Philip Rivers needs a Super Bowl ring, period.
The window is closing fast for the wily, side-armed, slinger. At 35, there will only be so many more chances for the future HOF inductee to beat the odds, bring home a championship, and solidify his NFL legacy.
For the greatest quarterback in franchise history whose number the organization is certain to retire one day, a Super Bowl ring would be the perfect capstone and a fitting end to a truly, brilliant career. Conversely, failing to make at least one trip to the podium in February cements his legacy as perhaps only the third best quarterback of his draft class and no better than (arguably) seventh best of his era.
Though he’d be in great company, along with the likes of Dan Fouts, Dan Marino and others, without a ring Rivers will forever be relegated to the second-tier of great quarterbacks who fell short of greatness. There’s a strong contingent of die-hard fans that could die happy if only they could witness Rivers hoist that Lombardi trophy, amidst a deluge of champagne showers, camera flashes, cheers, and congratulations.
No one deserves it more. He’s done everything you could ask of him except one, of course. Since taking over for Drew Brees he hasn’t missed a regular season start. After LaDainian Tomlinson left, Rivers was often the only hope the Chargers had of success on Sunday. A man of exceptional character, he’s been the ideal teammate and has consistently represented the organization with dignity and respect.
Playing in the Brady/Manning – era has helped skew fan perception. No one is suggesting that Rivers belongs in that category, not even Rivers. He’s also not been shy about acknowledging that he’s failed to match the accomplishments of draft-mates Ben and Eli. If he were to win a ring, though, that would change things.
Rivers makes no excuses though he could certainly lay claim to his fair share. The list is long. Terrible front-office decisions to extend inept leadership stands out most, perhaps. The decline of the offensive line, special teams, lack of a consistent running game, and an overall void in leadership has proven too much to overcome thus far. With a consistently dominant rushing attack, led by LT, Rivers was the epitome of efficiency and effectiveness.
Any progress the new coaching staff makes towards those ends represents Rivers’ last chance at greatness before the window closes for good.