This past Sunday I started Philips Rivers over Robert Griffin III (wasn’t he supposed to have a concussion?) needless to say I’m feeling kind of bummed out right about now.
For the three years prior to last season Rivers was a sneaky good pick at quarterback. Ok well not really sneaky, but much easier to pick up then say a Tom Brady or Drew Brees, and his numbers were on par if not better than the others (he led the league in passing in 2010 with 4,710 yards). This leads to one of the major problems I have in fantasy football, once a player has a great season for my team I have a hard time letting go even if signs point to that being a good idea (probably why I still drafted Peyton Hillis this season). By all accounts Rivers had a tough season in 2011, he threw almost as many interceptions (20) as touchdowns (27), fumbled the ball 7 times, and had a quarterback rating under 100 for the first time since 2007. Despite his problems last season I felt confident Rivers would be back this year, and was excited at the inexpensive price he was going for in auction leagues, needless to say that excitement has officially ended now. After last nights 6 turnover game against Denver Rivers now stands at 10 touchdowns, 9 interceptions and 5 fumbles, not the season I was hoping for. Former teammate LaDainian Tomlinson stated last season that he thought the pressure of being the star player for the Chargers might be effecting Rivers performances. This assertion would seem to be based on the idea that Tomlinson was the before, and since his departure Rivers performance has suffered. However since Rivers had his best season as a professional the year after Tomlinson left this theory seems like it may be inaccurate. It seems more likely that injuries to star running back Ryan Matthews and the departure of receiver Vincent Jackson are effecting Rivers ability to bounce back from the troubles of last season. Finally head coach Norv Turner may have provided the most illuminating quote to reporters after the game, stating: “Someone who’s looking around and wants to make this about somebody, can make it about me.” Few observers would have an issue putting the focus for troubles with the Chargers on Turner who has the distinction of having coached the most games amongst NFL coaches with a losing record (110-116-1). At the time of this post the exact problem with Rivers still remains unclear. Does he have an undisclosed injury? Does he need more support from other members of his team to carry the load? Is it a mental problem? Is it the coach? While we may not get the answer to the question of what is wrong with Philip Rivers answered this year, I do know I’ll have Robert Griffin III back at quarterback this coming Sunday. As for the question of if I’ll draft Rivers for my fantasy team again next year it’s always a possibility (hey I’ve done it with Peyton Hillis twice and he only had one good season). I’m including a Philip Rivers highlight reel here for any other bummed out fantasy owners, just close your eyes any time an ex charger is on the screen and pretend its this season.