Philip Rivers' focus on accuracy resulting in career season

The Latin phrase that helped Rivers begin again (2:11)

Chargers QB Philip Rivers explains the Latin phrase "Nunc Coepi," meaning "now I begin," and the role it plays in his life. (2:11)

CLEVELAND -- Philip Rivers shrugged his shoulders when asked why he has been so accurate throwing the football this season.

"That's kind of what the game -- not just us -- the game is, has evolved to," the veteran Los Angeles Chargers quarterback said. "Having possessions and being able to convert third downs, that's a big part of it."

Through six games, Rivers is having one of his best seasons statistically over his 15-year NFL career. His 68.6 completion percentage would be the best in his NFL career, save for the 2013 season when he completed 69.5 percent of his passes.

Per ESPN Stats & Information research, Rivers is averaging a career-high 8.8 yards per attempt and has a career-high 15-3 TD-to-INT ratio. The Chargers are averaging 6.3 yards after catch per reception, their highest rate since 2010.

As an offense, the Chargers are No. 5 in the NFL in points per game (29.2), seventh in total yards per game (412.5) and lead the league in explosive plays with 45 (plays of 15-plus yards rushing or 20-plus yards passing).

Chargers offensive lineman Dan Feeney says Rivers' preparation sets him apart.

"We break down blitzes like crazy with him," Feeney said. "He goes back two, sometimes three years. He just wants to make sure everybody's on the same page. If we get a crazy look, he'll be like, 'Here's our calls, this is what's happening, let's go.'

"If he needs to be hot [a short route used when expecting a blitz], he knows who he's hot off of, so the communication between us is huge."

Rivers said he wanted to get back to what was successful for him in 2013, when he leaned on short completions, getting the ball out quickly and allowing his playmakers to do the work.

For Rivers the idea is simple -- keep throwing completions and force the defense to make tackles in space.

"We just want to get the ball out, and let's see if they can tackle," he said. "That's what you've seen all over, and just keep throwing completions, and we've always thought that, especially as an offense. Just keep completing passes, even if they're for 3, and 4, and 8 [yards] -- as a defense, it wears on them because all they know is there is another completion.

"They're not necessarily seeing you throw a completion for 3 yards and it's a completion, although it's probably a win for the defense. In the scheme as the game flow goes, you keep throwing completions and usually something happens. Somebody's going to miss a tackle. Somebody's going to break a long one."

Rivers' low interception ratio is a carryover from last year's edict by coach Anthony Lynn -- take care of the football. Rivers finished with 10 interceptions last year after throwing a career-high 21 in 2016.

"He's going to throw one every now and then, but for the most part, he's taking care of the football," Lynn said. "His completion percentage is up, and, you know, that's everybody. That's the O-line protecting and that's the receivers running the right routes at the right depth and catching the ball.

"That's the whole team, including the backs out of the back field. But he's taking care of the football, and he's delivering the mail where it needs to go."

Rivers also pointed to the Chargers' ability to run the football and create balance on offense.

Running back Melvin Gordon is having perhaps his best year as a pro in his fourth NFL season. The Wisconsin product has nine touchdowns, and his 745 yards from scrimmage is No. 4 in the NFL.

Gordon and fellow running back Austin Ekeler (470) have 1,215 yards from scrimmage and are pace to break last year's NFL combined yards from scrimmage record for a running back duo of 3,094 yards set by Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram of the New Orleans Saints.

"Philip's probably been one of the best ever to get it to the backs," Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said. "He's done that with L.T. [RB LaDainian Tomlinson], he's done that with [former RB] Ryan [Mathews], he's done that now with Melvin, and that's a big part of it, too."

At 36 years old, Rivers is No. 6 on the NFL all-time touchdown list (357), No. 8 in passing yards (52,050) and No. 8 in quarterback rating (95.4).

While Rivers is an NFL history buff who pays close attention to what's happening around the league, the only stat he's concerned with this season is wins.

"Whatever the numbers are, I really don't care anymore," Rivers said. "I do, in that if you play well, you give your team a chance to win. But where you stack up and all of those things, unless there's a direct correlation to winning, that's really what it's all about."