Chargers QB Philip Rivers has been 'painful to watch'

Chargers QB Philip Rivers has been 'painful to watch'

With the Chargers off to an 0-3 start, quarterback Philip Rivers is beginning to fall out of favor in Los Angeles. 

The Chargers have been struggling for years. After hovering around the .500 mark for a half-decade, the Bolts managed to win a grand total of nine games the previous two seasons. The franchise installed Anthony Lynn as head coach and moved from San Diego to LA during the offseason, but the core of the roster remained the same.

That obviously includes Rivers, who may not be the root of the problem, but is experiencing some regression. The 35-year-old's 60.4 completion percentage last season was his lowest since 2007, while his 21 interceptions were the most of his career. Tack on five fumbles lost, and Rivers was committing nearly two turnovers per game.

Rivers was off to a decent start this season, even if the Chargers weren't, but that run of good fortune came to a screeching halt against Kansas City on Sunday. The six-time Pro Bowl selection completed 20 of 40 passes for 237 yards with no touchdowns and 3 interceptions in a 24-10 loss to the Chiefs.

Based on Tom Krasovic's synopsis for The San Diego Union-Tribune, Rivers' performance was not only a huge reason why the Chargers lost -- it was a chore to sit through.

This Rivers was different from the quarterback San Diegans grew to love.

He looked old, not cagey; creaky, not savvy.

He was painful to watch.

“I had a rough day,” he said.

He threw the ball too late, into coverage, repeatedly.

Considering that the blocking was good and the running game forceful, it was the worst half I can recall from Rivers, a starter since 2006.

He made several decisions that were questionable, perhaps worse.

He overestimated his arm strength. On other plays, for reasons unknown to outsiders, he failed to see open receivers or pull the trigger if he did.

Krasovic added Rivers should've been intercepted a fourth time, but the defensive back dropped the likely pick-six.

Okay, so it was a bad game. Even Tom Brady has those once in awhile (I think). Regardless, this is becoming par for the course with Rivers, and based on the reaction of Chargers fans like Aaron Woolley for the SBNation blog Bolts From The Blue, the die-hards -- the few that remain after the team's move to LA -- are growing restless.

I hate to say it, but it may be the time to light a fire under his ass or wave goodbye to him at the end of this season. He is in no way worth the 20+ million they are shelling out for him right now.

Rivers has enjoyed a Hall of Fame-caliber career. He may very well pick apart an Eagles secondary that is reeling from injuries, and somewhat questionable to begin with. But Rivers is also approaching his 36th birthday in December, and his decline is inevitable, probably already ongoing.

The Eagles have to fly across the country this week and play a team that's tough in many areas. At this point, franchise quarterback may or may not be of those.

Watch Jalen Mills pregame hype speech in Dallas


Watch Jalen Mills pregame hype speech in Dallas

Sunday Night Football. The Eagles vs. the Cowboys. This is what football fans in Philadelphia live for.

It doesn't take a whole lot to get Philly fans fired up for an NFC East rivalry game down in Dallas at AT&T Stadium but this video of the Birds' players getting hyped themselves should do the trick.

Jalen Mills, who has stepped up nicely in a leadership role this season, took center stage to fire his team up. NSFW languange. 

Let's go #BirdGang.

Mills was also rocking a sweet new Gang Green t-shirt the defense had made. More on those here.

Sixers' future is now, but maybe not quite there yet

USA Today Images

Sixers' future is now, but maybe not quite there yet

Wow, was that first half against the Golden State Warriors fun Saturday night or what? Going into the break up 22, with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons dominating, Robert Covington and JJ Redick hitting from everywhere and the Warriors playing at least marginally shook, looking like a team woefully underprepared for a fully weaponized Sixers squad. It was absolutely stunning seeing it all come together, since as good as the Sixers had been through 14 games so far this year, they'd still never played a full game this season with both their shooters hitting and their stars locked in. 

And they still haven't. As second quarter gave way to third, can't say for certain if the Warriors' switch was flipped, but something definitely was. All of a sudden, the paint closed off for Embiid and Simmons, Covington started clanking and trying to defend the Warriors was as fruitless as trying to save a soup with a hole torn in the takeaway carton. Philly's 22-point lead turned into a 10-point deficit, and it wasn't coming back. Final score: 124-116, Warriors. 

Once this one really got outta control — in a bad way — you kinda just had to laugh about it. The Sixers' first-half steamrolling was head-smackingly unsustainable, but to see everything good about their performance dissolve so fully and so quickly, there was nothing really to say: You just had to recall fondly how hilariously beautiful those first 24 minutes were, and know that someday we'll get a performance like that from the Liberty Ballers that extends all 48. Maybe even against these Warriors, who probably weren't gonna lose to both the present and the future of the Eastern Conference in back-to-back outings. 

As much fun as it would've been for the Sixers to jump their timeline about two seasons in one night, they're not there yet. Half their bench is out, for one thing, including that guy Markelle Fultz who should still be an enormous difference-maker for Brett Brown's crew if he ever gets his head (and his shoulders) straight. And though Simmons and Embiid already both show flashes of "Oh My God They've Figured It Out" and "We're All Doomed" with absurd frequency, to expect them to have totally solved the NBA with 59 games of Association experience between them is not terribly realistic. The team's turned a corner this season, no doubt, but there's still a lot of corners left in that treehouse for them to investigate. 

The good news? The Sixers are staying at home for a while now — after playing 10 of their first 14 on the road, they're now in the midst of eight of nine in South Philly — with challenging, but mostly winnable games coming up, including Monday night against the Utah Jazz. The Sixers are not ready to run the rest of the league off the court just yet, but they're ready to establish themselves as one of the decisively good teams, and hopefully, their home building as one of the league's obviously tough arenas. For a team where crisis forever lurks just below the surface, that would certainly be enough Process-to-Progress for one season.