The Curious Case of Philip Rivers

His Numbers Put Him Among the Elite, But The Stat That Matters Most Is Wins in the Postseason

Three quarterbacks were chosen in the first 11 picks of the 2004 NFL draft and two, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, have won two Super Bowls apiece. The other one, Philip Rivers, is still trying to claim his first ring. With each failed attempt at reaching the Super Bowl, the shadows of Manning and Roethlisberger grow longer over Rivers and the Chargers’ franchise. Particularly because unlike them, the former N.C. State star has yet to put his signature on a memorable playoff win (page 46).

Rivers preaches patience and says his primary motivation is helping his Chargers teammates achieve a big win together, but as Manning and Roethlisberger have both two-upped him in the Super Bowl ring department, Jim Trotter wonders: Can Rivers really believe the journey is as enticing as the destination?

Rivers is just 3–4 in the postseason with losses in three of his past four starts. He has thrown for 300 yards just once in seven career games and has more interceptions (nine) than touchdowns (eight). Retired fullback Lorenzo Neal who teamed with Rivers from 2004–07 said, “Philip Rivers is burning inside. Ben Roethlisberger has gone to three Super Bowls and won two. Eli Manning has gone to two Super Bowls and won both. Philip hasn’t been there…. You see him on the field, how animated he is, how frustrated he gets. He wants to win a Super Bowl, trust me. This is his legacy.”


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