Does a SB ring stand between Philip Rivers and the HOF?

Dec 24, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws the ball against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 24, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws the ball against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

How many times has this argument been brought up before?

But this time, Chargers fans didn’t bring up the debate. NFL Media columnist Adam Schein believes Philip Rivers should be inducted into the Hall of Fame despite not getting a Super Bowl ring. Here’s what he had to say:

“Philip Rivers passes the eyeball test of greatness. You’ve seen it through the years, with the way Rivers has played. He has won games, carried flawed Chargers teams and defenses. Rivers has maximized pedestrian receivers and spotty lines. Don’t forget: he spent six years of his prime getting Norved.”

Schein brought up how Rivers is underrated along with comparing him to his 2004 draft classmates, both of whom won two Super Bowls a piece.

“Remember, Rivers sat on the pine behind Drew Brees for his first two professional seasons, so some of his counting stats trail those of his draft classmates, Big Ben and Eli. But do you realize Rivers has a higher completion percentage (64.8) than both of them? He also has more passing yards per game (252.7). His career TD-to-INT rate (281:135) is superior to those of Roethlisberger (272:147) and Manning (294:199). Oh, and if you believe in the passer rating, Rivers boasts the best mark there, as well (95.5).”

Unleash the haters. We all know there are plenty of people who will say that Rivers doesn’t deserve that type of recognition. And there are plenty of those who say he’s the Dan Marino of this generation, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’m not going to throw out excuses on why the Chargers haven’t reached the Super Bowl, but Rivers is a great quarterback. Will he be Hall of Fame-worthy without a ring? Yes, I believe he will be. I mean, even though Trent Dilfer won a ring with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000-01, that doesn’t mean he deserves a bust in Canton.

I can’t count the times I’ve defended Rivers against friends and strangers who spat on Rivers’ career. I respect one’s opinion, but to say Rivers isn’t a good quarterback baffles my mind. And for those who dislike his trash-talk, you need to realize it’s all fun and games. I’d take that style of play and energy over an emotionless robot (not saying any names..Eli Manning) any day of the week.

As much as Schein supported Rivers, he doesn’t think the Chargers will go to the Super Bowl in the near future.

“It would take a miracle for the Chargers to even make the playoffs this year,” he said. “The Raiders, Chiefs and defending-champion Broncos are all better. Not to mention what the rest of the AFC looks like. San Diego did Rivers no favors by eschewing a franchise left tackle with the third overall pick (instead taking defensive end Joey Bosa). Last year felt like a funeral for the Chargers in San Diego, with a move feeling inevitable. Well, that hasn’t happened — yet. For now, there’s no closure. And oh, by the way, Mike McCoy’s seat is blistering hot.”

This is where I disagree with him. This roster is the most talented I’ve seen in a long time. Contrary to some, the Chargers are not in rebuilding mode.

Yeah, I’m optimistic; but I’m also a realist. With Rivers, they always have a shot. And if they can run the ball, stop the run on defense and, most importantly, stay healthy, I guarantee they’ll be in the playoff hunt come December. But I’m fine with them staying under the radar right now.

Back to Rivers. The dude only has two losing seasons in his career. He’s played on a torn ACL in the playoffs. He’s the franchise’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns (281) and is well on his way in passing Dan Fouts (43,040) for all-time passing yards. Is he cocky? Meh.. I call that passion. His playoff record (4-5) is really the only thing bringing him down.

It’s tough seeing Rivers not being able to get that coveted ring yet. The image of Gollum pursuing his “precious” for the rest of his life is what comes to mind. But it’s a team sport.

Fortunately, Rivers is only 34 years old and is still playing at a high level. There is still hope.