Philip Rivers has been a top 10 quarterback every year since becoming a full-time starter in 2006. But is he a Hall of Famer?
You could say he’s not even on the same tier as other players from his draft class — such as Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Larry Fitzgerald. The other three will make the Hall of Fame, of course. That said, Rivers has the stats and pedigree to be considered. But does he still have something to prove?
The Chargers, now residing in Los Angeles, are always in contention. And, Rivers puts up good numbers on a consistent basis. Obviously he learned a thing or two from sitting on the bench for two years behind Drew Brees. Since taking the starting job, though, Rivers is only slightly over .500 for wins and losses. With a career 112-88 record to date, it’s hard to say if he is a top-tier or elite quarterback.
Throwing for over 4,000 yards nine times apparently isn’t enough, because over that 13-year period he has only made it to the postseason five times. Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Phillip Rivers are the only three quarterbacks to throw for over 3,500 yards for ten consecutive years. The other two are a lock for the HOF.
But is Rivers?
Thus far, he has been to 7 Pro Bowls in his career. But a 4-5 record in the playoffs paints a more worrying picture. The then San Diego Chargers only made it to the AFC title game once with him under center. Turnovers have not been his best friend either. He has racked up 169 interceptions in his career along with 100 fumbles. In the playoffs, he has thrown for just 11 touchdowns while adding 9 interceptions.
So if his career ended today, would we consider it a success?
Do you think Peyton Manning went to the Broncos late in his career because of John Elway? Many could argue it was because of the easy division. In the time that Rivers has been Chargers’ quarterback, he has only had one Hall of Fame quarterback within his division. The Broncos have had Jay Cutler, Kyle Orton and Manning for most that span. And the others? Well the Chiefs have had Matt Cassel and Alex Smith for nine of those 12 years. Meanwhile, the Raiders have seen Carson Palmer, JaMarcus Russell and current signal-caller Derek Carr suit up.
It’s easy to say that Rivers hasn’t had much competition compared to other quarterbacks from his draft class.
Lastly, is he worth his 21 million per year? Should the Chargers sign him in 2020 when he will then be 38 years old? He has considered retirement a few times. Will he ride off into the sunset with no championships and a sketchy HOF consideration? It’s hard to say if Rivers is elite, but only he can change that narrative.
Get a championship for the Chargers and retire. It’s that simple. Then he can get finally bask in the glory that he’s worked so hard for over the last 15 years.