After Five Long Years, Philip Rivers Finally Arrives in New York

Pro Football NYCSenior Writer INovember 5, 2009

SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 04:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers walks on the field after the game with the San Francisco 49ers  on September 4, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.   The Chrgers won 26-7.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Chargers QB Philip Rivers was a New York Giant for about a minute during the early moments of the 2004 NFL draft.  After the Giants selected him fourth overall, he was traded to the San Diego Chargers, along with several other future draft picks, in return for top pick Eli Manning .

These players will always be connected through that trade, along with Miami of Ohio’s Ben Roethlisberger, who was passed over in favor of them and picked 11th by the Steelers.

Rivers has not worn a football jersey in New York since that day.  He has yet to face a New York audience as a player,  none of this is his doing.  The schedule has kept him out of Giants Stadium until now.

He is a big-time player playing in a laid-back setting. Rivers was made for New York;  he’s a brash, tough, combative leader, and add to that, he can throw the football verrry well (Yes, I know,let’s see him do it consistently in the Northeast ).

It is true that Roethlisberger has gone on to win two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh and Manning led the Giants’ improbable championship run in 2007 culminating in the shocking victory over the unbeaten Patriots, but over time, it could be Rivers who develops into the best every down quarterback. 

This is not news to anyone who is following the careers of these three men. He is considered by many to be one of the the league’s elite QBs along with Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady.  Eli and Ben are considered “second tier” players (don’t ask).

Early in Rivers’ career, his job was to hand the ball to LaDainian Tomlinson and not turn it over.  It is of no fault of his that his team has not made it to the Super Bowl.  He lost twice to New England and once to Pittsburgh which is nothing to be ashamed of these days.

Now that Tomlinson’s production had dwindled, the Chargers have given Rivers the keys to the kingdom.  He has responded with great numbers and has become an excellent field general.

Rivers began his career behind Brees, so he has only started 48 games in his career as opposed to the other two, who have started 71 games each.

PlayerRecordCmpAtt%YdsTDIntY/GRate
Eli42-29-01416252656.11647811182203.477.1
Ben51-20-01353213863.31703611275215.690.9
Rivers33-15-01032166661.9127338940215.893.4

 

As you can see, all three have been successful in their short careers.  Eli and Rivers are only 28 years old while Roethlisberger is still just 27.

Somehow, with the Giants struggling and in need of a leader these days, one has to think how the Giants may have fared had they simply just kept Rivers, or chose Roethlisberger instead.

Would they have won the Super Bowl without Eli?  Or, would they be a dynasty with one of the others?  You can clearly see that Manning’s QB rating pales in comparison.

Either way, what’s done is done. Rivers finally comes here Sunday, we’ll see what he’s made of or better yet, what we’re made of.