Commentary

FBO: The Brees vs. Rivers debate

Metrics and 2004 draft options show which way San Diego should have gone at QB

Updated: October 14, 2009, 2:45 PM ET
By Bill Barnwell | Football Outsiders
Getty ImagesPhilip Rivers and Drew Brees talk (as LaDainian Tomlinson looks on, perhaps wondering who will be handing him the ball down the road) during a November 2004 game against the Panthers.

Nearly four years ago, the San Diego Chargers were presented with arguably the most important personnel decision a team has had to make this decade: Drew Brees or Philip Rivers?

They chose Rivers, although that had a fair amount to do with Rivers' middling trade value (he had thrown 30 NFL passes at that point) and the torn labrum that Brees suffered at the end of the 2005 season.

As the 2009 season moves into Week 6, a careful examination of the facts can tell us whether the Chargers actually made the right move.

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Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) is a staff writer for Grantland.