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Philip Rivers Retires

Per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Quarterback Philip Rivers has announced his retirement after 17 seasons.

Rivers, who famously never missed a start - including a 2007 playoff game with a torn ACL - finishes with 15,410 DYAR as a starter, 134 wins, eight Pro Bowls, and seven playoff appearances in a career that spanned five head coaches, two franchises, and three cities. 

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85 comments, Last at 25 Jan 2021, 9:37am

1 Goodbye Marmallard,

Goodbye Marmallard, I'll miss your horrible game-ending interceptions. I'll always remember this as well:


3 Yup

Yeah, I don't think it's really a question.  On rough numbers alone.  Just because he wasn't as good as 4-5 contemporaries, doesn't mean he wasn't better than 99.5% of other QBs.

5 I agree. I think Eli and Big…

In reply to by Bobman

I agree. I think Eli and Big Ben will both go to the Hall of Fame, and Rivers is arguably better than both (I'd say certainly better than Eli).

9 I think Eli and Big Ben will…

I think Eli and Big Ben will both go to the Hall of Fame

I really wish people would stop saying this. Even people who don't agree with it seem resigned to it, and I hate that it means it's just becoming normalized or a fait accompli.

Eli was only rarely even above average. He doesn't deserve to even be in the bigger list of HOF finalists and the Chargers absolutely fleeced the Giants in that trade. (And this is exactly why I left everything about his draft contemporaries out of the post.)

I think Rivers is better than Ben too, but on that one I at least see the argument. 

It's weird, because for the first part of his career I couldn't stand the guy. He just got to be so under-appreciated over time, though, that it really brought me around to his side. And I'll always be impressed - and proven wrong - by what he did in his final season in Indianapolis. After the previous two years I was certain he'd tail off and struggle mightily in the second half of the season. It was a tough-looking schedule for the Colts after the bye too. I predicted a 7-2 start then a miserable decline to miss the playoffs, and even said in writing how eager I was to get to bet against them in December. Instead... 11-5 and a very solid playoff game against an excellent team, and even on an injured foot, Rivers showed no signs of late-year decline at all. 

It's a great shame that he got hit with some awful luck, weird coaching, and some other great teams in great years and thus never got a chance to play in the Super Bowl. He was certainly good enough to win one or two of them.

13 To be clear, I don't think…

To be clear, I don't think that Eli deserves to go to the Hall of Fame. But, his two ringzz suggest to me that he will. Not sure my opinion will sway HoF voters, but I understand and empathise with your frustration.

17 Two SB MVPs basically…

Two SB MVPs basically guarantees him a free admission to the Hall.

You can laugh at his bust like you laugh at Bradshaw's, but there's going to be a bust.


the Chargers absolutely fleeced the Giants in that trade.

I feel pretty comfortable saying the Giants don't regret the trade. I'm less comfortable saying the Chargers don't.

And we haven't even compared Rivers to his opportunity cost, Drew Brees.

32 Two SB MVPs basically…

Two SB MVPs basically guarantees him a free admission to the Hall.

Well, I'll say this, in baseball, there were some benchmarks that virtually guaranteed enshrinement... until they didn't (500 HR, 3000 hits).

34 Eli doesn't have any steroid…

Eli doesn't have any steroid issues I'm aware of.

Baseball does have an Eli comp, though -- Jack Morris.

Switching to this argument, though, means you're looking for reasons to keep Eli out, not reasons to put him in.

38 Even before the steroid…

Even before the steroid stuff came out, there was a lot of question about putting Rafael Palmeiro in (with a lot of resigned "really, he's a Hall of Famer?" like Eli gets now. Although come to think of it, he might be a pretty good baseball analogue for Rivers).

But the point is, those kinds of soft benchmarks can and will be revoked at the drop of a hat. I really don't think "he's got 2 SB MVPs, he's got to go in" is going to be a compelling argument for a meaningful percentage of voters. Not saying it should or shouldn't be, but I predict it won't.

For me, I tend to be a "big Hall" guy and I still think he's pretty borderline. But, with two great postseason runs, and a handful of very strong regular seasons, I don't think it would be any sort of travesty if he went in. For my money he was way better than Aikman, for one, even accounting for era.

