The second-longest consecutive starts streak for a quarterback in NFL history will end on Sunday when Geno Smith, not Eli Manning, starts for the Giants. That leaves Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers with the league’s longest active streak of consecutive starts.
Rivers has started 187 consecutive games, which is the fourth-longest streak in NFL history behind Brett Favre’s 297, Eli Manning’s 210 and Peyton Manning’s 208. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has started 126 games in a row, which is the fifth-longest streak in NFL history.
The only other quarterback with an active streak over 100 games is Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, who has started 107 games in a row. Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who has started all 91 games of his career, is next among active quarterbacks.
The 35-year-old Rivers will need to finish this season and play all of next season before he could pass Eli Manning in early 2019. Rivers almost certainly won’t catch Favre, whose 90-game lead over Rivers represents more than six full 16-game seasons. But Rivers does have a shot at passing the Manning brothers and having the second-longest streak in NFL history.
Rivers and Manning have seen their careers connected when they were traded for each other on the day they were drafted in 2004. Now they have one more connection, as Rivers has inherited Manning’s title as the iron man of NFL quarterbacks.