that plagued his 2011 campaign.
“If you go back since I've been playing here and we don't turn the ball over, it's 90-something percent we win,” he said. “That was key for the offense tonight… I've always tried to take care of the football and be smart, but certainly you have to be able to manage the situation. "