Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, email, and any other outlet you prefer. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments.
Saw in one of your articles that Philip Rivers has a good shot at making the Hall of Fame. How is that even possible? He’s had no playoff success and his numbers aren’t that great, especially since every quarterback puts up big stats these days. I don’t see it. Explain. – Tim M.
Yeah, it has kind of sneaked up on people, but it’s legit, if based primarily on playing at a very high if not quite elite level for a long time.
Rivers is sixth all-time in touchdown passes (374), and eighth in completions (4,518), passer rating (95.6) and passing yardage (54,656). He has more TD passes than John Elway, Johnny Unitas, or Joe Montana. He has a higher rating than Montana , Brett Favre, and Kurt Warner. He has the greatest Chargers quarterback of all, Dan Fouts, beat by more than 11,000 passing yards.
Yes, his case is built mostly on stats, and those stats have been accumulated in an era of advanced passing attacks and rules favoring quarterbacks and receivers, circumstances that the old-school likes of Unitas could only dream about. He still needs a definitive postseason run (he’s just 5-5 in his playoff career), though it’s possible it could be happening right now.
It’s not necessarily going to be easy for him to get into Canton. Just five players are voted in each year, and it seems to me there’s already a backlog of worthy candidates. But he will eventually, and his fellow 2004 NFL Draft alumni Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning will make it, too – they’re all right in the same ballpark statistically. I’d be more annoyed by Manning getting in than Rivers, but the real argument isn’t whether they will make it, but who makes it first.
But what does everyone else think? Should Philip Rivers make the Pro Football Hall of Fame? I’ll hear you in the comments.