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.