Those questions are only natural with Philip Rivers turning 37 this upcoming season.

For the second week in a row, Philip Rivers is nominated for FedEx’s Air Player of the Week.

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Even in a frustrating 21-13 loss at the hands of Tom Brady and the Patriots, Rivers came away encouraged by what the team can accomplish over the second half of the season. As with every season that doesn’t end in a postseason berth, Rivers says the hurt doesn’t subside until after the Super Bowl.

In the win over the Raiders, Rivers completed 28 of 37 attempts (75.6-percent) for 387 yards and three scores. The three touchdowns moved his career total to 342, which tied Fran Tarkenton for sixth all-time. Additionally, Rivers became only the ninth player in NFL history to throw for 50,000 passing yards when he connected with Keenan Allen on an 11-yard gain early in the first quarter.

Nike Chargers #17 Philip Rivers Red Men's Stitched NFL Limited AFC 2018 Pro Bowl Jersey
Nike Chargers #17 Philip Rivers Red Men’s Stitched NFL Limited AFC 2018 Pro Bowl Jersey

Rivers explained how there is a whole different feeling about the talent on the team heading into this last offseason compared to the past two seasons, and believes the rest of the NFL will take note as well. Perhaps no one was more emphatic than NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.

“This is the time to do it,” he said. “I really do think that. Now, you like to do it when you’re picking in the top 10 or five, but to me this would be the time. You don’t need a quarterback to come in and play right away. Rivers is a pro. This guy (who comes in) will get to watch up him up close, and there’s not going to be a quarterback controversy. Now, the Chargers have done the quarterback work over the past few years with workouts, and I expect them to do that this year. So yeah, to me this is perfect timing to get the Los Angeles Chargers jerseys sale guy for the future because you don’t have to play him right away.”

It’s the second time he won the award this season as he was also bestowed with the honor following Week 12’s Thanksgiving win over the Dallas Cowboys. He joins Tom Brady as the only players to win the award multiple times this season.

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However, per usual, no one was able to articulate the raw emotion of the season more than Philip Rivers, even if he was wrestling with his own feelings.

As with every season that doesn’t end in a postseason berth, Rivers says the hurt doesn’t subside until after the Super Bowl. His Week 13 Pro Bowl-caliber performance against the Cleveland Browns earned him the nod. Rivers faces stiff competition in Kansas City Chiefs’ Alex Smith and Josh McCown of the New York Jets.

“Well, I don’t know why I’m standing up here like we lost the game; we won the game,” he said. “I thought the guys finished. They played hard. These last 12 weeks we won nine out of 12. I think that showed what type of team we are after starting out 0-4. Disappointing we didn’t make it to the postseason, but we couldn’t control any of that. All we could control is what we did today with the Oakland Raiders. I was proud of the way they came out and fought, and the way they played.”

“I couldn’t participate in the Senior Bowl because I wasn’t able to play,” he said after saying he met with the Bolts. “But I still went down and kind of put my best foot forward with the interview process. So I think that kind of prepared me a little bit for this little more intense, 15-minute formal meetings in the evenings. It’s been good. I feel comfortable explaining myself, articulating myself to evaluators, to coaches. That’s what I’ve done thus far and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

Philip Rivers is close to the perfect second half

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Allen led the Chargers, snaring a career-high 11 catches for his 121 yards along with two touchdowns. His first was a diving 12-yarder to put the Bolts on the board, while his last touchdown was a 23-yard strike with 3:40 remaining in a must score situation. Those two scores matched his total entering Sunday, and Allen felt poised for a big game based on a strong week of practice and his growing development with Rivers.

After setting two franchise rookie records by recording 1,046 yards and 71 catches in 2013, Keenan Allen is looking to take his game to the next level. A third-round draft pick last season, Allen made a name for himself as the Bolts’ primary receiver after the injury to Malcom Floyd. He finished his rookie season targeted 104 times for eight touchdowns.

The biggest difference between year two from year one for me is that it is more difficult than last year. That’s just the way defenses are playing me with different coverages. I’ve just got to cheap Los Angeles Chargers jerseys get open more. The good news is we have a great group of receivers that are doing well when I get that extra coverage. Malcom and Eddie, plus Antonio and the tight ends, they are all doing a great job. We have an unselfish group. They are all capable of making plays. We are all happy for each other and just want to win so we have to keep it going.

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Finally, Floyd also made history with his big day. His 59-yard catch not only marked the longest reception of his career, but it also passed Vincent Jackson for eighth place in team history for receiving yards. Still, Floyd’s biggest impact might have been on a play that won’t show up in the stat sheet as he drew a key pass interference penalty in the end zone in the final minute to set up Royal’s TD strike. In the end, M-80 explained this is the type of win that shows what the Chargers are all about.

Allen said the one of the biggest differences from year one to year two has dealt with football knowledge. He said he has much more of an understanding of the game. Another difference is his role on the team. Playing alongside veterans like Floyd and Eddie Royal, and with a number of youngsters, he believes the Bolts’ WR group could be one of the best in the NFL.

Philip Rivers had as close to a perfect second half as you could have on Sunday, going 14-of-15 for 185 yards and a touchdown when the Chargers needed him the most. He was 7-for-7 for 92 yards in a third quarter that saw the Bolts score 14 points, then orchestrated an 11 play, 93-yard drive that took up over seven minutes of action. Rivers punctuated that series by checking into a quick screen to Keenan Allen that went for a 29-yard touchdown.

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As dedicated as Philip Rivers is to football, off the field, he is a doting dad. Earlier this week, Rivers’ former teammate Drew Brees posted a photo of the pair with their sons. Crazy how life comes full circle, isn’t it?Men's Los Angeles Chargers '47 Camo Alpha T-Shirt

Having tossed multiple touchdowns in each of the last six games, this week Rivers is facing a Raiders defense that he torched for over 350 yards and four TDs in Week 5. He is listed as a “starter/love” on ESPN.com, CBS.com and Yahoo.com. CBS.com’s Jaimey Eisenberg said of Rivers, “He should be throwing a lot with Melvin Gordon (hip) out, and he has scored at least 22 Fantasy points against Oakland in four of his past six starts.” Rivers is on average going for $7,000 in daily fantasy leagues.

This will be Rivers’ first game in North Carolina since he was in college and many experts envision him having a warm homecoming. Rivers is averaging 279 passing yards per game this year while the Panthers have allowed 277 per game through the air. Both CBS.com and SI.com list him as a starter this week and Michael Beller of SI.com has this to say, “This is another game with a high over/under at 49.5, exactly the sort of context in which Rivers typically thrives. With Tyrell Williams a week healthier and Dontrelle Inman emerging as a legitimate weapon, Rivers should take advantage.” He is on average going for $7,300 in daily fantasy leagues.