Tom Brady, Philip Rivers to Join Montana, Manning, Unitas, Favre's NFL Milestone

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2020

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady walks on the field before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Indianapolis Colts signal-caller Philip Rivers will join unique and historical company in the 2020 season. 

According to NFL Research (h/t Grant Gordon of NFL.com), the pair will be the "fifth and sixth quarterbacks in NFL history to start for new teams after having previously won 100-plus starts for another franchise."

They'll join Johnny Unitas, Brett Favre, Joe Montana and Peyton Manning in that exclusive club. 

All the 42-year-old Brady did during his 20 years in New England was win 219 regular-season games, 30 playoff games, six titles, throw for 74,571 yards (second in history) and 541 touchdowns (second). He was voted to 14 Pro Bowls, was a three-time MVP and three-time first-team All-Pro selection. 

He made his case as the greatest quarterback in NFL history, and now he and Rob Gronkowski will attempt to revitalize a Bucs franchise that hasn't reached the postseason since 2007. 

Rivers, 38, can't boast that level of achievement, though he had an excellent career in his 16 seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers, winning 123 games (though he went just 5-6 in the playoffs). His 59,271 passing yards and 397 touchdowns are both the sixth-most in history, while he was also voted to eight Pro Bowls.  

Rivers will present a more interesting case study for Hall of Fame voters, given his pretty mediocre postseason record and lack of MVP awards or All-Pro selections. His counting stats are impressive, however, even when taken in the context of the league's passing explosion during his career. 

His next step is Indianapolis, where he'll look to replace the yet-to-be-filled void left by Andrew Luck's retirement ahead of the 2019 season and return the Colts to the postseason.