Dec 8, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) rolls out of the pocket to pass during the second half against the New York Giants at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers won 37-14. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
2013 saw both Rivers and Dalton put up very good numbers, however, Rivers was more consistent and protected the ball much better than Dalton. In their week 12 matchup, Dalton was coming off a few poor games and didn’t play particularly well in the Bengals win.
That is not the case this week. Despite his 4 INTs in week 17, Dalton is playing much better and his numbers at home are much better than on the road. Dalton’s completion percentage is 3 points higher at home, his rating 10 points higher and going into week 17, he had 18 TD to just 5 INTs at home (still ended the year at an impressive 20/9).
And, while we all know Dalton’s struggles in the playoffs (0-2, 0 TDs, 4 INTs, 56.9% completion, 48.6 rating, 5.33 YPA and 192 YPG), facing the #2 (2011) and #7 (2012) ranked Texans defense on the road as a rookie and 2nd year pro is significantly different than the 23rd ranked Chargers defense he will face on Sunday at PBS.
As for Rivers’ playoff history, he hasn’t exactly lit it up either. In 7 career playoff games, Rivers is 3-4 (2-2 at home, 1-2 on the road), 260 YPG average, 58.5% completion, 8 TD, 9 INTs and a 79.2 rating. Better than Dalton, but not great. Of note, twice San Diego had a bye and then lost their first game, and while Rivers is 2-0 in the Wild Card round, he has just 1 TD and 2 INTs in those 2 games.
Until Dalton proves he can win in the playoffs, a QB like Rivers is always going to have the advantage over him.