San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) gets hit by Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Trent Cole (58) as he releases the ball during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chargers defeated the Eagles 33-30. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Philip Rivers has best QB Rating on 3rd down

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has been on an absolute tear through two weeks of the regular season, and it looks like Rivers is finally back to his former self. His offensive line is no longer horrendous, and new head coach Mike McCoy also seems to have a significant role in the re-invigoration of Rivers’s career. At this point, it would be criminal not to regard Philip Rivers as a top ten quarterback again, and he has been one of the best quarterbacks on the season overall.

Rivers has a 115.8 QB Rating and a 65.8% completion percentage, so he is back to his old, accurate self again as well. He is currently second in the league in ESPN’s advanced statistic TQBR (only Peyton Manning is ranked higher), and Rivers has indeed been the second-best QB in the league so far this season. His opponent today will be the Tennessee Titans, and I have a nice nugget of a statistic to share on Rivers regarding his play on third-down this season.

Stats can help give us an interesting look at the game we love, and I was very much interested in looking up which quarterback has been playing the best on third-down situations this year. I punched in my query in the Pro Football Reference Play Index, and Philip Rivers is the best QB in the league thus far on third downs

So how good is Rivers in these situations? Incredibly good. Rivers has a sky-high 132.0 QB Rating on third downs, and he is averaging 9.3 yards per attempt in those situations. His completion percentage might be even more impressive, as Rivers’s 20-25 line yields an 80% completion percentage that is also tops in the NFL. Philip Rivers has 232 yards, two touchdowns, and, predictably, no interceptions on those 25 third-down tosses. Peyton Manning? He’s second to Rivers in third-down QB Rating at 129.2

Just another potentially interesting statistical quirk, and Philip Rivers is certainly getting it done for the San Diego Chargers on third down, among other situations. It’s just two weeks, but I still found the results to be notable through 25 attempts.

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Tags: Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers

  • Pridenpoise

    It’s way to early to proclaim Rivers back, talk to me in another 6 weeks, because I am not sold, and that’s not because I’m a Raider fan, the Chargers are notorious for choking midway thru the season, and Rivers will contribute to the choking. IMO

    • Joe Soriano

      I totally get where you’re coming from, since it’s difficult to accurately draw conclusions after two weeks. The main reason why I believe he is “back” is because I never really believed he ever “left”, you know? The past two seasons, Rivers had some of the worst offensive linemen in the league “blocking” for him, and his receivers weren’t exactly good either. I think there are still some issues around him, but he has a better coaching staff and just looks downright better. The line isn’t pathetic anymore, and the receivers look better than last year’s bunch too, even with the injuries. The Chargers are notorious chokers, but that notoriety was built under a different coaching staff and different circumstances. I don’t view Rivers as a choker at all, and I legitimately think he’s been the one making the Chargers look better than they are right now since he’s been playing so well. I hope he keeps it up, but I’m worried that the rest of the team won’t be looked at so favorably when we look at the situation in November.

  • 619chargers4life

    Don’t sleep on rivers red zone performance

    • Joe Soriano

      Trust me, you don’t have to worry about me sleeping on Rivers.

  • Bill Nichols

    Was this written before Sunday’s game? I do love me some Rivers, and have never lost the faith in his skills. I do however question some of the play calling during the lose Sunday, but totally put that on the line being askew yet again. As the O-line goes, so does Philip. And it really doesn’t even matter what the run game is doing. Protect him and he will most times get us the “W”, he spreads the ball around so well, keying on one receiver or tight end will not help defenses. We need King, Flucker, Chad, and Clary to be healthy. Please tell me, how do we get 2 linemen with concussions?? Aren’t they hardest to be concussed on the entire squad? Anyway, I really hope Rivers sticks it up every doubters “you know what”, he is one hell of a competitor. Bolt Up!!

    • Joe Soriano

      Yes, this was written before the game, and it’s a bit crazy how some of what I said about Rivers carrying the team came true in the loss. Nothing can really be pinned on Rivers, since he went 20-24 and averaged 7.7 Y/A with no picks. Those are excellent numbers, and Rivers has been killing it so far this year; Week 3 was no different. I was dissed by a Chargers fan before the game who was upset with my criticism of Mathews, and I think we all saw just how unreliable the guy is.