Philip Rivers was a member of the famed 2004 quarterback draft class which included Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. Those two guys have remained in the league as long as Rivers has, but only three current starters have been in the league longer.
One of those guys is Rivers’ former teammate Drew Brees and another is five-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady. While Brady continues to draw headlines and be lauded as the greatest quarterback of all-time, Rivers generally gets lost in the shuffle.
But that wasn’t the case of Monday’s edition of Good Morning Football on NFL Network.
In a segment titled “East vs. West”, Brady was placed up against a west coast quarterback and each member of the panel had to state their case for which player would finish higher in the MVP voting for the upcoming season.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was chosen as the quarterback from the west coast, and Kay Adams wasn’t having it, showing Rivers some live instead.
Fans of the Los Angeles Chargers have to love that. But I’m here to say that Adams wasn’t off base. Not even a little bit.
Now I’m not going to argue against Brady being the best quarterback of all-time (or why I don’t think he is), but in terms of the 2018 season, Rivers is much more equipped to have a better year.
Rivers might be 36 years old, but Brady will turn 41 in August. Regardless of what any of these analysts think, he can’t do it forever and there is a great chance that this season will be his last. Of course, that should give Brady all of the motivation he needs to go out on top, but there are signs that the foundation of the New England Patriots is finally beginning to show some cracks.
There was the trade of Garoppolo, which didn’t seem to be a move everyone in the organization liked. On top of that, Rob Gronkowski seemed to be contemplating whether he wanted to continue his career and now, Brady has decided to skip voluntary OTAs.
Of course, these are all things that Patriots fans would easily dismiss as non-issues, but there could be something there.
Whether there is something there or not, the Patriots still seem to be stinging from their loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XLII. Meanwhile, the Chargers are clearly a team on the rise.
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Rivers has a stout running game led by Melvin Gordon, an offensive line that is getting better all the time, an excellent wide receiver in Keenan Allen and a defense that could be among the league’s best. In addition, Hunter Henry, Tyrell Williams, Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler are all players who will help Rivers reach his ultimate destination.
Because after all, teams win championships, not players and great teams help their leaders earn league MVP awards.
Brady led the NFL with 4,577 yards passing last season. Any guess who was number two? That’s right, Rivers, with just 62 yards less. Brady had four more touchdown passes, two less interceptions and a better quarterback rating but this season, I see that changing.
Brady also lost Dion Lewis and Brandin Cooks from his offense.
Many people have closed the door on Brady and the Patriots before and been completely wrong. I’m not doing that. I still feel Brady and the Patriots have a great season, they always do.
But this is more about Rivers and how that proverbial door of great quarterback talk should be opened for him. As Adams suggested, it’s time for No. 17 to get more credit, more respect and more recognition for his great play.