I'm also not convinced he was actually worse than Rivers, honestly. *ducks*

40 Palmeiro had a steroid ban…

Palmeiro had a steroid ban.


After he finger-waved other guys about it, so he takes a double shot as both a cheat and a hypocrite.

52 And the other 4

all have RS MVPs of which Eli got no where near. Gonna be wild when he gets in based on 8 games. No major publication has even given him a 2nd team all pro mention, let alone a 1st. 

57 Hall of Fame, not Hall of…

Hall of Fame, not Hall of Good At Football Compared To Peers.  Being good at number two helps with point one, but sometimes Fate Intervenes.  If you wanted to enshrine people Good at Football, I doubt journos would be the gatekeepers.

Its a popularity contest.  Eli has an important story.

62 I hate this argument and don…

I hate this argument and don't agree with it whatsoever (which doesn't make it invalid, obviously).  It's called the Hall of Fame because it's catchy, and that's what baseball called theirs. 

Unless you believe some of Art Schlichter, Ickey Woods, Doug Flutie, William Perry, Tim Tebow, Rae Carruth, Jim McMahon, Cris Collinsworth (who may be enshrined someday), Joe Theismann, and Garo Yepremain should also be in the Hall.

What is the important story Eli has?  He played like hot garbage for 50%+ of his career.  Got on a couple of playoff runs, one carried by the defense.

It's for excellence, not fame, and I would challenge anyone to tell me someone who is in the Hall of Fame (player category) who wasn't an excellent football player.  (and raiderjoe or ABGT might do just that)

14 You don't think he should…

You don't think he should get in or you don't think he will?

If it's the latter, I disagree. Two SB wins plus 2 sb MVPs against the greatest dynasty plus the Manning name is enough cache to sway voters.



16 Frankly, neither.On the…

Frankly, neither.

On the latter, "two Super Bowls" as a hard line is a bit of a mirage.

Among eligible guys with two or more rings, Brady, Manning, Staubach, Montana, Young, Elway, and Starr would have gone in on passing numbers alone. Aikman and Griese would have been bubble guys ringless, but one would have done it. Bradshaw is the only one who was clearly not a Hall of Famer without any titles and he won four.

The only eligible guy who's case is entirely on his titles is Jim Plunkett, who's not gotten particularly close.

I just don't think Super Bowls are as important to the voters as the public thinks they are.

Also, the voters don't seem to agree with your assessment that they will be swayed by those two Super Bowls: https://www.nj.com/giants/2019/09/is-giants-qb-eli-manning-a-hall-of-famer-or-is-his-record-too-poor-i-asked-39-actual-voters-and-results-will-surprise-you.html

26 Sniping at good faith…

Sniping at good faith posters is beneath this site.

I didn't write the unfortunate title. The article itself, while fluffier than it needs to be, is about a survey conducted of the Hall voters which indicates Eli doesn't have the votes. That's relevant to the discussion.

Do you have any reason to think their survey is inaccurate?

59 How does Eli have a stronger…

How does Eli have a stronger case than Jim Plunkett?

Both were first overall picks with underwhelming career numbers but two Super Bowl titles. Plunkett had six seasons above average in ANY/A+ (comparing his adjusted net yards per attempt to league average), six seasons below, and two seasons exactly at league average. Eli had nine seasons above average in ANY/A+ and seven seasons below. Neither ever received any consideration for All-Pro or NFL MVP.

The only substantive difference is that Eli had two Super Bowl MVP awards, and Plunkett only had one thanks to Marcus Allen's big rushing day in SB XVIII. But even in that game, Plunkett had an efficient day - better by the numbers than Eli's first Super Bowl, especially considering the era adjustment.

I think their careers are virtually identical, so I'm befuddled that the perception is that Eli is a shoo-in for the Hall while Plunkett never had a chance. Does the New York media count for that much? Would Eli have this kind of popularity if he played for Kansas City or Minnesota?

61 He doesn't.  I hate to make…

He doesn't.  I hate to make a Rivers thread about Manning (although not enough to stop myself), but Eli maxed out at the 10th or so best quarterback in the NFL his entire career.  For most of his career, he was lower half.  His last 4 years or so, he was in the bottom 5.


