Philip Rivers Announces His Retirement From the NFL

Los Angeles Charges Background With Philip Rivers

  • Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers has announced his retirement from the NFL.
  • Rivers retires after 17 seasons, 16 with the L.A. Chargers, where he is the all-time leader in all major passing categories.
  • The 39-year old led the Colts to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth during the 2020 NFL season.

Philip Rivers is calling it a career, ending one of the NFL’s most prolific quarterback careers after 17 seasons.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Rivers said that playing quarterback in the NFL was his “childhood dream”. The 39-year old also said in his statement that he purposely wanted to announce his retirement on January 20th which is the Roman Catholic Church’s feast day for St. Sebastian, the patron saint for athletes. January 20, 2021 was also exactly 13 years to the day when Rivers played in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots with a torn ACL.:

“Every year, January 20th is a special and emotional day. It is St. Sebastian’s Feast day, the day I played in the AFC championship without an ACL, and now the day that after 17 seasons, I’m announcing my retirement from the National Football League. Thank you God for allowing me to live out my childhood dream of playing quarterback in the NFL.”

With his NFL retirement announced, Rivers will get to live out another lifelong dream, one that will see him coach high school football. It can be recalled that Rivers was hired as the head coach of the St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Ala. effective when he retired from the NFL.

Heart and Soul of the Chargers

Rivers was unquestionably the heart and soul of the L.A. Chargers for so many years. The Chargers acquired Rivers in 2004 via a draft day trade that sent the no. 1 overall pick Eli Manning, to the New York Giants. Manning went on to win two Super Bowl titles with the Giants before retiring at the end of the 2019 season.

Meanwhile, Rivers backed up Drew Brees for two seasons before becoming the starter when Brees left for the New Orleans Saints in free agency. Rivers went on to start the next 252 games, never missing a single game- regular season or playoffs, during the next 15 seasons.

Rivers went to the playoffs with the Chargers six times but never led them to the Super Bowl. He won a total of 134 NFL games, which is second most by a quarterback without a Super Bowl ring, and 8th all-time. Only Tom Brady (230), Peyton Manning (186), Brett Favre (186), Brees (172), Ben Roethlisberger (154), John Elway (148), and Dan Marino (147) have won more games than Rivers.

Hall of Fame Resume

Winning the Super Bowl was the only thing Rivers did not achieve in what was otherwise a remarkable career with a Hall of Fame resume. Rivers ranks 5th in NFL history with 63,440 passing yards, behind only Brees, Brady, Peyton Manning, and Favre. He is also 5th all-time with a total of 421 TD passes with only Brady, Brees, Peyton Manning, and Favre ahead of him.

From 2008 to 2010, Rivers led the NFL in passer rating (103.8), yards per attempt (8.9), and yards per completion (13.2), numbers that were ahead of fellow future Hall of Famers Brady, Brees, Peyton Manning, and Aaron Rodgers. Rivers also retired as the Chargers’ all-time leader in every major passing category.

Last season, Rivers joined the Colts on a one-year $25M deal. He led the Colts to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth in the AFC playoffs where they were eliminated by the Buffalo Bills. Rivers passed for 4,169 yards with 24 touchdowns this season, passing the 4,000-passing yard mark for the 8th straight season and 12th time in 17 total seasons. His final pass was a Hail Mary in Buffalo that fell short of the end zone in the Colts’ 27-24 loss to the Bills.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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