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Philip Rivers Lights It Up in Win
Looking at the stat sheet, the numbers are awfully good for Philip Rivers.
419 yards. 36 of 47. Three touchdowns. Zero interceptions. A passer rating of 124.3.
Not only were the statistics outstanding, Rivers showed a confident command of the offense from his first snap all the way thru the game-winning final drive.
According to Head Coach Mike McCoy, his success breeds from his commitment to the system from the get-go.
“He deserves a lot of credit for buying in from the very first day we all came on board together,” said Head Coach Mike McCoy. “We know there’s change. We’re going to change the system. From day one he’s bought into what we are doing. He wanted to learn. It reenergized him I think a little bit. He’s had a lot of success up to this point and time, but he really bought in, and that was the key. We’ve been (saying) since the day we got here he’s going to have a great year. These are the type of games you expect great players to have. It’s not a shock at all to watch what he just did out there.”
Rivers was surgical throughout the game. He spread the ball around to eight different receivers and was successful throwing long as well as short. Rivers was smart in his decisions, and as a result didn’t turn it over. And as important as any other statistic, he was crisp on third downs as the team converted 10-of-15 in that crucial situation.
“Third downs were key,” he said. “It’s a down you’ve got to win. It gives you another set of downs, and you’re ultimately moving the ball. The way we’re playing in the red zone right now, it’s big. ”
From the offensive line to the wide receivers and all position groups in between, the entire Chargers offense believes in number 17. As a result, they were singing his praises in the locker room.
“If we give him time, we know Philip will do special things,” said Nick Hardwick. “That’s the kind of quarterback he is. Having this kind of game doesn’t surprise me. We all know what he is capable of.”
Eddie Royal, who had a standout game of his own with a career-high three touchdown catches, was equally effusive in his praise.
“With Philip, it’s a new offense,” he said. “He’s been in the same offense for so long, it shows you the type of player and work ethic that he has to learn this new offense and come out and do what he did today. It shows you that he’s a true professional.”
For Rivers, it was just another day at the office. But he admitted winning it in the manner they did was important for the team.
“This kind of game we’ve won our fair share of over the last seven or eight years, but it just hasn’t happened as often. It feels awesome. I think it shows a lot about our football team. It’s a gritty, gutty and tough football team. We’ve got a bunch of gritty, tough guys that fight to the end.”