As I've said before, any time you get the chance to enshrine the 10th-best guy at his position, you have to do it.

63 I would just argue being the…

I would just argue being the 10th best player doesn't bother me. To me, there is a clear level of play that qualifies a hall of famer. I hate arguments like you know it when you see it, but it's some flavor of it. People are able to determine to what extent their QB is "special", ie - these kinds of players are truly hard to find and you hold onto them for dear life.

Eli constantly faced scrutiny through most of his career till the second sb title basically gave him unlimited job security. Even Matt Ryan, a player with an MVP, I would be hard pressed to think that the Falcons wouldn't consider pulling the trigger on his replacement except for a year or two after his MVP.

An easy acid test: If you have the opportunity to draft Trevor Lawrence, which QBs would make you consider passing on him? Some are no brainers like Manning the older and Brady. I think Wilson, Watson, Big Ben and Rivers are also worth keeping. Eli Manning or Matt Ryan? I think I'd rather take a chance on Trevor. 

That to me is the hall of fame acid test. 

69 An easy acid test: If you…

An easy acid test: If you have the opportunity to draft Trevor Lawrence, which QBs would make you consider passing on him? Some are no brainers like Manning the older and Brady. I think Wilson, Watson, Big Ben and Rivers are also worth keeping. Eli Manning or Matt Ryan? I think I'd rather take a chance on Trevor. 

That to me is the hall of fame acid test. 

Under that criterion, Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady are not HOF QBs.


18 His 2-min drive numbers are…

In reply to by Bobman

His 2-min drive numbers are kind of fascinating, though. He's not only well below Eli and Roethlisberger (Eli was legitimately really good at them!), he was sub-par in general.

Which does fit his narrative pretty well. Eli's too, really.

42 I agree.

In reply to by Bobman

There will always be questions about him in the playoffs but he's sorta in the Warren Moon category. Played 15 years but no SB (or even appearances) nor AP 1st team All Pro selections (but some from different publications). 

I wonder what Ben will do. Steelers probably praying he retires. 

58 Yup 2

What Bobman said. Plus, he never missed a start, unlike Manning, Brady and Brees, and that sort of longevity and availability is pretty special.

4 Thanks, Phil

Happy St Sebastian's Day (I guess).  I always disliked facing you because you always seemed to pull out a win I didn't think your team merited (Mike Scifres, Darren Sproles, refs who think Dwight Freeney's facemask is supposed to be grabbed by OTs, I'm looking at you) and I was skeptical you'd help Indy in 2020, but you really produced better than I expected.  You were not a turnover machine.  I always hated your trash talking, but grew to become amused by its profanity-less childishness.  I'm glad for you that you went out before the arm fell off entirely, and that you had a team that could help cover up for some holes in your game.

Enjoy coaching; it's fun as hell.  Just remember they're kids.  And kids these days seem so much less motivated than they were 30 years ago, so good luck figuring that component out.

Luckily Indy should be an appealing stop for most any QB FA, thanks to Reich, cap space, the OL, the young RBs and WRs. The lack of games played in the tundra.

27 +2

In reply to by Lebo


7 More on Rivers

Here's Quick Reads from a couple weeks ago on how much Rivers has spent his career trying to come back late in the two-minute drill: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/quick-reads/2021/wild-card-quick-reads

Rivers finished in the DYAR top 3 six different times. He finished No. 1 in passing DVOA in both 2008 and 2009. He was the best of the three Class of 2004 quarterbacks but that lack of a Super Bowl is going to come into play in the Hall of Fame discussions, no doubt.

10 At their peaks, Rivers was…

At their peaks, Rivers was the best of his draft class and just barely flirted with being an elite QB. His playoff failures will obscure just how awesome he was. And of course, playing for a team being haunted by a voodoo doll is an encumbrance most QBs don't have to deal with.

I think Rivers' career is really a disappointment for the Chargers who put on a clinic of how to waste talent and opportunity. A qb like Rivers should make you a contender every year. Instead even making the playoffs was a struggle

20 And of course, playing for a…

And of course, playing for a team being haunted by a voodoo doll is an encumbrance most QBs don't have to deal with.

