Tag Archives: Payton Manning

Philip Rivers MPV

Can Philip Rivers win the NFL MVP?

With a 2-1 record that could easily be 3-0 if not for a tight loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Chargers have firmly established themselves as contenders to unseat the Denver Broncos in the AFC West. With impressive victories over the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills, two teams whose only loss is to the Chargers, quarterback Philip Rivers is playing some of the best football of his outstanding career. Two years after many questioned the long-term viability of Rivers as the Chargers quarterback, the Chargers veteran signal caller has established himself as a leading league MVP candidate. In a league where the top quarterback conversation typically involves a top tier of Brady, Manning, and Rodgers, Rivers play and leadership has stood out this season.

The season is early, but the Chargers look to have staying power. While the team is sure to contend for a division title and second consecutive playoff berth, Rivers has an opportunity to earn his first NFL MVP.

Here are three reasons Philip Rivers is the leader of the pack in the NFL MVP voting.

MVP Philip RiversHe’s thrived versus tough competition: The Chargers have faced three top five defenses in the first three weeks of the season, with Rivers excelling versus all three opponents. Arizona, Seattle, and Buffalo are known for their physical fonts and ability to make it tough on opposing quarterbacks. As he has done his entire career Rivers has shown the toughness and ability to make big throws, even against extreme pressure. Heading into week four Rivers has six touchdowns and just one interception. The Chargers are a battle-tested unit who look like they have staying power. The early season tough slate has the Chargers primed and ready to take on the Broncos.

He’s succeeded with a lack of a running game: Rivers has led an impressive offensive performance while the team has struggled running the football. Last week against the Buffalo Bills the team lost running back Danny Woodhead, a week after losing starting running back Ryan Mathews. Even with all the injuries, the Chargers offense kept the Bills off balance all day long. It’s testament to the leadership and ability of Rivers to stay in the pocket, often against max pressure, and deliver the football. There is few quarterbacks in NFL history tougher than Rivers, who has made his mark throughout his career by his ability to take massive hits while still putting the football on the money.

Chargers QB Philip RiversHe’s doing it with less: MVP voters love a new storyline. Last season Peyton Manning was the deserving MVP due to his incredible numbers. Manning is re-writing the record book, behind one of the league’s best offensive line and an offense full of weapons that includes one of the league’s top receivers (Demaryius Thomas), an elite tight end (Julius Thomas) and a future Hall of Famer in the slot (Wes Welker). Not to undermine Manning’s remarkable performance, but he has a tremendous amount of weapons. Rivers, on the other hand, is not blessed with an elite offensive line or a receiving core that rivals what Manning has in Denver. It’s tough to quantify but the overall feeling is that Rivers is doing more with less, often in the face of intense pressure, with the Seattle game being the prime example. During the Seahawks game Rivers showed an incredible ability to evade pressure and fit throws into remarkably tight windows, often in the face; something in intense pressure. It was an MVP performance, something Rivers has done time and time again over the past season and a half.

It’s early, but right now Philip Rivers might just be this year NFL MVP.

Philip Rivers and the rest of the Chargers have moved to Los Angeles! Check out our complete Learn about the Chargers Stadium seating chart guide to find the best place to sit in the new stadium..

Chris M

Broncos Get Home Field Advantage

Denver Broncos

Broncos

Needing a win to take home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs the Denver Broncos went into Oakland and took care of business defeating the pitiful Raiders 34-14. The Broncos scored early and often, running out to a 31-0 halftime lead behind another incredible performance by soon to be MVP Peyton Manning. The Broncos veteran quarterback destroyed the NFL records for passing yards and touchdowns in a season, throwing four more touchdown passes in the Broncos victory. Manning finished the regular season with an incredible 5,477 yards passing and 55 touchdowns. As usual Manning spread the ball around, throwing two touchdowns to Demaryius Thomas and strikes to Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno.

Payton Manning

Manning

Where the game was won: It was all Manning once again. The future Hall of Famer completed 25 of 28 passes, the highest completion percentage in his career in a game where he threw at least 28 passes. Oakland, playing out the string in yet another tough season, provided very little opposition in the game. The Broncos had 458 total yards en route to resting Manning for much of the second half. In addition to the huge game from Manning the Broncos had another game of balanced rushing with Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman and Moreno combined for 129 yards rushing. The Broncos defense, without star passing rusher Von Miller, was huge early, only giving up two late garbage time touchdowns to the Raiders. After re-setting the record for touchdown passes on a season last week when Manning passed Tom Brady’s record, the Broncos quarterback passed Drew Brees’s record for passing yardage in a season. Manning’s passing efficiency rating of 113 was a full 16 points over his career average. Victory in hand the Broncos will wait to see who comes out on top in the AFC wild card round before they host a divisional round game in two weeks time. The Broncos will face the lowest ranked winner between the Bengals, Chargers, Colts and Chiefs.

Up next for Denver: Based on the wild card games the Broncos would likely prefer to face anyone but the Colts who beat them behind in Indianapolis two months ago. The Broncos swept the Chiefs this season, and split with the Chargers. If the Bengals win the Broncos cannot face Cincinnati since they are the third seed in the playoffs. The interesting matchup for Denver could be San Diego. The Broncos lost at home to the Chargers two weeks ago behind a big defensive performance for the Chargers. San Diego did the best job of slowing down the Broncos offense of any team Denver faced this season. If San Diego can manage to defeat the Bengals they’ll travel to Denver. If Cincinnati beats the Chargers the Broncos are guaranteed to play either the Colts or Chiefs. By: Chris Cabrera