PFT 2019 storyline No. 26: Was last year Philip Rivers’ last, best chance?

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In only their second season back in L.A., the Chargers had a season to remember. The campaign ended in disappointment, with a divisional-round loss at New England, the Chargers’ first loss of the entire year away from Los Angeles.

Citing the close, hard-fought nature of most games, quarterback Philip Rivers has said that the Chargers could have been anywhere from 16-0 to 6-10. Which makes their ability to win 12 and to make it to the playoffs impressive, but which also raises real questions as to whether they can do it again.

It’s incredibly difficult for an NFL team to piece together, week by week, a special season, to have it end abruptly in a playoff game that was over barely after it began, and to start all over again the next season, from 0-0. An ugly or close loss or two in September can derail everything, creating a sense that this year simply won’t be nearly as special as last year, and providing a reminder that 12-4 can indeed sink to 8-8 or worse.

The broader question is whether last year is as special as it’s ever going to be for Rivers, who’s getting closer and closer to the end of the road and who may have a hard time getting as close as he did last year.

Really, the heartbreaking loss didn’t come in mid-January as much as it came in late December, when the Chargers lost on a Saturday night at home to the Ravens, preventing the Chargers from winning the AFC West and capturing the No. 1 seed. That’s the key to setting the stage for a Super Bowl run, something that Rivers has had only a couple of legitimate prior chances to accomplish and that these Chargers may have a very hard time duplicating in 2019.

They’ll be tested right out of the gates, with a visit from the Colts, a trip to Detroit, and a home game against the Texans. Challenges are looming against the Steelers, at Chicago, against the Packers, and of course twice against the Chiefs — including a return to Arrowhead Stadium in Week 17. They have plenty of talent, they have excellent coaching, and another playoff appearance isn’t a stretch. However, Rivers may never get another shot at a Super Bowl like the one he got last year. Whether the Chargers collectively can do it is a significant storyline for 2019.

24 responses to “PFT 2019 storyline No. 26: Was last year Philip Rivers’ last, best chance?

  1. I am a Chiefs fan, which means I hate the Chargers, but I would never count Philip Rivers out of any game. He is scary good as well as scary bad. Don’t ever count him out tho.

  2. Rivers will get injured, and Tyrod Taylor will come in and will finally play with a team that actually has some receivers. The division not being loaded with great defenses will also help. Chargers win the Super Bowl. Book it. 😎

  3. I think the 2006 season when New England stole it from them was his last, best chance.

  4. It really is huge to get that 1 or 2 seed. Just look at the eagles from 2017-18 to 18-19. That saints team, as good as it was for most of the regular season, ran out of juice and still managed to hang around long enough to beat the eagles, who also ran out of juice after the 1st quarter, in what was their 2nd consecutive road playoff game. Teams going up 14-0 usually don’t lose in the playoffs, and I haven’t looked this up, but I’ll bet if you looked it up, almost never lose double digit leads at home, even if they get tired in a similar fashion

  5. He continues to suffer from “The Curse of Drew Brees” and will not get to a SB until Drew retires!

  6. They have a chance still. Every good team does. A lot depends on luck and injuries, not just how good you are. Is it a good chance that I’d bet on? No.

  7. What are you talking about, every year the talking heads proclaim San Diego is the team to beat in the AFC West. Also every year the KC Chiefs win the AFC West only to be told that next year San Diego is the team to beat. Lol.

  8. Time will tell if last year was Rivers last best chance, but it’s not reasonable to assert that right now.

    I am another one that would never count Rivers out of anything. As for the opportunities missed, it’s hard to blame that on Rivers. It’s worth remembering that he played the AFC championship game back in 2007 with a torn ACL.

  9. How many rings DOESN’T he have? Anyhoo, I’m sure he’ll just use the tired old “God and family are all I need” speech to cover up his obvious shortcomings.

  10. I’ll never get over this shot put-style throw. He throws it like he doesn’t have fingers.

  11. chief4ever says:
    June 28, 2019 at 3:25 am
    I am a Chiefs fan, which means I hate the Chargers, but I would never count Philip Rivers out of any game.
    ——————-
    You SHOULD. It’s usually a safe bet that Rivers throws a crucial 4th quarter pick when trailing.

  12. “Really, the heartbreaking loss didn’t come in mid-January as much as it came in late December, when the Chargers lost on a Saturday night at home to the Ravens, preventing the Chargers from winning the AFC West and capturing the No. 1 seed. That’s the key to setting the stage for a Super Bowl run”

    And how did that 1 seed work out for the team that did win the AFC West?

  13. He looked like he couldn’t hardly throw in the divisional. He was clearly starting to wear thin at the end of the season. Threw a pick in Arrowhead first pass out of the gate against the worst defense in the NFL. Doesn’t have much flexibility left in his arm. The shotput throw is getting almost to the point where it’s a full body heave.

    I think he just goes full blown 2015 Peyton Manning meltdown. Two years before, 55 touchdowns, 2014, 39, and finally the fall of the cliff year, 2015 9 flipping td’s from the sheriff.

    It just happens at this age. He’s done folks. All that talent and it’ll be Tyrod time by December or they’ll just miss the play-offs all-together with Ol’ shotput under center.

  14. They simply choked in 2006. That team was loaded. They had numerous chances to put the game away.

    If they had beat NE, they would have played the Colts (who the Chargers owned at that time for some reason), then Rex Grossman. Then they probably would have gotten a new stadium in San Diego. Oh well.

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