Mark Edwards' In My Opinion: Alabama native shows he still can win in NFL
by Mark Edwards
Dec 28, 2013 | 1640 views |  0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, right, and wide receiver Keenan Allen jog off the field together after the pair combined on a 43-yard touchdown pass against the New York Giants. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, right, and wide receiver Keenan Allen jog off the field together after the pair combined on a 43-yard touchdown pass against the New York Giants. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
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Count me as a Philip Rivers fan who is ultra-happy to see the Alabama native make the Pro Bowl for the fifth time in his career.

This might've been his toughest season to make it. He entered the season at age 32, coming off two sub-par seasons (for him), and his San Diego Chargers hired a new head coach, who brought in a new offensive coordinator.

But Rivers seems revitalized. Entering Sunday's game against Kansas City, his passer rating is 105.5, which is tied for a career high. His 4,249 passing yards is fourth best in his career. His compeltion percentage is a career-high 69.7. He has 29 touchdown passes, and with one today, he will hit 30 for the third time in his eight years as an NFL starter.

Stats are well and good, but the true measure of a quarterback is winning. Rivers has taken a team that wasn't supposed to compete and scores wins over Kansas City, Denver and Indianapolis -- all of which have won at least 10 games this season.

With a win today, San Diego could grab a spot in the playoffs. The Chargers, Dolphins and Ravens are all 8-7, but the Chargers can advance with a loss by Miami, Baltimore or both.

It seems like yesterday Rivers was serving as a ball boy for Decatur High's football team, which was coached by his father, Steve Rivers, one of the best people in the business. Back then, the high school football as a little too big for Rivers to throw, which is how he developed his unusual motion of having his hand practically under the ball as he throws instead of holding it on the side. Now, even at 6-foot-5, he still throws that way.

Rivers played at North Carolina State, as Auburn and Alabama already had top quarterbacks in line to start -- Jason Campbell at Auburn and Tyler Watts and Brodie Croyle at Alabama.

But Rivers still is thriving. Here's hoping San Diego can get in the playoffs, extending what has been a fun season.

Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at medwards@annistonstar.com. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.
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