Rivers deserves to be in MVP talk

Tomorrow night, after the presents and the turkey diner, most of us will sit back with our families — cold drink in hand — and turn on the TV to watch the Chargers take on the Titans in Nashville.

We’ll tune in to see Chris Johnson run, watch the pocket ability of Vince Young and see what LaDainian Tomlinson has left in those old legs.

All great stuff to see for two of the hottest teams in the NFL. The Chargers at 11-3 — winners of nine in a row — and the Titans, who have become America’s darlings, fighting back from an 0-6 start to sit at 7-7 and on the doorstep of the postseason.

But what I want to watch is bigger, and that’s the quarterback play of Philip Rivers.

When we talk about the best quarterbacks of the 2009 season, the coffeehouse chatter always tends to focus on Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Brett Favre. Don’t get me wrong – they’re all having outstanding seasons for great football teams, but what about Rivers? Why is he never in the discussion?

Is it because he plays on the West Coast — the old clich

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