Is Philip Rivers a Hall of Famer?

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Philip Rivers has retired from the NFL. In five years, the man who finishes fifth on the all-time passing yardage and touchdowns list will be considered for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.

Will he make it?

On the first try, probably not. He didn’t play in a Super Bowl, unlike the other two quarterbacks taken (with Rivers) in the first 11 selections of round one of the 2004 draft. Eli Manning won a pair of Super Bowls, as did Ben Roethlisberger.

Beyond not being the most accomplished of his class, Rivers never was the best quarterback in the game, or second best. In 17 seasons, Rivers never was named a first-team or second-team All Pro. That’s no surprise, considering that Rivers spent the bulk of his career competing with the likes of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees — each of whom will get a bronze bust on the first try.

Rivers won’t, and should’t, gain entry on his first eligibility for admission. Eventually, he likely will. And here’s what will help him: TV.

If Rivers becomes a broadcaster, he’ll become a beloved broadcaster. He’ll be great at it. And in time his football accomplishments and TV accomplishments will combine, boosting his candidacy as a player.

That’s how John Madden made it as a coach (the video game helped, too). It’s how Dick LeBeau made it as a player, with his coaching accomplishments getting him over the top.

So, yes, Rivers eventually will get in. And what he does next could help him get there.

44 responses to “Is Philip Rivers a Hall of Famer?

  1. If Rivers is a HOFer, you might as well put McNabb in it and he had a lot more playoff success than Rivers.

  2. He has more yards and TD’s than Marino – -this year he passed him

    Crazy to think that

  3. He’s in the Hall of Very Good. I rank him with Drew Bledsoe, he just played longer and racked up more numbers.

  4. He will get in. Since he has never even been to a super bowl he will not be first ballot, but give it 10 to 15 years and he will be in the Hall of Fame.

  5. I’ve long said, if youre gonna call Phillip rivers a HOF player, than you HAVE to call Donovan McNabb one too. For different reasons obviously.

    Rivers has a sizeable stats edge over McNabb.

    But McNabb has the sizeable post-season success edge over Rivers.

    Truth is, NEITHER guy belongs. But if you’re gonna put Rivers in for his stats, than ya damn well better put McNabb in for his playoff success.

  6. Modern NFL supports inflated passing numbers. There is no comparison to a Marino who is truly a HOF player. Rivers is not.

  7. C’mon. Did you ever consider him the best in the biz while he played? If he gets in and guys like Plunkett that actually did win not one but two Super Bowls isn’t, then there is a problem with the system, and I don’t think Plunkett deserves a spot, just saying Rivers doesn’t.

  8. Going by the original standards for Halls of Fame, the only sure “locks” for post 2000 should be Brady and Manning.

    Brees and Rogers were close, bit not as good. Roetjlisberger, Rivers a tick behind.

    HOF is for the Best of the best.

  9. You’re comparing Rivers body of work to John Madden’s? Wow.

    – .759 career regular season winning percentage in 10 seasons
    – Never a losing season (worst was 9-7)
    – 7 division titles (5 consecutive)
    – 8 post-season appearances
    – 7 AFC Conference games
    – Super Bowl XI champion

    But yeah, I see your point. I guess being a commentator and having a video game with your name on it helped get him “over the top”.

  10. stats are inflated now, if you think he’s better than marino because he passed him on some lists, then i’d never trust your football opiniion on anything. rivers was a very good player, but the eye test alone says he isnt a hall of famer

  11. As they say in baseball, Rivers is a compiler. He added a lot of regular season stats to his page, but he was never the best QB in a season, he never won a championship, and never got attention playing in San Diego. Eli has the two rings (both over Brady, no less) and played in New York which meant a lot of exposure. That will get Eli in, but Phil can’t bring those achievements to the HOF “argument room”.

  12. Hall of fame dad, hall of fame stat monster, but what did he win? Nothing. Blame it on Chargers management or whatever, but bottom line is, the guy has no championships, nor did he get close. No HOF vote from me, sorry Phil.

  13. Is Matt Ryan a Hall of Famer? If he plays a few more years, he’ll easily pass Rivers’ yardage numbers. He has a league MVP and a Superbowl appearance that Rivers never did.
    How about Matthew Stafford?
    Bledsoe? Palmer? Testaverde?
    I’m not saying that championships are a prerequisite, but as passing numbers continue to inflate they become a less compelling argument. Rivers was a good quarterback who played for a long time. I don’t feel like that’s enough.

  14. They always judge the coaches by how many super bowls they’ve been to and if they haven’t been to one or two that disqualify them. So the players should get cut no slack either.

  15. The HOF has a QB problem. It seems like every very good one gets consideration. Not so with offensive linemen and defensive players. And few special teamers ever get considered.