I feel comfortable arguing the Bears, Lions, Falcons, Chargers, Bills, Vikings, and Saints are cursed franchises, depending whether said curse is team-wide, playoffs-only, or QB-specific.

29 The Browns aren't old enough…

In reply to by Bobman

The Browns aren't old enough to have a curse. They are just run by morons.

\as are the Jets, Jags, and Texans

36 If we're distinguishing…

If we're distinguishing between cursed franchises and franchises run by morons, I vote to place the Bears are in the latter group. I feel like their disasters at QB are too systematic and unreliant on luck to be cursed. It'd be different if they had a history of drafting promising guys whose careers were derailed by injury or tragic circumstances, as opposed to just being bad at evaluating the position and in no apparent hurry to change that. 

39 I threw the Bears in because…

I threw the Bears in because they haven't had a good starting QB since 1948. Their high water marks have been old Billy Wade, injured Jim McMahon, and pre-injury Jay Cutler. Those alone were enough to get them to NFC conference championship games.

The only one of those they drafted was McMahon.

That's incompetence so long-standing and transiting so many different people that it has to be cursed.

12 Rivers vs Marino

As QBs who famously never got a ring, how does he compare to Marino in the differing context in which they played?

15 When I started watching…

In reply to by baker13

When I started watching football around 2001, Marino was in the Goat convo. The fact that he never won a sb and yet was getting that kind of recognition is quite telling. He was also an obvious Hall of famer.


Rivers is going to be seen as a borderline case. Rivers has no trophy hardware and his numbers are going to get discounted because of the era he played in.


I think it's not much to compare their beyond the obvious lack of rings.


22 I agree.  I generally think…

I agree.  I generally think Rivers was the 5th or so best QB of his era. On the whole I would take Manning, Brady, Brees, and Rodgers ahead of him.  Wilson eventually too, though his great years and Mannings only barely overlapped. 

5th best at any other position and I am reasonably sure he wouldn't make the hall, or deserve it.  But at QB I rather hope he does.

43 Russel Wilson's reputation…

Russel Wilson's reputation is fascinating to me. He went to two SBs on defensive heavy, run game leaning teams. Since then, one could argue his postseason record is a disappointment, though I don't like wording things like that.

I am just wondering does everyone else believe Wilson is a superior qb to prime Rivers?

44 Wilson's arrival coincided…

Wilson's arrival coincided with a dramatic uptick in Seattle's offense.

They were 29th in 2010 at -18 (-8/-18) and 22nd in 2011 at -9 (1, -3).

In 2012, they were 4th at 19 (40/12).

Lynch at least made them non-putrid, but when Wilson showed up, suddenly they were in the neighborhood of GB and NE.

45 I dont think the Seahawks…

I dont think the Seahawks have ever had an offense that was league leading. They were certainly that way for half the year, but not for a full season. The chargers with Rivers were at various points. 

46 2015, Seattle led the league…

2015, Seattle led the league in offensive DVOA.

San Diego peaked at #2 in 2006 and 2008.

SD's 2006 was higher than Seattle's 2015 -- it turns out playing with two 1st-ballot HoFers (Gates, Tomlinson) in their prime buoys your offensive numbers. But Wilson's early offenses (2012-2016) look a lot like Rivers' 2006-2010 stretch, but Wilson was doing it with less surrounding offensive talent and with better team success.

48 Let me ask it this way: Is…

Let me ask it this way: Is 2015 Wilson better than 2020 Wilson?

The reason I ask is there is a stark gap in the number of attempts between these two players. I would submit DVOA and DYAR are correlated, but not quite. I think Wilson in 2020 had a great burden over the offense than in 2015 and thats why his DVOA figure is worse despite having a greater number of attempts.

I think Rivers was always on a team with high attempt totals aside from 06. 

50 I would argue every Rivers…

I would argue every Rivers team had better receivers than every Wilson team except for maybe 2020.

They got about the same out of those offenses, as a whole.

Do you think Seattle's offense functions at all without Wilson?

