The Quarterback takes the brunt of the blame, good or bad. This is football logic. But why do we blame Philip Rivers for so much? I don’t think we’ve actually taken a look at what he’s been able to accomplish. San Diego’s fan base and media amplifies his negatives areas more than the positive.
Philip Rivers has a career 70-42 record, second in Chargers history behind Dan Fouts. He’s also 3rd in career yeards in Chargers history. The fiery QB also holds the Chargers single season record for most TD passes in a single season with 34 in 2008. He’s had 4 winning seasons, some that include 14 and 13 win seasons. Now, his playoff record is not what you want your franchise quarterback’s record to be, but does that mean he isn’t elite?
Dan Marino and Jim Kelly are Hall of Fame quarterbacks. However, combined the two are 0-5 in the Super Bowl, Kelly losing the bigger portion of 4. Now, does that mean they weren’t great quarterbacks? No. John Stockton is one of the top 5 point guards to ever play the position. Do we drop him out of the conversation of great point guards due to his lack of championships? No. Plus, it’s not his fault Michael Jordan was his NBA Finals foe. Barry Bonds is the MLB’s all time leader in career home runs. Do we blind our selves to that fact because he has no ring? No. (We give Bonds crap for another reason though.) Philip Rivers gets a lot of flack because he hasn’t won a Super Bowl. Especially being in the draft class he was in that included Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger who are responsible for 4 Super Bowl wins between them. It also isn’t Rivers’ fault that the Chargers were never the best team in the AFC. Let’s be honest, it’s always been Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Indianapolis or New England. Yes, San Diego always had a plethora of talent, but they were always out played, out coached and never had the toughness other teams had. No fault to Rivers.
Philip Rivers has always played consistently for San Diego. Of course, the fan base would love to see him take this team to the Super Bowl. I like to think of a quarterback’s career is equivalent to a relationship. You don’t have to prove you love someone by marrying them, but if you do marry them, it sure does compliment the relationship and solidify it now, doesn’t it? Same with a quarterback. You don’t have to win the Super Bowl to be considered great, but it sure does help. I like to compare Philip Rivers to Leonardo DiCaprio. Seriously. The collective population that has knowledge of everything movies will tell you how great of an actor DiCaprio is. What’s the one thing DiCaprio is missing? An Oscar, the biggest award an actor can receive. Now, just because he doesn’t have one doesn’t mean he isn’t a great actor. Rivers has more than proved himself to be an elite quarterback.
The San Diego quarterback has put up very pleasing numbers for the most part his whole career. What’s more impressive is the lack of talent he’s had around him. Especially at the receiving core. Yes, he had LaDanian Tomlinson and he has Antonio Gates. However, aside from those two players, the talent hasn’t been there. What about Vincent Jackson? Jackson is a talented receiver, but he only made 3 Pro Bowls and sometimes went missing during games. As mentioned before, Rivers has led the Chargers to the playoffs 4 times, once advancing to the AFC Championship before falling to the undefeated New England Patriots. Remember that game? Philip Rivers played on a torn ACL. I don’t think it’s a question if he’s an elite QB or not, but analysts and other “experts” seem to have doubt. Yet, they place guys like Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler or even Mike Vick above Rivers – guys who #17 has more playoff wins than.
I think we tend to set expectations for quarterbacks to high. Not every guy is going to be Joe Montana or Terry Bradshaw 0r even Tom Brady. San Diego as a whole needs to embrace Philip Rivers what type of quarterback they have. A guy who can fling it with the best of them, a never die attitude, a guy who will go to war with you, a guy who holds himself accountable. An elite quarterback. That’s who Philip Rivers is. Let’s all appreciate that.