    There’s no reason why there can’t be some rule that each year, 50% of players who get in played offense and the other 50% played defense (you can allow 6 total to get in each year to get to that percentage, or even just 4).

    It’s silly to think that it’s mostly offensive players that matter, and of those, mostly QBs.

    The best thing about Rivers was his longevity and ability to play really good football every week. But he was never one of the best QBs of his generation. There were almost always 5 guys better than him every year. He played a long time and never missed games. He’s very good, borderline HOF, but in my mind, just shy of that mark.

    And spare me the argument based on stats. QBs have had gaudy stats for years. It’s obvious the league has changed over the past 15-20 years or so.

  16. You have to remember the stats are super inflated in today’s game when it comes to receiving/passing stats.
    The longevity of QBs today is ridiculous…Big Ben, Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Rivers, etc
    big part of that is advancements in tech and medicine.

  17. Dan Fouts and Warren Moon didn’t play in the Super Bowl either. Number 5 all time passing yardage with better stats than Dan Marino. Also let us remember that he played the same time that Tom Brady,Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger did and in the same conference. Pretty tough to get in the Super Bowl when you have those 3 teams.

  18. No, never played in a superbowl, if Jim Plunkett, super bowl MVP and 2 time champ isnt in, no way Rivers should be.

  19. He shouldn’t make it, but he probably will. There are others who shouldn’t have yet did, so Rivers won’t be alone in that.

  20. Rivers is a great QB, but I think he’s also a great case to decide what the HOF really is. Is it a Hall of Stats, a Hall of Almost But Not Quite for a Long Time?

    Which feels more appropriate, Rivers being in, or Plunkett & Eli Manning being in? Those latter two each won two Super Bowls and were much more interesting stories than a sort of career-long flatline of success.

    I think the main argument for Rivers getting in is that Tomlinson is in. I watched football when Tomlinson was playing, and not once did I ever think that he was all-time special, or anywhere close to it. Rivers had more impact on that team and on the league as a whole. So I’d vote for neither being there, but if one merits it the other probably does too. Along with Plunkett & Manning.

  21. He would of had better stats if he didn’t talk trash to the defense. I read articles where he trash talked (profanity free) to the defense all time and didn’t care if he was trash talking to all pros or not, which made the offensive lines job harder. I thought the Chargers always provided him good players to have success and he should of done better with the team he had. His rookie replacement did an amazing job for the Chargers.

  22. Rivers is much better QB than McNabb – those comparisons are foolish.

    To all those saying the just compiled stats and played a long time as reasons for him not belonging, then you better not say Frank Gore belongs.

  23. PFTknowit says:
    January 21, 2021 at 1:17 pm
    Is he a Hall of Famer? No. Could he “throw a football over them mountains”? Yes.
    I think you confused him with someone else. Philip Rivers NEVER had that great of an arm.

  24. I love how these discussions of individual accomplishment at QB begin with talk of team accomplishments. That says…something, though I won’t try to guess what that is. Either way, Rivers has the best numbers (though Roethlisberger is only a hair behind) of the big three QBs from the 2004 draft class. And if you are going to make it about team accomplishments, here are three W-L records for you: 156-74, 134-106, 117-117. Hint: that last one is NOT the one that belongs to Rivers. It’s not my place to declare that enough for Rivers to make the Hall, but if Rivers doesn’t make it then Eli Manning shouldn’t even enter the discussion (and its telling that the two best QBs in the history of New York City football teams couldn’t even manage winning records).

  25. You cannot use stats of today compared to players of another generation. Todays game is a video game. If you are not putting up big stats today you are really a loser. Look at the numbers Watson put up this year and they were 4-12. Football is about winning. I don’t think Rivers passes the eye test as a HOF, but today they let anyone in with great “stats”.

  26. Don’t think Eli Manning is a Hall of Farmer, and certainly not Rivers. Rivers has decent stats, but he was playing from behind a lot and throwing the ball a ton to get there, and doing so over a long career. He was durable, and solid at QB, but not one of the greatest, He may not be top 5 in any year that he played, as he played most of his career with those greats that Florio mentioned (Brady, Brees, P. Manning, Rodgers), had a direct tie to Eli and Ben, and ended his career with Watson, Jackson and Mahomes. He replaced Brees, and while he did better than Brees did in SD, Brees proved to be far superior as a QB overall.

  27. steve11blog says:
    January 21, 2021 at 1:11 pm
    He has more yards and TD’s than Marino – -this year he passed him

    Not that impressive – both were in a different era, different game.

  28. Rivers is fun to watch, but that’s not enough. Watching him in the playoffs, you could see why he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame.

    But I’m looking forward to having him as a commentator. I can see him as a modern-day Dandy Don Meredith. Pair him (or trio him) up with the right people and Monday Night Football could be rescued.

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