SAN DIEGO-Five games into the 2014 NFL season and it is not too early to start thinking about the league’s MVP race and its candidates. If there is already a discussion going on, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers without a doubt has to be front and center of that talk. In fives games, Rivers has produced 12 touchdowns and 1, 443 yards.
After connecting for three passing scores in the Chargers’ 31-0 whipping of the New York Jets on Sunday, Rivers and his teammates are now 4-1 on the season, and looking every bit a Super Bowl contender representing the AFC West.
A looming showdown with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in three weeks will get pundits engaging in the most valuable player hype. Manning gets all accolades and have dominated awards throughout his career such as capturing his fifth MVP. However, this may be the year that Rivers finally breakthrough with that award in his back pocket.
Piggybacking off of his stellar campaign of last season, Rivers has upped his game even more this year, clearly taking the Chargers to another level of of play.
Sometimes being the most valuable players doesn’t always to be about numbers. For instance, Rivers masterfully orchestrated San Diego’s offensive unit into a game of give and take against the Seattle Seahawks in the all-important time of possession. Rivers and the Chargers had the ball in their hands over 42 minutes, while Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were left with a little more than 17 minutes of scrub time to put points on the board.
By the way, Rivers tossed three touchdowns and threw for 284 yards against the defending NFL champions. Last week, Rivers ripped the Jacksonville Jaguars for 377 yards and three more touchdowns through the air in the Chargers’ 33-14 win. He was efficient in leading the Chargers to a road victory against the Buffalo Bills, going 19 for 25 for 256 yards and two TDs. As he displayed against the Jets, Rivers is doing all of this without the services of key offensive players like Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews assisting the offense.
With the running game being stagnant (though Branden Oliver rushed for 114 yards against New York) and the Chargers down to their fourth running back, Rivers and the Chargers have not skipped a beat in productivity. Even losing starting center Nick Hardwick has not stopped Rivers from playing at a high level and pushing his teammates from getting there as well. Rivers proved this against the Jets, completing 20 of 28 passes for 288 yards against a beat up New York secondary and passing for three more touchdowns.
If Rivers keep up his productivity the way he’s going now, securing the MVP trophy won’t be speculation. It will be fact.