Hall of Fame Cases: Philip Rivers

If his career were to end today, would Philip Rivers’ career be considered Hall of Fame level? Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Pro-Hall Stats:

  • Philip Rivers has played 14 seasons, only 4 resulted in a losing record.
  • Ranks 6th All-Time in Passes Completed, Passing Yards, and Passing TDs. In all of these categories, he trails only Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Brett Favre. That’s pretty good company.
  • He’s been to 8 Pro Bowls. Every Quarterback that has 8 or more Pro Bowl appearances is in the Hall of Fame, with the exception of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees who are all guaranteed to be inducted.

Stats that could be misleading:

  • Rivers is 10th All-Time in Passer Rating. This puts him behind Peyton Manning, Steve Young, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Russell Wilson, and Aaron Rodgers… but it also places him behind Kirk Cousins and Dak Prescott.
  • Rivers ranks 9th All-Time in Completion Percentage. He’s behind Tony Romo, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Kurt Warner, Chad Pennington, and Drew Brees.. but also behind Kirk Cousins and Dak Prescott. The length of Rivers’ career makes this stat impressive but, similar to Passer Rating, Cousins and Prescott making the list shows how it could be misleading in the short term.
  • He’s also 10th All-Time in yards per game behind Warner, Brady, Manning, Ryan, Luck, Stafford, and Brees…but also behind Jared Goff and Jameis Winston. This stat says more about the style of play during the time in which the QB played. A perfect example of this is the difference between Bart Starr and Peyton Manning. Starr has 3 more rings than Manning, but Manning averaged almost double the passing yards per game that Starr did. (Manning – 270.5 vs. Starr – 126.1)

How does Rivers stack up against other Hall of Fame Quarterbacks?

  • Thanks to Football-Reference.com, we know exactly what theĀ “Average Hall of Fame QB” can do. Which makes it much easier to compare Rivers to the All-Time Greats.

Let’s compare:

Average HoF QB Philip Rivers Difference
Games Played 192 228 36
Passing Yards 37,787 59,271 21,484
Yards/G 196.81 259.96 63.15
Passing TDs 255 397 142
TDs/G 1.33 1.74 0.41
INTs 197 198 1.00
INTs/G 1.03 0.87 -0.16
Pro Bowls 7 8 1
1st- Team All-Pro 2 0 -2
Championships 2 0 -2

While he didn’t have the team success that every NFL player strives for, it won’t hold him back from getting into the Hall. Fran Tarkenton, Dan Marino, and Dan Fouts never won the “Big Game” either, but their numbers spoke for themselves just as Rivers’ do. Philip’s career isn’t over yet, so look for him to continue to climb these All-Time lists. When he does decide to hang up his cleats, there will be a gold jacket waiting for him.

Don’t agree? Let me know what you think!

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