51 No it doesn't at all. And I…

No it doesn't at all. And I would agree that Rivers has. You could also argue the o line is probably equally bad. So that leaves special teams and coaching. Wilson might be better. I think he probably is but I think its still a discussion not a slam dunk in Wilson's favor. 

35 IDK

How about Dan Fouts? Career Charger and never appeared in a Super Bowl. It's sort of amazing the Chargers had both Fouts and Rivers but went to the big game with them. 

47 Hadl, too. This happens to a…

In reply to by johonny

Hadl, too. This happens to a lot of Chargers.

\Burrow might be doomed to be a Hall of Very Good guy, like Anderson and Esiason before him.

56 There was a period from 1979…

In reply to by johonny

There was a period from 1979 to 1982 when Fouts was generally considered the best quarterback in the game - All-Pro in 1979 and 1982, OPOY in 1982 (when Mark Frickin' Moseley got the MVP), led the NFL in passing yards all four years and in TDs two of those years.  Rivers never had a peak like that, although he also had tougher competition, to be fair.

66 not comparable

From 1983 until his retirement, Marino was generally considered to be the best QB in the NFL.  Not Montana, not Elway, and nobody else need apply.  

Marino exploded all the previous NFL records in his sophomore season.  Rivers never did anything close to that, nor did he ever have a season where he was considered to be the best QB.  

The tragedy of Marino's career is that the Dolphins, for some combination of reasons that never became obvious, stopped being an elite team in the mid-80s.   It started when the Pats beat them in the AFCCG in '85-'86, and then for the next ten years the AFC was dominated by the Broncos and the Bills.  I picked a year at random - 1988, and I see the Fins had the #2 offense by DVOA, but the #28 defense.  I believe this was typical for the rest of Marino's career (though probably not as extreme).  

Marino's Dolphins beat the '85 Bears, something that no other franchise could do.  But he was asked to compensate for a terrible defense, and he couldn't do it.

67 I agree with the sentiment…

In reply to by RickD

I agree with the sentiment of this post, except for the third, fourth, and fifth words.

Marino was absolutely NOT considered the best QB in the NFL during his last few seasons.

But comparing him to Rivers is absurd.  By the end of Marino's 2nd year, everybody knew they were looking at a first ballot HOFer.

68 I really wish I grew up in…

I really wish I grew up in the 80s to get a sense of these QBs were remembered in their primes. But here was my sense when I first got involved in football and before Manning and Brady entered the scene.

Montana feels like the default answer because of the rings and while his stats are gaudy for the era, he undoubtedly had the best supporting casts from top to bottom. A look over Dr.Z all pro teams will reveal a stunning number of 49ers on defense. I suspect when Young succeeded, it further dampened Montana's reputation.

I feel like everyone wants to say Elway for some reason but couldn't make the statistical case. Then when he won 2 sbs, it felt like he threaded some kind of figurative needle between steep supporting cast adjustment and rings.


And then Marino, who people actually thought was the best but since rings trumps all logical conversation, it just became impossible to state his case.


75 Quaterbavk things

Montana, Marino,  and elway generallg thoufht of as top quarterbacks mid to late 80s. By mid 90s we were listing kelly, Young, Favre, Aikman as top ones. 

Marino had reallg good defense to starrt. Defense of 1984 dolphins known as Killer Bs. Was named due tp guys on defense with surnames starting with B- Brudzinski, Baumhower, G. BLackwood, L. Blackwood, Bowser, B. Brown, M. Brown, Betters, Bokamper

 Tjen Miami defense ge t old in spots and crappier by late 80s. Runninf game worse too. So now when Marino had been inmleague fpr 5 years tema arouns him junky. Thenthings fixed eno7gj by 1990 that twam gets into playoggs. Loses 44-34 in snow game in Buffalp. Very fun game tp watch. Then collapsed a lot in 1990s. Mimai woupd atart 6-0 and finish 9-7. Stuff like that. Hot starts, diarrhea finishes. 

Think story of Miami foibles exaggerated 

 Was not Marino with nobody else. Had Hall of fame coaches, good enough degensrs muxh of career. 

