Good morning, Broncos Country.
The Denver Broncos will face a familiar foe on Sunday in the Los Angeles Chargers. A franchise that has had its fair shares of ups and downs, but one constant remains. They are led by the same player who has been their heart and soul for over a decade. The type of player all of Broncos Country wishes they had behind center calling the shots on the gridiron in the Mile High City — even though most of us have grown to severely dislike him for what he is capable of doing against our beloved Broncos on the field. That man is Philip Rivers.
It seems like only yesterday that Rivers was drafted out of North Carolina State, sat on the bench for twoseasons and eventually took over for Drew Brees in 2006. Since then Brees has went on to have a record-breaking Hall of Fame career with the New Orleans Saints, registering a Super Bowl victory and eleven Pro-Bowl honors. The thought of what could have been possible had Brees never left the Chargers is a thought that often goes through the minds of their fans, but truth be told — Rivers has been extraordinarily successful in his fifteen years in the National Football League.
Like a fine wine, Rivers appears to be getting better with age. He believes he is playing the most consistent football of his career and the statistics back that up. In nine games this season, Rivers has completed an astounding 67 percent of his passes. He has thrown for 2,459 yards and 21 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. Not only that, his 9-yard average per completion is the highest of his career. The only thing evading a potential Hall of Fame career is the absence of essential post-season wins and a Super Bowl victory.
Even so, the defenders on the Broncos’ defense have an immense amount of respect for Rivers for his leadership, tenacity and on the field capabilities. Without question, he is one of the league’s best quarterbacks and is having a campaign good enough to win league MVP honors. Though the admiration runs deep the Broncos defenders are eager to get after him on Sunday.
“He’s a great competitor. Any time you get to play against that guy it makes you better because you have to be on top of your game,” stated defensive end Derek Wolfe, who has had his fair share of success getting after Rivers over the years. “It’s definitely going to be one of those games where if we shut that run game down and start getting after the passer, we’ve got a good chance of winning.”
Wolfe isn’t the only defender on the Broncos’ defense who knows that getting after Rivers is paramount in the Broncos’ pursuit of a win this weekend. Nose tackle Domata Peko Sr. is also preparing diligently to do whatever it takes to stop Rivers and the potent Chargers’ offense.
“He’s been leading this team for years now. One of the best quarterbacks in the game, I think. He’s always on point with delivering the ball and getting rid of the ball on time, but we’re going to go out there and get after him man,” stated Peko Sr. “That’s what we want to do, we want to get after him and put him on his back.”
Though Rivers isn’t the only offense player the Broncos need to be mindful about on Sunday. Running back Melvin Gordon is having the best year of his career in his fourth season and has amassed over 1,000 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns in eight contests. It’s a tall order to accomplish, but if the Broncos defense can limit the production of Gordon on the ground, they will have a chance to pin their ears back and be aggressive in their pass rush pursuit of Rivers. If their stop the run, get after the passer formula is effective as they hope, they will have a good shot at beating the Chargers on the road on Sunday.
If not, it’ll just be another reason for Broncos Country to despise Rivers more than they already do, but in the same fold, should also give them a greater appreciation of him as a player.
As always, thank you for reading and here is today’s offering of Horse Tracks.
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