One thing you can count on with Philip Rivers is that he holds himself accountable for his play on the field.
And while the 2017 campaign was one of Rivers’ best seasons as a pro, the Los Angeles Chargers still failed to reach the playoffs for a fourth straight year. Rivers says that’s starts with him.
“I still at the end of the day think my job is to help us win football games,” Rivers said. “Obviously, we won a heck of a lot more than we did the last two years. But I fell short of leading us to the postseason, and giving ourselves a chance at a championship.
“I take it as my responsibility as quarterback that my number one role is to lead us to the postseason — enough wins to give your team a chance. I think that’s the ultimate measure. But in a lot of ways I had a good year. There’s always plays you want back through every game — make a few plays here or there, and we would have won them all.”
Rivers finished second in the league in passing with 4,515 passing yards. His 10 interceptions was his lowest in a single season since 2009.
Up front, the offensive line did a great job of protecting the 36-year-old signal caller, as Rivers was sacked a league-low 18 times.
Rivers has become the fourth player in NFL history to post nine or more 4,000-yard seasons (Peyton Manning has 14, Drew Brees has 12 and Tom Brady has nine).
Rivers’ 50,348 career passing yards is ninth in league history.
But against the AFC West division winners, the Kansas City Chiefs, Rivers struggled. He threw six of his 10 interceptions against Kansas City, as the Chargers were swept by the Chiefs for a fourth straight year.
Rivers got through the season healthy and made the Pro Bowl for a seventh time. And the Chargers found some balance and continuity on offense during the second half of the season.
All of their impact players other than Antonio Gates are under contract for next season. And now that they have fully made the transition to Los Angeles, the players don’t have to worry about the relocation issue and can focus on improving during the offseason with head coach Anthony Lynn moving into his second season.
“I know it’s been a transition, and I understand it hasn’t been ideal for our home games,” Rivers said. “But we appreciate [the fans that showed up]. Training camp was exciting for me — the support we had there from the fans. I’ve still yet to run into anyone that says why are you here, and we hate that you’re here. Most people we run into are excited and they’re pulling for us.
“I mean, shoot, the Rams have had a heck of a year, but it’s not about us versus the Rams. We don’t think like that in that locker room, but we’re a team that I would imagine that’s pretty dang fun to watch. And I think that next year, we’re going to be a team that is still playing into January and we’ve at least set the groundwork to kind of, you know, keep moving things forward to make the transition.”