San Diego Charger fans have long suffered the fate of having quality passers who have not been able to win the “big one." Hall of Famer Dan Fouts played for 15 seasons and amassed over 40,000 yards en route to six Pro Bowls, but never made it to the Super Bowl.
Philip Rivers has had a stellar past two seasons, throwing for over 4,000 yards each year and stacking up a great 105 passer rating. Quite heady stuff. Rivers has a career regular season passer rating of 95, which is fantastic.
However, a look at his postseason stats tell quite a different story;
7 games played
And perhaps most telling of all – a passer rating of just 79.
Most recently, Drew Brees - a San Diego castoff for was jettisoned in favor of Rivers, led the unlikely New Orleans Saints to their first Super Bowl victory – and even more improbably, over one of the best QBs ever, Peyton Manning. Previously, the Chargers have also surrounded Rivers with Hall of Fame talent in LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates...now that may no longer be possible.
Are Charger fans starting to wonder if they signed the right guy?
Is it necessary for Rivers to win a Super Bowl in order to be accepted into the lofty names of Brady, Manning, Roethlisberger, and now Brees, the contemporary greats he plays against? Or do his stats alone grant him that, even though he is starting to look like a player who goes M.I.A. in the playoffs?
While Fouts has made it to the HOF, he will never stand next to the likes of Staubach, Bradshaw, Elway, and Montana because he lacks the gold plated endorsement of winning a championship. Rivers, along with Kelly, Tarkenton, Marino are all very good to be sure, but they will be the first to tell you themselves; stats are great – but they mean less if you can’t back it up by being the last man standing, at the end of the year.
What is in store for Rivers; enshrined forever as a champion or the stigma of being a playoff no show?