Morning links: Rivers climbs QB rankings

SAN DIEGO -- Good Morning. In this ESPN Insider pieceInsider, NFL analyst Ron Jaworski moves San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers up a notch to No. 5 in his quarterback rankings at the midpoint of the 2013 season. He notes the continued growth Rivers has made under coach Mike McCoy and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt’s offensive system.

“It’s been quite a renaissance for Rivers. He’s No. 2 in Total QBR with a mark of 77.4, and he is thriving in this new-look San Diego offense. We’ve seen him manage the game from the line of scrimmage, and it’s paying dividends for the Chargers, who find themselves in the thick of the AFC playoff chase.”

Bill Barnwell of Grantland takes a look at the state of the zone-read option, with some NFL observers claiming that the offense is no longer effective in the league. Barnwell says don’t believe the hype.

ESPN’s John Clayton wonders if the AFC West is as good as advertised. The combined record of the four teams in the division is 22-8 -- the best nine-week record of a division since the merger.

Mike Jones of the Washington Post provides five storylines to follow in Sunday’s Chargers-Washington matchup.

Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego writes that San Diego receiver Keenan Allen isn’t satisfied with where he’s at right now, and is focused on improving.

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com offers his five keys for San Diego against Washington on Sunday.