New England Patriots

Dec 29, 2019; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) gestures on the line of scrimmage during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

By Alex Barth,

Former Chargers and Colts quarterback Philip Rivers announced his retirement on Wednesday morning. Rivers spent 17 seasons in the NFL, 16 with Indianapolis.

Rivers was the fourth overall pick in the 2004 Draft, but was immediately traded from the New York Giants for that year’s first overall pick, Eli Manning. Manning had refused to play for San Diego, yet was still selected by the Chargers.

Those two have naturally been linked for most of their careers following the trade, and likely will continue to be for one of the most interesting, decisive Hall of Fame arguments in a long time. While Rivers has the advantage when it comes to numbers, Manning of course has his pair of Super Bowl rings.

Rivers put up massive numbers throughout his career, playing on a number of offensively-driven San Diego Charger teams. He retires fifth all time in passing yards (63,440), fifth in touchdowns (441), eighth in wins (134), 10th in fourth quarter comebacks (29), and 14th in completion percentage (64.9%).

However, he was just 5-7 all-time in the playoffs, and never reached the Super Bowl. In fact, much of his career was marked by late-game comeback attempts falling short.

Once both are eligible for the Hall (Eli in 2025, Rivers in 2026) they’ll be the truest litmus test yet of what voters value more in quarterbacks. Will they favor the playoff success with much lower stats, or the individual success of Rivers, who is all over the NFL’s record books?

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at