Rivers does his best Tony Romo impression

Columnist: Pat Nicoloff

Philip Rivers found a way to blow an important game on Monday night that was nothing but Romo-esque. This lack of concentration isn’t the only parallel between Romo and Rivers’ careers. Rivers has long been anointed as one of the next great quarterbacks and generally considered to be in the upper echelon. This used to be Tony Romo. With an equally talented cast, Rivers has found a way to blow games, make bone-headed plays, and generally underachieve. Hell, neither guy has really went out and won a big game for their club in recent memory.

If Philip Rivers, like Romo, doesn’t go out and win a playoff game this year, then it’s time to take them both out of the elite quarterback conversation. Rivers’ season now stands with 7 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. This is being done with an All-Pro left tackle, two good running backs, and an All-Pro wide receiver. If he doesn’t have enough to light up the Chiefs, when will he have enough? These are simply the kind of games that the top-tier quarterbacks dominate.

I can now name 10+ quarterbacks that I’d take to run my team over Rivers. The likes of Alex Smith, Donovan McNabb, and Jason Campbell all have a better quarterback ratings than Rivers. He may be able to make all of the throws, but something is missing. It’s in the numbers and it’s in the wins. It looks like the Chargers will disappoint again with him at the helm. Will that ever change?





  • Joe F

    Seriously? Alex Smith? McNabb? And Campbell? Philip Rivers isn’t having the best year, but I’d take him over all 3 of them any day of the week.

    • http://sports-kings.com Pat

      I was just pointing out three lowly names that are higher on the quarterback rating rankings. I do think Eli is one of the surprise guys that has moved ahead of Rivers. Never thought that would be the case. Campbell may yet prove to be a better QB despite getting dumped by team after team. I’d like to see him have a chance to play with a Pro Bowl wideout. Who’s the last decent guy that Rivers has outdueled under the bright lights?

      • Jim Racalto

        Big Ben > Rivers and Romo. Not even close. I do remember our argument earlier before the season Joe about Rivers, now that Ben has stats to match his much higher winning totals than these two clowns, can you admit he is better? Haha. Rivers has always had decent stats, but he isn’t a winner. I think results are much more important than stats, and you can’t blame anyone else because his line is good, backs are good, defense it top 5, receivers and TE are good. This is all on Rivers and Ben is steadily outplaying him by a wide margin this season in every aspect.

      • Joe F

        Misunderstood Pat my bad. Also yea I agree with the Eli statement. He’s been AMAZING.

  • http://www.sports-kings.com Andy Flint

    Jim.. Shut up with your Steelers/Big Ben butt-love. It’s probably your most annoying quality. Results are great. But Ben has always had the luxury of playing with a top 5 (if not #1) defense basically his entire career. He’s a good QB. He’s not great. He’s an average passer, average decision maker. Great feet, hard to take, extends plays. He’s NOT elite. He lacks the tools. His IQ is well below average. I think he scored like a 24 on the Wonderlic.

    • Jim Racalto

      I do believe you ranked him #5 QB in the league, so what is top 4 considered elite and everyone else is average?. Idk how you get average out of 63.6% career completion percentage, that says he’s pretty accurate and makes pretty good decisions. Not to mention he is playing at a very high level this season. He lacks the tools? I do believe he can make all the throws, his ability to extend plays is just a plus, as a matter of fact they were just talking on Sunday Countdown how he makes all the throws from the weirdest body positions. It’s funny even when he has better stats than some of these guys everyone still finds a way to undermine him, then they can’t understand why I will argue for him to the death. First I say results, oh it’s because of the defense. Now he has stats to match his winning, he’s still not elite although his stats clearly put him in the elite echelon this season. I could make a case that Tom Brady isn’t that great because they’ve done terribly in the playoffs and haven’t been to a Super Bowl since they got caught cheating, and does that mean Brady only won because they had the other team’s defensive sets on film, thus making him better than he really is? Lol his IQ is low, I think a Bachelor’s degree from a MAC school (not a big football conference so players don’t get benefits like free grades) says otherwise. These arguments are unsubstantiated, he’s the second winningnest QB behind Brady this decade with 2 rings to boot, and that’s elite. Why? Because before Ben the Steelers were routinely bounced from the playoffs, he steps in and they’re in the Super Bowl every other year…so the defense argument doesn’t validate how good he is individually because all the other QB’s also had the same defenses, but not nearly the same success. I don’t care how they get there, any quarterback who takes his team that far every year has to be considered elite…and now that he has stats that are better than those of Romo and Rivers and just behind Brady and Brees, to still say he isn’t elite is ridiculous. Also 6-2 with his arm leading the way.