Elway also got Marino treatment. "Him and bunch of nobodies.  Any success of tema is bexause of him." Not reality i saw. Denvee had godd players on defense.  D. Smith, K

 Mecklenberg, s. Fletcher, R. Jones , W.Henderson and some others. Runnin g game pedestrian at times..sammy winder terrible rushing average. G. Willhite good "chamge of pace" back. Later had Bobby humphery for gopd couple years but thenn trade d to Miami. Humphery helped Miami starr 6-0 one year but then he and tema faded.

Elway won leaguemvp 1987. Made fancy comebacks in playogf games. Was seen as willer of wins for 1-man band teams. Dumb guy thinking tbat was sinc football such a team sport.

Then elway got no doubt superior team arouhd it. DENVer rooster overall superior bt 1996-98 than maybe previous 3-yr high watermark of 1987-89. So then teamm wins 2 super Bowls late in Elway's careeer wuich then made even elway detratcors say he is all time gerat.


Montana very efficient . Plyaed for great head coach. Had more stuff working around him than almost any wuarrerbafk in historu. Still grear though. Will bot take abything awat from him especially when even played well for differnt franchise which was Chiefs 

76 If you want a quick and…

If you want a quick and messy, Marino was Manning (or even better, a non-mobile Rodgers) and Montana was Brady.  One had the unquestionably superior arm talent and could hit any spot on the field.  The other one, while no slouch slinging the ball himself, was the over-achieving, throw-to-the-open guy, don't make mistakes, move the chains football savant. 

82 There's a lot of…

There's a lot of similarities between Elway and Wilson, right down to their baseball background.  But I don't recall Elway ever being nearly as accurate as Wilson is.  Brett Favre is probably the better comp. 

78 Brady has led the league in…

Brady has led the league in TDs 4 times and yards 3 times. He's quarterbacked the top DVOA offense no less than 5 times as well 3 of the top 20 (including the top two) offenses since 1950 and 5 of the top 20 passing offenses (two of the top five), playing for a cold weather team that for the overwhelming majority of his career ignored elite wideout talent. Those top two greatest offenses were accomplished with dramatically different players and schemes. His record when throwing 50+ passes is a Ruthian-like outlier with regard to team success relative to pretty much every other QB in NFL history. The idea that his career is defined by avoiding mistakes and moving the chains really isn't supported by the record at all. 

81 I am too.  My point wasn't…

I am too. 

My point wasn't that Brady didn't lead some of the greatest offenses of all-time.  Or that he was simply a (cringe) game manager.  My point is that he didn't win all those games by making ridiculous throw after ridiculous throw. 

I don't think anybody would say that Brady was ever in the top 5 of "arm talent" in the NFL.  Marino was best in the league in that regard from his rookie season until his early 30s.

83 Its an interesting question…

Its an interesting question that naturally arises from this. Is it more of an innate "talent" to hit the so called routine, easy short routes vs another Qb who rifles passes deep down the field threading a needle?

The first time I saw Brady run such an offense to ruthless efficiency was in 2006 against the famed Williams wall. That was the first time I saw a coach totally buck a trend and go full on matchup exploitation. They didn't even bother wasting time trying to run the ball and it wasnt as if the Pats had some crazy pedigree of pass heavy offense at that point. And Brady dinked and dunked them to death. 

And at the time carrying all the way to 2010, I believed this to be more of a function of the overall offense than Brady himself. I remember in their second game against SD in 2007 - Brady just methodically dinked and dunked the Chargers to death and I saw open receiver after open receiver catch shallow passes, turn up field, and get first downs. 

Obviously, it's been over a decade since but I now regard this as an innate talent that not everyone or even most everyone has the ability to do. It requires your qb to know where that ball is meant to go because of what defense they are showing. And in some respects, it is less dependent on a supporting cast than the alternative.

Ultimately, I don't have a great answer to which is better. I think there's a seductive element about which feels better. Doing the hard things well implies you can do the easy stuff, but that isn't true as far as I know. Its kind of why Brady needs the 6 rings to cement his goat status because I've heard plenty of people go - Brady's the GOat but <insert Rodgers and now Mahomes> is playing like no else has. 

85 According to Ian O'Connor's…

According to Ian O'Connor's book Belichick always felt that Brady's arm strength was significantly above the NFL average and chafes at the latter talking up overcoming his supposed physical deficiencies to succeed. He's obviously not an athletic phenom like Elway or Rodgers or Mahomes, but I feel his "arm talent" is just fine; he wouldn't have been as successful in as many different schemes with as many different personnel if it wasn't.

23 Rivers's Numbers

If teams got into the HOF, then SBs make sense as a criteria because teams win games, but individuals run and throw and catch and tackle. (I know they don't do it in a vacuum).  Phil's traditional and some advanced stats below. There're some cross-era issues below, but not too much.

64.9% completion% (only 4 retired players better)

63,440 yards (5th)

7.8 yards per attempt (only 7 retired players better)

421 TD passes (5th)

95.2 rating (only 3 retired players better)  Rivers' passer rating is12th all-time, higher than Ben Roethlisberger (94.0), Kurt Warner (93.7) and Joe Montana (92.3)--all either in the HOF or locks for it.

252 consecutive starts (4th)

8x Pro Bowl--he played in an era with all-time greats Brady and Manning in his conference--remove them and although it doesn't make him a better or worse QB, he makes an even dozen pro bowls.

Twelve 4,000+ yard seasons (Tied w/ Brees & Brady. Only Manning has more)

Eleven 25+ TD seasons (only Manning, Brady, Brees more)

Six 30+ TD (only 5 players have more)

Top 10 in DYAR 10x (Top 5 6x)

Top 10 in DVOA 9x (Top 5 6x)

From 2006-2020 Top 3 finishes by DYAR: Ranks #4 Rivers with 6x (Brees is #1 9x, Manning & Brady #2/3  with 8x, Rodgers is behind Rivers with 3x

Finally, EPA/play among QBs who played at least 1,500 snaps since 2006:

#6. Philip Rivers (#12. Ben Roethlisberger and #35. Eli Manning--both multiple SB winners)

He'll never be regarded as the best, but should always be regarded as among the best. The fact that he shared an era with 3 -5 of the all-time best is poor timing. Every team of superheroes needs a Hawkeye and Falcon.

25 Its also ironic in that he…

In reply to by Bobman

Its also ironic in that he arrived in the best of all situations, but that quickly eroded. The chargers could never field an above average offensive line, were comically inept at special teams year after year, and their defense could rarely be trusted. Oh and his run games sucked too.

He had talent at the skill positions there's no doubt. You can't put up the numbers he did without talent there. But on the whole, when you look over the organization, it becomes clear why he didn't have the success some of his contemporaries did. That's why I said its a worse reflection on the Chargers that they have nothing to show for having a qb like Rivers for so many years. 

37 HOF

I've long thought of Rivers as a borderline HOF case (though one that I would support). In the last 2-3 seasons, though, I've routinely heard announcers calling his games refer to him as a "future Hall of Famer." Usually this kind of affirmation from the mainstream media, in any sport, is a good signal that a player will indeed make the HOF.

While a common argument against him is that he was not as quite as good as his legendary contemporaries, you could make an argument that during a three year run from 2008-2010 -- in which he led the league in Y/A each year -- he was the best QB in the league, or at least second to Manning. 

49 With his starting LT and QB…

With his starting LT and QB retiring a little over a week apart, Chris Ballard has his work cut out for him this off season. 

71 Does Rivers get in if Eli…

Does Rivers get in if Eli does not?

It feels like Rivers case is made mostly on the argument that he was better than Eli, so if Eli is in...

But what if Eli isn't in? Then he's just a shittier version of Ben Roethlisberger.

\Go look; his rate stats are almost exactly identical to Roethlisberger's
\\Except his W-L record is much worse and Ben has much more playoff success

73 Eli deserves crap.

The argument? He never lived up to his draft position. He only went no. 1 because of his big brother and his father. 

To paraphrase that great football analyst, Rush Limbaugh: "Donovan Eli Manning McNabb didn't win those championships! The defense did!"


74 The median weighted career…

In reply to by LionInAZ

The median weighted career AV for a #1 pick is around 55.

Eli was worth 118. He's comfortably 90th percentile.


You can actually see Eli in here:

He's the peak that's after Peyton. For better or worse, he's the 4th-best #1 pick since 1970.