Is Philip Rivers Hall of Fame worthy?


Rivers waving goodbye to his fans after he announced he was leaving the Chargers after 16 years.

Gracie Smetana , Assistant Editor


After 16 years with the Chargers and one year with the Colts, QB Philip Rivers announced his retirement from the NFL on Jan. 21. Rivers dedicated 17 years of his life to the NFL and has had an impressive career, starting for 13 seasons after tearing his ACL at the end of the 2007 season, as well as backing up Drew Brees during his first two years with the Chargers. Rivers never brought his team to the Super Bowl, but he ranks fifth in NFL history with 63,440 overall passing yards. So is Rivers’ ringless career worthy of the NFL Hall of Fame?

During the 2020 season, Rivers threw for 4,169 yards, seeding him 10th overall in the 2020 season. He also threw 11 interceptions this season and scored 24 touchdowns. Rivers’ regular season stats also consist of a sub 85 QB rating and a sub 60% completion; for comparison, Tom Brady has a career 64 % completion rating and a career 97.3 rating and 102.2 QB rating. 

 Philip Rivers has similar qualities compared to previous Hall of Famers, but no ring, which separates him from most of the other Hall of Fame players. Rivers falls behind Brady, Brees, Manning, and Favre, respectively. These quarterbacks are some of the most elite quarterbacks in NFL history. 

Although his totals seem impressive Rivers has only played in five playoff games and has only been to one AFC Championship game, falling to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in 2007, 24-21. Rivers didn’t even play the entire game because of an ACL tear. 

Rivers’ career in the NFL has been far from ordinary, but he would have to beat out many other outstanding quarterbacks looking for their ticket to Canton, not to mention retiree Peyton Manning who was just announced as a 2021 inductee to the for the NFL Hall of Fame. Rivers’ regular season stats also fall short to young star quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. 

Rivers’ career with both the Chargers and the Colts is missing some of the qualities players like Mahomes, Rogers and Brady have. Throughout his NFL seasons, Rivers has performed at the level of intensity he needed to in order to win games, but he didn’t have what it takes in order to win divionals as well as the AFC championship game. But based on his individual stats alone, they do not make him a Hall of Famer.

Some may argue that a quarterback with stats similar to Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks should be a Hall of Fame shoe-in, but being ringless and getting beaten out by many quarterbacks young and old, Philip Rivers does not have the stats and accomplishments other Hall of Fame aspiring athletes do. Whether it is fair or not, quarterbacks are remembered for winning big games like the AFC Championship Game or the Superbowl and not for high amounts of passing yards.

 A Super Bowl ring is not necessary in order to be voted into the NFL Hall of Fame, but only five NFL quarterbacks have done this before. These unique players are Dan Fouts, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Warren Moon and Fran Tarkenton, all of whom had incredible careers. For example, Marino won an MVP as offensive player of the year in 1984. Plus, both Marino and Moon had higher ratings when it came to passing yards than Rivers did. The only other NFL award nomination Rivers has received besides his 8 pro bowl nominations was back in 2013, when he was nominated for Comeback Player of the Year. 

Many other quarterbacks similar to Rivers will face the predicament of having good stats but no ring, among Rivers is former Lions QB Matthew Stafford. Stafford has recently announced that he will be traded to the Los Angeles Rams, if he wants to see himself in the Hall of Fame he will have to win some playoff games and maybe find himself a Superbowl. If this isn’t accomplished, he will not end up being a Hall of Famer, even though Stafford as well as Rivers have stats adjacent to Hall of Fame and Superbowl quarterbacks. 

Rivers has very challenging competition on the account that many high caliber quarterbacks are retiring or continuing an already successful career in the NFL. Rivers has had an impressive and noteworthy career, but they aren’t enough to qualify him to be in the Hall of Fame. That being said, Rivers is a good quarterback who has earned respect from fellow quarterbacks. His talent will be missed by the Chargers, Colts, and the remainder of the NFL.