Philip Rivers was selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. So were Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. All have put up good numbers, but only two have won Super Bowls, Rivers being the odd man out.
Still, he has kept the Chargers semi-relevant in recent years despite numerous injuries and a number of roster holes. Do fans in San Diego appreciate how good he actually is?
“I’m just going to throw this nugget out here: Our quarterback in Detroit just passed for 25,000 yards faster than anybody in NFL history,” Pro Football Hall of Famer James Lofton said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney, referring to Matthew Stafford. “We almost have to throw all the numbers out the window because they’re all going to have gaudy numbers. Steve Young, Boomer Esiason, and Phil Simms all are around 30,000 yards passing. All of these guys are rapidly approaching 50,000. You forget about the numbers and it really does boil down to wins. It’s kind of like when you’re playing golf. You finish a hole and somebody goes, ‘What did you get?’ They don’t ask you, ‘Where’d you hit your first shot? Where’d your second shot go? Where’d your third shot go?’ They just want to know how many Super Bowl wins you got. With Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, they have two. Philip Rivers? Zero. People here in San Diego love him. They love to get on sports radio and talk about how he’s a Hall of Famer, and I just kind of bite my lip. I go, ‘No, not yet. Not unless he throws for 100,000 yards and he plays for 20 years can he surpass the guys who won titles.’”
San Diego (3-4) plays at Denver (5-2) this Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.
Looking at Thursday night’s game, meanwhile, two young quarterbacks with loads of potential – Blake Bortles and Marcus Mariota – wills square off in Tennessee.
Lofton was asked which of those quarterbacks he’d like to have for the next five years.
“I think Bortles is going to have a new coach next year,” Lofton said, referring to Gus Bradley. “This Jacksonville Jaguars team was the hot team. ‘Oh, they’re going to improve. They’re going to make a playoff run.’ Well, unless they start it tonight and really get hot over the next four or five weeks, it kind of looks bleak there. Mariota, I like him also. It’s interesting. I still think in the last couple years – the guys who are 27 or 26 and under – Andrew Luck has really been the standout guy. When you look at a quarterback, you say, ‘He can do all the things if you give him an offensive line.’ I’m not sure if you say that about Mariota and Bortles. Their offensive lines have been pretty good. They all play in that same division. But I’m going with the Pac-12 since I played in the Pac-8.”