      • http://www.sports-kings.com Andy Flint

        You sir are a broken record. How come when we’re watching a game, and I’m pointing out the reasons he isn’t elite, you don’t argue then? is it because we’re watching him play and seeing that he isn’t elite right before your eyes, and you know there is no argument you can make to prove your bullshit theory? Stop using TEAM accomplishments as a way to prove points.

        Football isn’t a team game. They count, just not as much as you’d like them to. Watch Roethlisberger play the game. I can name many QB’s who have better accuracy, better velocity, make better decisions. And the list goes on and on and on, James. He’s a good QB, perhaps you missed that part.

        He is, however, behind Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Brees. I do believe they’re the only elite QB’s today. I think most people would agree with that.

        I’d stick Roethlisberger with guys like:

        Vick, Stafford, Rivers, Ryan, Romo and Eli. Not sure what Flacco’s doing, but possibly him too.

        You’re absolutely right that he wins games, and he’s staged 4th quarter comebacks, but so has Tim Tebow. You’re also right that he can make plays with his feet and extend drives without his arm, but so can Tim Tebow. And if you’re getting mad because I’m using an off-the-wall comparison with Tebow? You absolutely should be. Now you know how the rest of us feel when you go to extreme lengths to make Steelers players sound better than they are..

        Wasn’t it you that posted some ridiculous thing on Facebook that essentially tried to say that Mike Wallace was a better WR than Calvin Johnson? Do u think anyone that read that (beyond a Steelers fan or a complete asshole) took that seriously? I kept my mouth shut because it was insane, and I figured you were just living in Jim-Land. It’s ok to love your team, just stay within the realms of reality.

        Anyways, Big Ben is good, but you constantly overrate him and every other player who sports the Black n Yellow. I’m just saying that you should tone it down a tad. Your team is capable of being good, even the best, without you having to try and convince everyone that each position’s best player is a Steeler.

        • Jim Racalto

          That’s a well thought out reply, and one that i can actually relate to without getting mad. So, my question is, if he ends up in the Top 3-7 range in every major passing category, would that now make him elite? My only serious annoyance is even when he is playing at a high level and is solely responsible for his offense’s successes (like the last 5 games), people still bring the defense into it, or call him a rapist as Joe does, probably still licking his wounds from the thrashing I gave him in the debate hahaha. I just don’t think it is fair for people to say his wins are because of the defense, and when his play level is high (like this year) it somehow gets swept under the rug or written off. That is how it seems, anyway, so that’s why I get so annoyed.

          • Arun Morace

            I gotta agree with Jim on this one. While Big Ben’s first Super Bowl ring was the product of a great defense, Willie Parker’s running and the referees absolutely boning the Seahawks, Ben Roethlisberger has become an elite quarterback. He wins games on the strength of his arm. James Harrison didn’t toss a TD pass to Santonio Holmes to beat Arizona in the Super Bowl. Big Ben marched them down the field, and tossed a great pass to Holmes to win that game. He’s broken the 4,000 yards-passing-in-a-season plateau, typically the benchmark for an elite season by a quarterback. His completion percentage has hovered around 65% the last three seasons- again, typically a bench mark for an elite quarterback. And he’s getting it done with sub-par receivers- something else an elite quarterback can do (make the players around him better). He’s turned guys like Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, etc. into viable weapons in the passing game. He extends plays like only Michael Vick can, avoiding pressure, moving around and finding a target downfield (or scrambling into the end zone, ask the Jets about that). Yes, he’s always had a good defense at his back. But he’s also ALWAYS had a terrible offensive line in front of him. The fact that he can make the plays that he does, put up the stats that he can (top five in passing yards the last three years), and win when it matters most (with a career record 0f 75-31, 10-3 in the post season), absolutely makes Ben Roethlisberger an elite quarterback.

        • Joe F

          KC Joyner said Mike Wallace > Megatron and I laughed.

          • Jim Racalto

            Couldn’t have said it better myself, Mr. Morace. I personally think my insane level of Steeler fanaticism drives these guys’ constant arguments against Ben and creates their ignorance to the plain facts we have both presented as to why he should be considered elite.

    • Joe F

      It really is! Jim stop talking about Big Ben! He’s a rapist.

