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Lions’ Matthew Stafford calls Chargers longtime QB Philip Rivers ‘underappreciated’

Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, Lions, Chargers

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has spent enough time in the NFL to know how difficult it is to remain consistent in the injury-laden league. This is why he has a ton of respect for Los Angeles Chargers’s Philip Rivers.

The Lions are set to face the Chargers at Ford Field on Sunday, and there is an interesting statistic tying these two franchises together. Both teams have started the same quarterbacks for quite some time now: Stafford has started 129 games for the Lions while Rivers one-ups him by 80.

Ahead of their game, he went out of his way to praise his rival QB, per ESPN’s Michael Rothstein:

“He’s a great quarterback, does a great job,” Stafford said. “I think underappreciated in a lot of aspects. And obviously, the guy shows up for his team every week. Played in the AFC Championship game with a torn ACL, which is incredible. I’m sure he’s played through a million other things that nobody knows about, too.

“So got to give him a lot of credit. Guy is there week-in and week-out and playing at a high level. It’s impressive.”

“I think there’s a lot that goes into it,” Stafford said. “Some of it is luckily, being able to play through some of the stuff that you have. Sometimes you have stuff that the quarterback position can’t play through. Other times you can.”

Rivers, now close to 38, has a decorated career in the league. He earned eight Pro-Bowl mentions in his 18-year career so far, passed for 54,989 yards and 377 touchdowns, and has an average QB rating of 95.7. The only thing missing from his resume is a Super Bowl ring.

Rivers should become a Hall of Famer once he hangs up his cleats. Until then, he will face Stafford and the Lions with the same determination to win a ring with the team he has spent his entire career with since 2004.