Since entering the NFL in 2004, no one could argue that Philip Rivers has gained elite level status as an NFL quarterback. He’s led his team, the Los Angeles (and formerly San Diego) Chargers to multiple playoff appearances, even if they have been unable to win the ultimate prize. He’s put up eye-popping statistics. Any player that holds a starting quarterback job in the NFL for a decade-plus has to be succeeding on some level. He also has his team poised to compete in 2019 after a successful 2018 campaign.
But has he compiled a resume that qualifies him for the ultimate honor of the Football Hall of Fame?
In order to make the case for or against Rivers as a future Pro Football Hall of Famer, it’s important to look at his career accomplishments as well as how he stacks up to other NFL quarterbacks who have been selected to the Hall of Fame.
What are Philip Rivers’ NFL numbers and accomplishments?
Statistically speaking, Rivers has been outstanding since entering the league. He has 374 touchdown passes on his ledger, good for third highest among active quarterbacks and sixth all time. The quarterbacks ahead of Rivers on the list are Hall of Famers, or destined to be, while the five quarterbacks after him have either been enshrined or will be one day headed to Canton.
Rivers has 54,656 passing yards over the course of his career. He is eighth all time in this category. His 64.5% completion percentage is ninth all time. He has finished in the top-10 in QB rating six times.
Philip Rivers has eight Pro Bowl and two All-Pro selections to his name. He has also won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2013.
How successful have his teams been during his career?
Rivers has led six Charger teams to the playoffs during his career while starting 11 playoff games. They have made one conference title game, losing to undefeated New England in the AFC championship game in 2007.
Rivers’ overall win-loss record of 123-96 gives him a .562 winning percentage. He is tenth all-time in wins. Over the last 10 years, the Chargers are 83-77 overall, good for 15th in the NFL during that time frame.
Philip Rivers has not led a team to the Super Bowl, but it’s also important to note how difficult it has become to lead a team to a championship in the modern era. Fantastic Hall of Fame quarterbacks such as Dan Marino and Jim Kelly were never able to win a Super Bowl. Rivers is considered by many to be among the best quarterbacks to never win a Super Bowl.
How does Philip Rivers compare to other Hall of Fame quarterbacks?
Philip Rivers compares favorably to other Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Pro Football Reference compiles a list of players that a particular player is comparable to during different phases of his career.
For Rivers’ entire career, the comparisons the site finds relevant include Hall of Fame quarterbacks John Elway, Brett Favre, Warren Moon, Joe Montana, and Fran Tarkenton. Rivers also compares to two other sure-fire Hall of Famers, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees.
Whether one considers Rivers a Hall of Famer or not, it’s impossible to deny his place in the discussion. He has the numbers that at least qualify him for the conversation.
Is Philip Rivers a Hall of Fame quarterback?
Based on his statistics, results, and comparisons to other players who also made the Hall of Fame, it appears Philip Rivers should be headed for Canton when he retires. He has played at too high a level for too long to be denied his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
There’s no doubt that a late career Super Bowl victory (or, at the very least, appearance) would help solidify Rivers’ chances. However, even if he doesn’t become a champion, he has done enough already to be considered Hall of Fame-worthy.