  • http://www.sports-kings.com Andy Flint

    That got sloppy.

    To Jim: He has the chance to be an elite QB. Also, I don’t think you thrashed anyone in that debate. You’re winning, thank the fact you have a larger fan-base on our site than Joe. Pretty even debate, imo.

    To Morace: I agree with a lot of that. The super-bowl pass to Holmes is one of the better passes I’ve ever saw. Mike Wallace was going to be a great receiver either way. Also I can name half a dozen guys who can get it done just as well as Ben on the ground. Cam Newton, Jay Cutler, Tebow, Aaron Rodgers. We’re not putting any of them with Vick.. Not Ben either.

    • Arun Morace

      Hahaha velocity? Not sure where you’re going with that, Ben has one of the strongest arms in the game, what’s the argument there? He and Mike Wallace are the most potent QB to WR tanden since Manning and Harrison. And as for “decision making”, look at the stats from the past few years. Big Ben had only 12 INTS in 2009, less than Brady or Manning that same year.Last year, his 5 INTs were second only to Brady’s 4, and he had a 64% completion percentage, which equals out to more than a 2:1 td to int ratio, and also shows he has top-tier accuracy. The fact that he missed four games is irrelevant, since he still attempted as many or more passes as 10 other QBs in the league who HAD played as many or more games than him.

      • http://www.sports-kings.com Andy Flint

        Velocity has to do with way more than arm strength? Are you kidding me? Roethlisberger can throw the ball a mile, I concede. I’m talking tight spiral and ball movement. Jesus, we learn day one, dude, that throwing can’t simply be broken up into two categories. A) Strength. B) Accuracy. Talking QB/WR tandems.. For my money I’m going Aaron Rodgers/Greg Jennings over Roethlisberger/Wallace, but that’s just me. I like having the superior QB. I really don’t have much bad to say about Wallace. Great weapon, fits Ben perfectly, as he often overthrows WR’s. Mike Wallace is a hard player to overthrow.

        • Joe F

          Rodgers-Jennings is the better duo. Also Arun Romo had like 9 INT’s in 2009. Does that make him elite?

          • Arun Morace

            Joe- you’re taking what I said out of context. Andy made a comment about decision making, so I responded with a stat that corresponded to decision making.

            And Andy- well DUH, who wouldn’t take the Rodgers to Jennings over any other combo? We’re saying Roethlisberger is elite, but he’s not AS good as Rodgers (the Super Bowl proved that), or that Wallace is as good as Jennings. That would be foolish to say, since Rodgers is the absolute best in the game right now. There is a hierarchy even within the ranks of the elite.

        • http://www.sports-kings.com Jim Racalto

          Andy – I’m not really sure your velocity argument fits. First off, with a completion percentage around 65% for three years, and low INT totals in the same span, I’d have to say that equals good decision making. You’re picking and choosing times you have seen Big Ben make a bad throw (which can be done for ANY quarterback), and ignoring the facts I just stated that say he is accurate and making good decisions, without a doubt. You’re entitled to your opinion on the times you have watched him play, but when his numbers prove he is accurate and making good decisions, velocity is quite a mute point. Usually good spirals and tight throws go hand in hand with accuracy, which is proven in his high completion percentage. Frankly, as long as he’s completing 65% of his passes and throwing touchdowns over picks at better than a 2:1 ratio for three years in a row, I could care less if you approve of how good of a spiral it is, lol.

          • Arun Morace

            Can’t argue with the numbers. Just can’t. 65% is the benchmark for accuracy, low INT totals prove decision making. Pretty much anything said against that is just hearsay and a biased opinion, as much as I hate to say that….

          • Jim Racalto

            I guess while we are talking about numbers, I’d like to take this time to tell all involved that on top of the numbers that prove he is accurate and a good decision maker, he is also 75-31 as a starting QB, 10-3 in the post-season, and 2-1 in Super Bowls. I would have to say a biased opinion is the culprit here simply because my level of fanaticism makes people want to argue against Ben Roethlisberger, because the actual facts scream elite. It’s undeniable and numbers do not lie.

          • Joe F

            Romo has similar stats to Ben. He’s not close in cumulative stats because he’s played less seasons, but his rate stats like TD% and INT% are better or very similar. He also had a higher QBrating than Ben.

