Daily Archives: November 12th, 2012

Philip Rivers passing accuracy can’t lead Chargers to victory

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

English: Philip Rivers on the sideline of the ...

Philip Rivers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers yesterday threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s 34-24 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rivers completed 29 of 37 passes in the contest, a completion percentage of 78.4 percent.

With that performance, Rivers became the 49th QB since 1966 to have a completion percentage at 75 percent or above with 35 or more passes in a game his team lost.

Rivers was also the fifth such quarterback to reach these numbers this season. The others: Tony Romo, Christian Ponder, Matthew Stafford and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Five QB’s reaching these numbers in a season ties the league mark, which was set in 2007.

Here’s a look at the five quarterbacks who have had the highest completion percentage (minimum of 35 passes attempted) in a game in which his team lost.

1. Drew Brees, New Orleans: Brees was 32-for-37 (86.5 percent) on Dec. 12, 2009 in a game where the Saints lost 20-17 to Tampa Bay.

2. Jim Kelly, Buffalo: Kelly was 29-for-35 (82.9 percent) on Nov. 24, 1994 in a game where the Bills lost 35-21 to Detroit.

3. Jeff Garcia, Tampa Bay: Garcia was 37-for-45 (82.2 percent) on Oct. 21, 2007 in a game where Bucs lost 23-16 to Detroit.

4. Chad Pennington, New York Jets: Pennington was 32-for-39 (82.1 percent) on Sept. 30, 2007 in a game where the Jets lost 17-14 to Buffalo.

5. Drew Brees, New Orleans: Brees was 39-for-48 (81.3 percent) on Sept. 21, 2008 in a game where the Saints lost 34-32 to Denver.

Rivers also became the fifth quarterback since 1966 to have multiple games with a passing completion mark above 75 percent with a minimum of 35 passing attempts in a loss. Brees and Brett Favre top the list with three. John Elway and Jeff Garcia join Rivers with two such games.

* Oakland Raiders QB Greg Gatson last year became the youngest QB to reach these numbers in a Dec. 18 game when he was 32-for-40 (80 percent) in the Raiders’ 28-27 loss to the Lions. He was 22 years of age.

* Doug Flutie was the oldest QB to reach these numbers. He accomplished this feat on Nov. 25, 2001 in the Chargers 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Flutie was 33-for-44 (75 percent) in the game. Flutie was 39 years old.

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