Since his first NFL start on September 11th, 2006, Philip Rivers has provided the Chargers franchise with stability at the one position every NFL team yearns to solidify. For 12 years as a starter, the NFL has had the luxury of watching number 17 light up the scoreboard and continue to prove his critics wrong. The ascension of Rivers as the quarterback for the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers is truly an essential part of the NFL story for the last decade.
The 2004 Trade
Rivers is an elite quarterback with Super Bowl-caliber potential but is often overshadowed by the success of two other quarterbacks from the same 2004 NFL Draft. Ben Rothlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Eli Manning of the New York Giants have both won two Super Bowls.
Ironically, it was the Chargers who drafted Manning in 2004 with the first overall pick. Manning demanded a trade and that draft night he was sent to New York in a package that included the Giants’ fourth overall pick Rivers.
For Rivers, the Manning trade in 2004 continues to follow him and the Chargers to this day. While Manning enjoys his family’s pedigree and his own two Super Bowl rings, Rivers still has none.
To his credit, Rivers does have seven Pro Bowl selections, nine seasons with over 4,000 yards passing, and a career quarterback passer rating of 94.8. As an NFL quarterback, those are all astonishing feats that can’t go unnoticed. Yet in spite of all that success for Rivers still has not produced a championship.
The 2018-2019 NFL Season
At 36 years old Rivers’ career is on the back nine but he can conceivably play a few more years at an elite level. Rivers’ career can be defined by his consistent durability.
Since that first start in 2006, Rivers has never missed a game. This is unheard of in the NFL. Rivers is the active leader among quarterbacks with 192 consecutive starts. The former leader in that category coincidentally was Manning, who saw his streak snapped at 210 last season.
Rivers and the Chargers come into the 2018-19 NFL season tied for the seventh-best betting odds to win the Super Bowl at 16-1. As a seasoned veteran with over 50,000 yards passing, his experience as a quarterback will need to guide this current Chargers team into the playoffs for a potential championship run.
Most Super Bowl winning teams have one thing in common, a consistent passer and leader his teammates can count on. Rivers is undoubtedly that guy. With the talent on this year’s Bolts team, this could be the last shot Rivers has at winning that coveted Lombardi Trophy.