            So I guess Romo is elite. The only difference? Wins and Losses. Which is a result of the Steelers being a better team than the Cowboys. Romo has done his part whether you think so or not Jim. Romo helps Dallas way more than he hurts. It’s just because he’s the Cowboys QB is why his mistakes are magnified more. He’s the 2nd level of QB’s.

            1st tier Rodgers, Brady, Brees

            2nd tier Eli, Romo, Stafford, Ryan, Vick, Rivers, Ben

            No specific order.

  • Arun Morace

    Well yeah. Elite quarterbacks have to WIN too. Ken O’Brien was a statistical beast for the Jets back in the 1980′s but nobody talks about him as elite because he wasn’t a winner. Romo isn’t elite because he chokes in big games. I mean, if Mark Sanchez has more playoff wins that you, you’re not elite. sorry. And I’m a JETS fan saying that..For the record, an elite quarterback is this: someone who can win games by himself, leads his team, is smart with the ball, and puts up great numbers. Romo is not the first three. One playoff win, numerous turnovers at the worst possible time, and playing golf in the offseason when other QBs are hosting their teammates for training all hurt Romo’s case to be elite..

    • http://www.sports-kings.com Jim Racalto

      Exactly what I said too in our debate. No one disputes Romo has some talent, but let’s face it, he is 31 years old and is never going to win a Super Bowl. Joe, your constant excuse making for Romo: other teams have better facets, receivers dropping balls, etc…that happens every game, whereas Romo throws pick 6′s to lose games (twice in their first 7 games this year) and botched a playoff snap…those things are his direct fault and all count against him. Not only is Ben much more of a winner, he does it at the most clutch of times and he makes the big plays when it counts most…where Romo is the opposite. I’m not trying to say Romo isn’t good, but winning counts for a lot, you seem to not think so. Nobody will have Romo in the elite until he does something that matters, and Ben’s track record of being a consistent winner in the reg season, post-season, and having rings (and leading the league in comebacks since he entered the league) do put him ahead of Romo much to your dismay.

      • http://www.sports-kings.com Jason Whitney

        Jim, how do you call everyone ignorant and morons, when you don’t listen to their points they are making about Roethlisberger not being elite….

        First off, Ben has played with good receivers since he’s been in the league. He has had the pleasure of playing with a Hall of Fame receiver in Hines Ward. Santonio Holmes and Plexico Burress and now Mike Wallace. I wouldn’t call them scrubs, and Holmes and Burress did better when they left Pitt as well. HOlmes ( 52 receptions last year in 12 games) would of surpassed all but one season he had in Pitt. Point being Ben didn’t make them better, and Ben did have receivers his whole career to play with.

        2nd, Ben has had ONE…….O….N……E season in which he has thrown for over 4,000 yards and he’s in year 8….Here our the other “NFL ELITE” qbs stats to that…..Aaron Rodgers in first 3 full seasons starting as a qb has already had 2 and missed last year by 78 yards and also has thrown for at least 30 tds once, and will shatter that this year……..Manning threw for 4,000 yards SIX times in his first eight years (the measuring stick seeing that Ben is in year 8) Brady threw 4,000 yards 3 times in his first FULL 8 years playing ( didn’t play his first year, and missed a whole year) Brees threw 4,000 yards 4 times..

        Now since were on the topic of stats….4 times….FOUR EFFING TIMES ….Big Ben has failed to throw for at least 20 touchdowns in a season ( we won’t say 5, because he only played 12 games last year) Ben even had a season in which he threw 23 Interceptions……and it WASN’T his rookie year…He has taken over 40 sacks 4 times during his span of almost 8 years….Is it his line, or Ben’s impromtu type play? He holds the ball to long trying to make plays that’s well documented. Also qb rating is a joke so I have no clue why you guys are bringing that up….Of coarse Bens rating will be higher considering he takes more sacks which doesn’t hurt your rating as much as if he were to throw the ball away for an incompletion.

        You can’t argue with stats, and he’s not even close to the “Elite” qbs stats. In fact I could of named Eli Manning, Matt Shaub, Phillip Rivers, and even Tony Romo as having comparable and BETTER stats than Ben Roethlisberger..

