That changed in the best way possible Thursday night.
The country saw Thursday what we've seen all season out of Rivers, our No. 2 quarterback in the entire league. The Chargers have a precise, ball-control offense that thrives on third downs. Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead have formed one of the league's most effective one-two punches at running back. Mathews racked up 129 yards on 29 carries.
San Diego chewed up the clock by running 44 times and passing only 20 times. You don't see a ratio like that often, unless you are looking through 1970s box scores. San Diego held the ball for more than 38 minutes. When Rivers was asked to throw, he came through with accuracy and great decision-making. He's been a poor man's Peyton Manning all year.
This was a stunning result, but the ingredients that made it possible have been simmering for a while. Denver's defense gets less impressive by the week. They are banged-up and searching for answers, especially in the secondary.
The Chargers are better than their 7-7 record indicates. They have beaten four teams currently in line to make the playoffs. They have lost only one game by more than one score.
When you have a great quarterback and a great offense, you have a chance to win any game. Denver has been the only offense consistently better this year than San Diego.
For one night, Rivers and his friends earned the spotlight.