Rivers, Gates have Bolts’ offense No. 1

Posted Oct. 04, 2010 @ 6:27 p.m.
Posted By Michael Blunda

Nobody would have believed that Chargers QB Philip Rivers could put up better numbers without Pro Bowl WR Vincent Jackson, but that's exactly what he has done thus far.

With Jackson holding out and unlikely to ever return to the team, Rivers has carved up opponents nonetheless. He needed only 20 pass attempts to post 241 yards and two TDs in Sunday's blowout of the Cardinals, an effort that could have been much bigger had the game not been so lopsided. On the season, he's throwing for 332 yards per game and has a ridiculous 9.4 yards per pass attempt, which is easily leading the league. He's the primary reason the Bolts boast the NFL's No. 1-ranked offense through Sunday's action.

Not surprisingly, Rivers' top target has been TE Antonio Gates. Through four games, Gates' numbers look downright scary. He already has six TD grabs and two 100-yard games, great stats for any pass catcher, let alone a tight end. Considering that his average of six receptions, 96.5 yards and 1.5 TDs has him on pace for 96-1,544-24, there's a pretty good chance he'll not only finish as the No. 1 fantasy TE but also better than most of the top wideouts.

Rivers also has received solid contributions from WRs Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee, who should only improve as they gain more starting experience. Add in his dependable pass-catching backs, and there's no reason why Rivers won't have his best statistical season yet.