Philip Rivers' play is 'deteriorating' for the Chargers

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Once believed to be one of the league's best quarterbacks, Chargers QB Philip Rivers took a step back this past season.

Philip Rivers' streak of 4,000-yard seasons ended in 2012 when the Chargers' offense faltered as the quarterback finished with his lowest passing yard total and fewest touchdowns since 2007. ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski recenty evaluated Rivers and didn't like how he forced passes last season, saying the QB's play was "deteriorating."

Rivers has become the black sheep of the 2004 draft class. Fellow draftees Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger have already won Super Bowl rings so that could have played into Rivers' psyche this past season. Jaworski also notes that it appeared like he was trying to do too much with his passes, attempting to become a playmaker rather than play naturally.

The problems with Rivers moving forward are two-fold, though. His arm strength is deteriorating as a now 31-year-old quarterback, but his decision-making is also becoming more questionable now than ever before.

The Chargers hope that changes to the coaching staff will allow him to get back on track, though, and Mike McCoy has the ability to do it as he's already found NFL success as the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. McCoy is gifted at working with a quarterback's skill set rather than trying to make a player something he's not -- which aided Tim Tebow during his time in Denver.

In order to rebound from last season, Rivers will need to get deeper with his passes. 2012 saw him finish with one of his lowest career YPA averages, and while this could be largely attributed to the loss of Vincent Jackson, he'll need to take a step forward with his new-look receiving corps.

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