The veteran signal-caller edged out AFC West division foe Knowshon Moreno by five votes with a total of 13 to take home the award, which is given annually by the AP to the player who the voters feel made the most remarkable recovery from the previous season, whether from injury or adverse circumstances.
For Rivers, it was the latter as he struggled to do anything worthwhile from 2011 to 2012. During that abysmal stretch of his career, he committed 47 turnovers and took a mind-boggling 79 sacks. Former Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt deserves a lot of the credit for Rivers’ success. The Bolts’ passing game was prolific thanks to the fusion of Whisenhunt’s penchant for playcalling and Rivers’ accuracy.
In 2013, Rivers made his fifth Pro Bowl and tied a career-high in quarterback rating with a mark of 105.5. He also set a career mark with a 69.5 completion percentage while throwing for 4,478 yards and 32 touchdowns, just two shy of his career-high. What may have sealed the win was potentially the “eye” test, where Rivers looked more comfortable all season with few exceptions en route to a 9-7 finish and an improbable playoff run.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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