Philip Rivers announced his retirement from the NFL after 17 seasons on Wednesday. The 39-year-old quarterback played the first 16 seasons of his career with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, before a one-year stint with the Indianapolis Colts. The Rivers retirement came at a weird time, likely overshadowed by the inauguration of Joe Biden that happened on the same day.
Colts’ QB Philip Rivers is retiring from football, he told @sdutKevinAcee.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 20, 2021
The No. 4 overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft, Rivers was acquired by the Chargers in a draft-day trade from the New York Giants. He spent his first two pro seasons as a backup to Drew Brees—another legend expected to retire this offseason. Rivers, an eight-time Pro Bowler, took over the Chargers’ starting QB duties in 2006 after Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints.
From there, Rivers began his incredible streak of 240 consecutive regular-season starts, as the signal-caller never missed a contest due to injury. Only Brett Favre started more consecutive games (297) in NFL history. Rivers even managed to suit up with a torn ACL during the 2007 AFC Championship, a loss to the undefeated New England Patriots. Including the postseason, Rivers started a whopping 252 straight games.
It was 13 years ago today that Philip Rivers put it ALL on the line, playing valiantly through a Torn ACL in the AFC Championship Game.
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) January 20, 2021
Philip Rivers to the Hall of Fame?
While Philip Rivers never reached a Super Bowl, he deserves to be enshrined to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He ranks fifth all-time in passing yards (63,440), completions (5,277) and passing touchdowns (421). In 2008, he led the NFL in passing TDs and passer rating. Rivers led the league in passing yards in 2010. He won the 2013 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, finishing No. 1 in completion percentage.
Rivers topped 4,000 yards passing in 12 of 17 seasons and eclipsed 4,500 yards five times. The sidearm delivering gun-slinger threw for 30+ touchdowns in six seasons. Rivers ended his career with eight straight seasons with 4,000-plus passing yards—the third-longest streak in NFL history behind only Brees (12) and Matt Ryan (10). Rivers’ 95.2 career passer rating ranks 12th all-time, placing him above Joe Montana (92.3).
Is Philip Rivers a Hall of Famer?
— 8x Pro Bowler
— No. 5 in career passing TD
— No. 5 in career passing yards
— No. 5 in career completions
— No. 12 in career passer rating
— Never missed a game
— 252 straight starts
— Played through torn ACL in 2007 AFC title game pic.twitter.com/SHpYFI0vIg
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) January 20, 2021
Since Rivers became a full-time starter in ‘06, only Brees threw for more yards. In that same time frame, only Brees and Tom Brady won more games than Rivers. For his career, Rivers sports a 134-106 record, reaching the playoff seven times. He went 5-7 in the postseason.
Finishing in the top-five in league history for passing yards and touchdowns without ever missing a game, Rivers leaves the NFL with a first-ballot Hall of Fame résumé. Assuming he receives the necessary votes, Philip Rivers will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio in 2026.