FOXBORO, Mass. — It was a frustrating Sunday afternoon for Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers.
After quickly answering the Patriots’ opening-drive touchdown with a score of their own, it was all downhill for the Chargers, who were eliminated from the NFL playoffs via a 41-28 loss to New England at Gillette Stadium.
While Rivers and Co. managed to put together two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, it was far too little, too late against the Patriots, who led 35-7 at halftime. Amid the rout, Rivers was rather animated on the field and seemed to be letting the frustration of the game get the best of him.
Although the Chargers signal-caller later admitted he might have been a tad bit more theatrical than usual toward the back end of the contest, he claims he never lost his composure. And if you’ve watched Rivers throughout his 15-year career, you can understand why he’s not trying to save face.
“No, I don’t think so,” Rivers said when asked if his competitiveness got to a point of frustration. “One thing I know, and thankfully I think it’s a collective effort in this regard, is we’re never gonna quit. I don’t care what the score is, we’re gonna play ’til that last second ticks zero. So I think that was it. I mean, maybe there was a little more emotion coming out at the end because you just hate that it’s over, you know? It’s hard when it ends. There’s nothing like playoff football because you never take the field expecting it to be the last game unless you’re in the last game and you know it is — the Super Bowl. Maybe there’s a little extra that came out at the end, but that’s part of it. That’s the way I play my best. I wasn’t my best today. Obviously when you don’t score more points than the other team you’re not. But we’re gonna fight ’til the end and I thought at least we could say we did that. Didn’t count for much at this point. In the big scheme of things, it counts for a whole lot.”
Rivers added: “There was never a lack of composure. I think sometimes my demonstrative movements may look that way, but I was as poised as could be the whole time. …If you watched me for 210 games, you’ll see. It’s served me well for the most part.”
The Chargers had every right to be frustrated. After a stellar regular season and start of the playoffs that featured incredible success on the road, the Bolts had their season come to an end in convincing fashion. The game got away from L.A. rather quickly, and its Super Bowl hopes vanished in short order.
That said, the Chargers are poised to be one of the league’s best yet again next season, and you can expect Rivers to be unreserved throughout his 16th campaign.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports