Dec 7, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Would you consider Philip Rivers elite? Let’s look at the numbers and see what that suggests.
When you think of the most prolific quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, names like Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and even the Chargers very own Dan Fouts come to mind. Not often will you hear the name Philip Rivers thrown out during that topic of conversation. But just how far off is Rivers from matching or topping the career production of those names?
Rivers has played 11 seasons in the NFL since joining the Chargers in 2004. Like much of his career success, his records often go unnoticed despite the numbers. For instance, few know that Philip Rivers set another record during the 2014 season with five straight games of a passer rating over 120.0. The record was formerly held by none other than Johnny Unitas. So what other numbers of his go without being heard?
- 16th in NFL history with 252 touchdown passes
- Needs 24 more to rank top 10 and pass Vinny Testaverde
- 20th in NFL history with 3,025 passing completions
- Needs 662 more to rank top 10 and pass Fran Tarkenton
- 20th in NFL history with 36,655 passing yards
- Needs 7,956 yards to rank top 10 and pass Drew Bledsoe
So now that we see where he ranks all time for the NFL leaders, how does he rank compared to former Chargers quarterback and first-ball Hall of Famer Dan Fouts? Could it be possible that the “bolo” could supplant the “beard” as the greatest in franchise history? Lets look at the numbers.
- Seasons: 11
- Career Wins: 88
- Touchdowns: 252
- Completions: 3,025
- Yards: 36,655
- Passer Rating: 95.7
- Attempts Per Game: 31.6
- Completion Percent: 64.7%
- % Passes For TD: 5.4%
- % Passes For INT: 2.6%
- Seasons: 15
- Career Wins: 86
- Touchdowns: 254
- Completions: 3,297
- Yards: 43,040
- Passer Rating: 80.2
- Attempts Per Game: 31.0
- Completion Percent: 58.8%
- % Passes For TD: 4.5%
- % Passes For INT: 4.3%
An argument could be made for either quarterback to be the most prolific in Chargers history, but with his career yet to conclude Philip Rivers could end up on top statistically in every category. Neither quarterback has won a ring, but both have been surrounded by talent. Rivers has had a future Hall of Fame tight end Antonio Gates, while Fouts had a pair of Hall of Famers in Kellen Winslow Sr. and Charlie Joiner. Add to that mix the names of Wes Chandles and John Jefferson, and a revolutionary passing scheme under head coach Don Coryell and you have a recipe for success.
Bottom Line: Rivers is good. Really good. If he can somehow manage a Super Bowl ring before retirement, he will go down as an all-time great. Despite the current cloudiness over his back injury, he has plenty left in the tank to continue climbing the all time charts. Go Rivers Go! BOLT UP!