Philip Rivers : A reflection on the veteran’s 17 year career


James Lin

January 9th, 2021 marks veteran quarterback Philip Rivers’ last day on the football field. After 17 seasons of leading his teammates to various playoff runs, the 39 year old finally decided to hang up his jersey and helmet after a hard fought 24-27 loss against the Buffalo Bills on Super Wild Card Weekend. During his 16 seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers (formerly the San Diego Chargers), Rivers showed grit and perseverance each season as his career went on. Being cut off short from the Super Bowl only fueled Rivers’ desire to improve, and bounce back the next season. Let’s reflect on this future Hall of Fame quarterback’s career.


By reaching the playoffs 7 times during his 17 season career, Rivers has undoubtedly proven his worth to the eyes of the NFL as a player at the top level. Despite never reaching the Super Bowl with either of the 2 teams he has played with, Rivers still caught the attention of fans looking for possible Pro Bowl candidates. Rivers has been selected to the Pro Bowl 8 times in his career, an impressive feat for a quarterback that lacks much help on the offensive side of the ball. Rivers would also lead the entire league in passing yards during his 2010 season, racking up over 4,700 yards. He stands at 5th place for the most passing yards by a quarterback ever, piling up a total of 63,440 yards. Not only did he express his greatness on the field, his acts of kindness caught the attention of the NFL off the field as well. In 2011, Philip Rivers was one of the three finalists nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. This award is given out to those who make their impact on the world outside of football, such as donating to charities and volunteering. His work, called the Rivers of Hope Foundation, involved helping foster children and bettering their future. He was recognized by the league and its fans, retrieving him a top three spot for the WPMYA.

Did Rivers make the right choice?


Despite being offered another season to play by the Indianapolis Colts, Rivers simply declined and said that he felt the time was right for him to “walk away”. I respect Rivers’ decision to retire now rather than later, as he is a father of 9 and should not be putting his body on the line, especially at his age. I believe this was a smart decision, and wish him and his family the best of luck. 

What does the future hold for Rivers?

Rivers has explicitly expressed his passion for coaching High school football after completing his professional football career. By becoming a High school football coach, Rivers is able to express his love for football without risking his health. Philip’s desire to help children is truly a remarkable part of his personality, and adds to the list of why he deserves to be commemorated; showing his brilliance not only on the field, but outside of the game as well.