By Cindy Davis // @XO_CindyDavis
Quarterback Philip Rivers became the official starter for the Chargers in 2006. Since that time, he has started every game and has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in 9 of his 12 seasons as the Chargers quarterback. He has led his team to the playoffs 5 times and has been selected as a pro-bowler six times over his career.
Perhaps his most impressive feat though is the fact that he led the Chargers to win the AFC West division title four years in a row from 2006-2009. Sadly, all of their playoff appearances have ended in heartbreak and Rivers has never reached the SuperBowl. Because of this, Rivers accomplishments thus far seem to be downplayed and his numbers overlooked.
With his contract set to expire in 2019 and Rivers turning 37 this year, it has been speculated that he will continue to play for several more years. As of right now, Rivers future at quarterback is unknown, but he deserves to end his career with the ultimate football accomplishment: a Lombardi.
It is undeniable that the Chargers struggled at the beginning of the 2017 season with an 0-4 start. After the team was uprooted from San Diego to Los Angeles, they lost a significant number of fans and were introduced to a new head coach all in a matter of months. It is not surprising that the team suffered a shaky start. But then, the team found their rhythm and Rivers did what Rivers does. He brought the team back into the running for the division title and ended the season almost making it to the playoffs, finishing the season with a 9-7 record.
Despite their early season struggles, this record put the Chargers just one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs who ultimately won the division. For most fans, the fact that the team was so close to a comeback and a wildcard spot made it even more devastating when they lost their final game. Without Rivers leading this team, the season may have gone in a completely different direction, and the Chargers may not have been so close to recovering the season.
This is just one example of what this organization is able to accomplish with Rivers leading this team. His overall career with the Chargers has been nothing short of impressive, though the team has unfortunately fallen short time after time.
Rumor has it that the Chargers may be interested in drafting Rivers successor this year and have taken a special interest in quarterback Lamar Jackson from Louisville. We will have to wait and see whose name is called when the Chargers select with their number 17 pick, but with all the other changes happening with the remaining teams in the AFC West, this may be the Chargers year.
The fact that the Chargers may be interested in drafting a backup quarterback for the future shouldn’t hinder Rivers playmaking. The Chargers as a whole have stayed pretty consistent this offseason and the team is in a great position, with only a few key players needed to put the finishing touches on this roster.
Rivers is without a doubt one of the most valuable players the Chargers have ever had. He will more than likely be a Hall of Famer someday. This is arguably the most complete and talented this team has been in a while. When he has decent help and finds his rhythm, Rivers has the potential to be unstoppable.
Based on this team’s current depth and talent, it would be a shame if this year went to waste with Rivers under center. While he is still young in age at 36 and playing arguably some of his best football, his remaining football years may be numbered. This team needs to take advantage of Philip Rivers talent while they still can and realize that time is of the essence.
With all of his accomplishments and all that he has done for this team, Rivers definitely deserves the highest football honor of winning a championship before he retires. As a fan, no matter how many seasons he has left, I am proud of his achievements to date and that I get to call him THE quarterback. The Chargers have been lucky to have such a reliable signal caller for so many years, despite all of their recent and ongoing changes.
Talk Chargers with Cindy on Twitter @XO_CindyDavis