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Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon in MVP Discussion


We're now over a third of the way through the 2018 season.

In two weeks, we'll be at the midpoint, so there's been more than enough of a sample size to start discussing who is in the running for some of the most prestigious league awards.

Now, every single NFL player suits up with one single goal – to win the Super Bowl. Still, that doesn't stop pundits and fans alike from discussing who they believe deserves to take home the hardware.

The most prestigious of the awards is for Most Valuable Player, and as we enter Week 7, two Chargers belong in the discussion.

Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon.

Rivers has been in the headlines lately when it comes to the league's MVP as he is off to one of the best starts of his career.

He's completed 133 of 194 attempts (68.6 percent) for 1,702 yards with 15 touchdowns to only three interceptions. That's good enough for a 115.1 passer rating. Rivers is averaging 8.8 yards per attempt, which is tied for second in the league with Patrick Mahomes of any quarterback with at least 100 passes.

In addition, the future Hall of Famer ranks second in passer rating (115.1), third in the league in touchdown passes (15), sixth in percentage of completions to go for first downs (42.3) and fourth in completions of at least 20-plus yards (27).

Equally impressive is what Rivers has done while pressured.

According to ESPN, the 36-year-old has the league's best quarterback rating when flushed outside the pocket. It's not even close. Number 17's rating is 147.9 while Matt Ryan is second at 118.3. Meanwhile, per Pro Football Focus, Rivers is the top quarterback under pressure by a good amount, posting a 121.2 rating while Ryan Fitzpatrick is the next closest at 98.4.

Meanwhile, Gordon's campaign is a little more under the radar, but every bit as worthy as he's emerged as one of the game's top all-around running backs.

The fourth-year pro has toted the rock 91 times for 466 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry while totaling six rushing touchdowns. Those 466 yards rank third in the NFL while his 5.1 yards per carry is the league's eighth-highest mark.

In addition, Gordon has caught 30 passes for 279 yards and three receiving touchdowns. Add it all up and his nine touchdowns rank second in the NFL while his 121 combined touches and 745 yards from scrimmage both rank fourth. 

There is a lot of football left to be played, and the sole focus throughout the regular season is on earning a postseason berth, but it's clear through six weeks that Rivers and Gordon have been among the NFL's elite playmakers.

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