Old man Rivers: Chargers Fall to Chiefs

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

The Chiefs won tonight because they made less mistakes. They were far from perfect, but they did enough to win and that's ultimately what matters.
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 18: Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks on from the sidelines during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Estadio Azteca on November 18, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)

At 37 years old, quarterback Philip Rivers is the third-oldest active starting QB in the National Football League, and he's really starting to show his age.


On Monday Night Football in Mexico City, the Chargers took on their division rival, the Kansas City Chiefs. Los Angeles lost 24-17, but they could've easily won the game if Rivers hadn't thrown four interceptions.


That's not a typo. He really threw a total of four picks, each to a different Chiefs player.


Rivers finished the night with a 49.6 passer rating, his lowest total of the season by approximately eight points. He set his previous season low of 57.5 when he threw three interceptions against the Oakland Raiders last week.


Both offenses struggled in the first half. Chargers kicker Michael Badgley made three of four field goals in the first half, which constituted all of the Chargers scoring for the first 30 minutes of the game.


The Chiefs took longer to score, putting up a goose egg in the first quarter, but made up for lost time by scoring 10 in the second. Halfback LeSean McCoy ran the ball in to the endzone from the 6-yard line, and K Harrison Butker kicked a 41-yard field goal to bring the score to 10-9 at halftime.


The Chiefs came out with a vengeance in the second half. On their opening drive, HB Darrell Williams rushed in a 6-yard touchdown to put the Chiefs up 17-9. Later on in the third quarter, QB Partick Mahomes hit superstar tight end Travis Kelce for a 23-yard touchdown through the air. All of a sudden the score stood at 24-9, and the Chiefs had broken the game wide open.


The Chargers came roaring back with their first, and only, touchdown of the game on a 7-yard pass from Rivers to wide receiver Keenan Allen. Allen, the number one target on the Chargers team, scored for just the fourth time this season and the first time since Week 3. A successful two-point conversion pass to Hunter Henry put some life back into the contest, cutting the Chargers' deficit to just one score.


The Chiefs gave the ball back to the Chargers with two minutes left and the score still sitting at 24-17. Los Angeles would have to go 91 yards to score.


After eight plays, the Chargers had moved the ball just 16 yards. It now sat at their own 25, and all hope seemed lost.

'

Suddenly, Rivers and WR Mike Williams reignited the fans’ hopes, completing a 50-yard pass which moved the ball to the Chiefs 25. Rivers then completed an 11-yard pass to HB Austin Ekeler, the teams leading receiver in catches and yards on the night, to put the ball at the 14-yard line with 41 seconds left.


Then, as the Rivers and the Chargers always seem to do, they blew it.


Rivers through an interception to safety Daniel Sorenson. Mahomes kneeled and the Chiefs walked off the field with a victory.


MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 18: Defensive back Rashad Fenton #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates an interception in the fourth quarter over the Los Angeles Chargers at Estadio Azteca on November 18, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)

The Chiefs won tonight because they made less mistakes. They were far from perfect, but they did enough to win and that's ultimately what matters. Kansas City improved to 7-4, and they still hold a half game lead over the Raiders in the AFC West heading into their Week 12 bye.


The Chargers' playoff hopes were slim coming into this game, and the loss on Monday has all but eliminated the Bolts from playoff contention.


And if the Chargers can't make the playoffs, then it's time to start tanking. There is a lot of depth at quarterback in the 2020 NFL draft, and it seems like it's time for Los Angeles to find a new QB.


Rivers left this game with just one more total touchdowns than interceptions on the season, a 15:14 ratio. He's a prolific QB, but he's not elite and never really has been. Rivers has the most losses of seven point or less, 61, of any quarterback in the Super Bowl era.


Los Angeles has a solid receiving core, an amazing defense and a solid running back duo. A 4-12 finish, their potential record if they lose every game the rest of the season, could land them a quality QB in the first round. Oregon QB Justin Herbert and Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts could be possible replacements for Rivers. Even QB Tua Tagovailoa could go to the Bolts after sustaining a hip injury this weekend, though the Chargers might be scared off by his hip surgery.

Whatever the Chargers decide to do, two things are clear: Father Time has caught up with Rivers, and Rivers certainly isn't the QB he once was.



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