On Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 the incredible quarterback of the San Diego / Los Angeles Chargers and the Indianapolis Colts, Philip Rivers, officially announced his retirement from playing in the National Football League. His illustrious NFL career spanned 17 seasons, and he currently holds some of the most coveted passing records in professional football.
Throughout his 16 years with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers and his 1 year with the Indianapolis Colts Rivers was able to compile 63,440 passing yards which is good for the fifth most in the history of the National Football League behind only Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees. Philip’s 421 touchdown passes places him fifth on that list behind once again Favre, P. Manning, Brees, and Brady.
Philip Rivers’ Football Background
The now 39 year old quarterback was born and raised in Decatur, Alabama. Rivers played his high school football at Athens High School located in Athens, Alabama. During Philip’s senior year of high school, he was quickly recognized as the best prep passer in the state of Alabama. Even though Rivers had offers from Auburn University and the University of Alabama, he chose to enroll at North Carolina State University with the Wolfpack football team.
Throughout his 4 seasons at North Carolina State University, Rivers completely dominated. He destroyed almost every one of the NC State football team’s passing records as well as the ACC’S passing records too. He helped lead the Wolfpack to four consecutive bowl games, and he was primed to make a name for himself in the National Football League.
Professional Football Career
Rivers was selected with the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft by the New York Giants while Eli Manning was taken with the first overall draft pick by the San Diego Chargers, and then these two teams made a draft day trade exchanging the two quarterbacks. Although Eli Manning went on to win 2 Super Bowl titles with the New York Giants, Rivers was never able to take the San Diego / Los Angeles Chargers to a Super Bowl appearance.
What Philip did accomplish over his 16 years with the San Diego / Los Angeles Chargers was shatter almost every major passing franchise record for the Chargers. He led his two combined teams to 12 playoff games, 5 AFC West titles with the Chargers, and an overall playoff record of 5 and 7. He will go down into NFL history as one of those quarterbacks who never got it done in clutch time as Philip never made it to a Super Bowl, but he did throw it all over the field consistently for a very long time. In his one and only year with the Indianapolis Colts he did lead them to a playoff berth in the highly competitive AFC.
Philip Rivers’ NFL Career Achievements, Awards, and Honors
- 8 Time Pro Bowl Selection (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018)
- NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2013)
- NFL Completion Percentage Leader (2013)
- NFL Passing Yards Leader (2010)
- NFL Passing Touchdowns Leader (2008)
- NFL Passer Rating Leader (2008)
- San Diego Chargers 50th Anniversary Team
“Every year, January 20th is a special and emotional day,” Philip Rivers exclaimed. “It is St. Sebastian’s Feast day, the day I played in the AFC championship without an ACL, and now the day that after 17 seasons, I’m announcing my retirement from the National Football League. Thank you God for allowing me to live out my childhood dream of playing quarterback in the NFL.”
The Los Angeles Chargers congratulated Rivers on his retirement by tweeting, “There will never be another.” The Owner of the Chargers, Dean Spanos, called him the, “Heart and soul of the organization,” for many years.
The Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich stated earlier this month that he hoped Rivers would return for the 2021 season and that he thought, “Philip still has a lot of good football [left].”
The Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott explained Wednesday that Rivers was, “One of the best that I’ve ever been around,” at the quarterback position and described him as a, “High – character man and a guy with great core values.”
“I put him in the same category as all those elite quarterbacks — extremely smart,” McDermott goes on to say. “I’m sure there’s a lot of defensive coordinators right now around the league breathing a sigh of relief, with all respect to what Phil has been able to do.”
“I can sit here and say, ‘I can still throw it. I love to play,’” Rivers relayed to the Union – Tribune. “But that’s always going to be there. I’m excited to go coach high school football.”
“I am grateful to the Chargers for 16 seasons, and the Colts for the 17th season,” Rivers emotionally proclaimed. “Thank you to all my coaches that helped me grow as a player and person. Thanks to the support staff. I appreciate the opposing defenses making it challenging physically and mentally every week. … I also enjoyed the banter. I appreciate the referees for putting up with all my fussing. I think I was right most of the time dadgummit!
“Thanks to the fans in San Diego and around the nation that both cheered and booed. Special thanks to my teammates. Without a doubt my favorite part of the game, being a teammate. Thank you for being mine.
“Lastly, thank you to my wife and best friend Tiffany, and our children Halle, Caroline, Grace, Gunner, Sarah, Peter, Rebecca, Clare, and Anna. Could not have done it without y’all’s unwavering support.
“As my playing career comes to an end, the next chapter begins.”