He was far better than Alex over time. Lately for the last 2 years he has had a major dropoff. Partially IMO it's because their team dropped off. Their defense and running game got so much worse. They lost a lot of D guys to age, retirement, FA, injuries. This allows the other teams to score tons more. And they are always playing catch up and chucking the ball all over the field. This leads to interceptions. They lost LT and Sproles and Michael Turner. All of those. They had a powerful running game. Now it's not balanced. It's one dimensional with passing being the key. So other teams tea off on the blitz and on the QB. This has an effect also. Finally they lost Vincent Jackson. A huge blow to Phillip Rivers. He used to just chuck it up in the air and have VJ come down with it since he is 6'5" 240 lbs. Now they don't have the WR's who can do that. This leads to more interceptions.
Really I think Rivers would be better on this team than he is on SD. There is so much more talent here than there. All things being equal talent wise on Team A and Team B by comparison if the talent was apples to apples I'd say Rivers is ahead of Alex Smith. Alex has a more talented team in recent years. The Chargers have been steadily declining for many reasons since their 14 - 2 powerhouse days. It's an overall team deterioration more so than Rivers I think. Although you could say there has been some decline with him though too.
One thing with Rivers is he won't struggle to throw for 150 yards in a game....
And if you get behind by a few TD's you are still in it because he can score a lot fast.
IMO Rivers got into some bad habits early in his career when he had LT and Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates in his real prime and a powerhouse defense. He could just chuck anything up and not worry about anything. His WR's / TE's were so physical they would usually come down with it. If not his defense and running game would bail him out anyway Still to say he's not better than Smith over time would be rediculous IMO. Is he better now? I don't know. Alex's team is so much better and Phillips team is so much worse. My guess would be if they were on the same 49ers team Rivers is the starter and Alex the backup. With the roster we have I think Rivers would do a lot.
[ Edited by SanDiego49er on Oct 20, 2012 at 12:33 AM ]