        So what are we on to now? He wins? Guess what Chaz Batch led the Steelers to 3-1 last year against TOUGH teams without Ben…In fact barring a game winning drive by Flacco Batch could of had them at 4-0!I said 4-0 in case some of you can’t believe your eyes. Hey guys, Kordell Stewart let the Steelers to an AFC championship game and the playoffs as well….Tommy Maddox almost led them to the AFC championship game, JIM MILLER, Neil O’Donnel led them to the super bowl!!!!!! now WHAT HAPPEND TO THESE QBS WHEN THEY PLAYED FOR OTHER TEAMS! NEVER Sniffed the playoffs!
        My arguement is proven right there. These qbs almost led the steelers to the super bowl and in one case did, and when they played for other teams they never even reached the playoffs!
        My point being the qb on the steelers is one of the few times ever you can say it’s not the most important position on the field. It’s always been Dick Lebeau and the Defense evidence of the qb names I just told you….

        Is Ben good…yes he’s good…is he elite…No way and if you ignore what I just said then that proves your ignorance because that’s all stats and fact not subjective

        • Jim Racalto

          I will not dispute that his stats, overall, as of right now aren’t cumulatively elite. The argument Arun, and myself, are making is that in the last 3 years (entering the prime of his career), his numbers HAVE been elite, and that’s what everyone ignores. The majority of his low stats come from early in his career, when he had that one awful season and Pittsburgh was a run/defensive team, which was also the knock on him that he’s surrounded by a great team. Since they’ve given him the reigns of the offense, since 2009, he went TD to INT: 26/12 in 2009, 17/5 in 2010 (while missing 4 games and they went to the Super Bowl) and this year 14/7 (11/2 in the last 4 games). Tommy Maddox never went to an AFC Title game, stop saying that. And yes, WINS matter more than ANYTHING! It’s amazing how people do not think so. Sure the Steelers had some successful teams with sub-par QB’s…but did they win any Bowls, no. Did they routinely get bounced from the playoffs and even miss them 3 or 4 times from 1996-2003? Yes. Big Ben holds 26 Steeler passing records! He’s the best QB they have ever had, and being the second winningest QB behind Tom Brady since 2004 is pretty good. Arun made several excellent points that I’d like you to reference above, since I did read what you said, and you are right to a point. My “Steeler bias” doesn’t have anything to do with this when a Jets fan agrees with me 100%. Of course Ben isn’t going to put up gaudy numbers when they aren’t letting him throw as much as other guys, but when he does the last three years definitely prove he is capable of elite numbers, and also went 32/11 TD-INT in 2007. What’s going to be everyone’s argument when he surpasses 4,000 yards and 30 TD’s this season…oh he’s got a good defense. This argument, for me, came down to Andrew saying he isn’t a good decision maker, isn’t accurate, and has bad velocity (whatever that means) lol. Those are the reasons he gave for Ben not being elite, and I provided stats that proved otherwise. Your argument is right to an extent kind sir, but now that they have given him full control he’s proving, and has been proving for 2 seasons, that he can put up the numbers he didn’t earlier on in his career. Like I said, cumulatively, stats aren’t elite….yet. But he is well on his way, and if we are talking THIS VERY MOMENT in the NFL, he is easily in the top 5. The guys on Around the Horn even put him ahead of Brady right now and said his last 5 games he’s up there with Aaron Rodgers in how well he’s playing! No, I am not making that up, anyone should be able to see how well he is doing this year.

          • http://www.sports-kings.com Jason Whitney

            Well we’ll have to leave it up for the debate. I don’t remember saying Maddox made the AFC championship game, I do however remember saying that he was within a close game vs the titans of making the AFC championship game. I do want to say since they “let” Ben start throwing more how many super bowls has he won? You said WINNING is most important, well as soon as they opened it up for Ben to throw more he thre 3 INTS in the biggest game of the season and one of the biggest games obvsiouly in his career. Flint could make the argument that he isn’t a good decision maker in big games though as he has played poorly in 2 of the 3 super bowls he’s been in. What’s this all mean who knows, I don’t think anyone could honestly say he’s in the same class as Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Manning and to some degree Rivers. If you want to make winning your point on an elite quarterback then you might want to re think that because Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, even john elway (until he got Davis) never won a Super Bowl. Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson won super bowls that’s “winning.” 3 super bowls is saying something obviously and that’s tough to argue with. I just think Pittsburgh is one of the few exeptions ever where you can really say the “qb” isn’t the most important position. To be honest it’s always the Def, and Running Back in Pittsburgh since the 70s. And again if WINNING is your argument next, since they let Ben throw how many Super Bowls has he won? The year he put up his best numbers they didn’t win. Welp I’ll leave the rest up to you and Andy….btw it’s going to have to be Sunday at noon because the Ravens and Pitt play Sunday night

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