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Tracking Targets: Philip Rivers' Pass Distribution

Philip Rivers is good at most aspects of playing the QB position. He's not the most mobile QB in the world, but he more than makes up for a lack of mobility in every other area of his skill set, plus he's adept at moving around within the pocket to avoid the rush and buy time to find open receivers.

Everyone on the Vikings coaching staff respects Rivers, from offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who coached him for six years, to head coach Mike Zimmer and defensive coordinator George Edwards, who've had to defend him for longer than that.

A profound strength of Rivers skill set, though, is his ability to throw with anticipation and to connect with receivers in open spaces so those receivers can pick up yards after the catch. We demonstrated just a few examples of that in the film study included within this piece.

Of the seven players who've caught a pass from Rivers this season, five of them have a double-digit per-catch average, four have a reception of 20 yards and three have multiple receptions of 20 yards.

Below is a chart that illustrates Rivers' pass distribution to his receivers through two games in 2015 (excludes RB Brandon Oliver, who has 1 reception on 1 target for 17 yards). And beneath that is a little more on each of Rivers' 2015 targets.

Player Targets Receptions Yards TDs
Keenan Allen 21 17 182 0
Stevie Johnson 12 11 127 1
Ladarius Green 12 10 121 1
Danny Woodhead 12 9 87 0
Malcom Floyd 6 3 84 1
Melvin Gordon 4 4 26 0

WR Keenan Allen:Allen tore it up in Week 1, seeing 17 of his 21 targets and catching 15 of his 17 receptions that day against the Detroit Lions. He is a tough one to tackle after the catch and the Chargers can move him all around the formation.

WR Stevie Johnson:Johnson is the Chargers slot receiver and has seen 11 of his 12 targets from that position. He hauled in 6 receptions on 6 targets in Week 1, including a 12-yard TD on a screen pass.

RB Danny Woodhead:Rivers was a perfect 6 for 6 in targeting Woodhead last week, an effort that yielded 68 of Woodhead's 87 receiving yards on the season. He, like Allen, can line up anywhere in the formation.

TE Ladarius Green:With Antonio Gates unavailable for the first four weeks of the season, Green has seen the field a lot in the first two games. He's been targeted by Rivers 12 times and has 10 receptions for 121 yards and a TD in those opportunities. Green can be used as an in-line TE, flexed outside or off-set from the OT. His long reception of the season (22 yards) came with him running down the right seam after lining up in the short slot, while his TD came on a quick post route he ran from an in-line alignment following a perfectly-executed run-action fake from the Rivers, Woodhead and the OL. Green is listed on the injury report with a concussion.

WR Malcom Floyd:Needing a quick score late in last week's game at Cincinnati, the Chargers dialed up a deep pass to Floyd and he came up big, hauling in the catch to score a 40-yard TD.

Melvin Gordon:The 1st-round pick is the Chargers bell cow RB, but he can catch it out of the backfield, too. He has 4 receptions on 4 targets.

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