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Rivers Passes His Way into NFL History
There is no doubt that Philip Rivers is a special player. When his long and storied playing career comes to an end eventually, he’ll have racked up a number of impressive milestones and accomplishments.
The one he reached in Sunday’s 24-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars may go down as one of his most impressive.
Rivers became only the 37th quarterback in NFL history to throw for 30,000 yards for his career. He became the second Charger to do so, following in the footsteps of Dan Fouts who had 43,040.
“It’s special,” Rivers admitted after the game. But as always, he made the accomplishment more about the team than his own personal achievement. “It’s an offensive accomplishment to me. Nick Hardwick can say he’s been a part of all those yards with his protection. And Jeromey Clary. And Antonio Gates has been on the receiving end of a lot of those. More than that, there’s still guys on this team that go back that were a part of that. But it’s an offensive effort. There are a lot of guys that are protecting before you get the ball off, and I’m not throwing it to myself. So it is special and it means a lot. It’s something all our offensive guys should take some pride in. That’s something we did. We were a part of a lot of yards. It’s something when you win and you have a bye week, you enjoy a little longer than normal.”
The play in which Rivers reached the record came on the second snap of the fourth quarter. A quick strike to Eddie Royal looked like it was going for a loss. Instead, Royal ran right and broke a couple tackles as he went parallel to the line of scrimmage. Fittingly enough, the wide receiver got the necessary yardage, and then some, due to a block by Rivers himself who helped spring Royal for 29 yards down to the Jaguars three-yard line.
“It is (ironic),” he laughed after the game about how his block got him to the milestone. Then, in typical Rivers style again, he praised his teammate. “I nudged the safety. Eddie made a great run. It was one of those where it was probably going to go for about a two-yard loss. He turned it into a 29-yard gain, so you can’t say enough about the grits and guts of Eddie. He didn’t play all week. You saw him walking around in a boot all week. He goes out and catches a touchdown, makes that big play and had a couple of other catches.”
After the game, Head Coach Mike McCoy presented Rivers with the very game ball he threw to Royal in front of the entire team. In addition to the ball, he received a loud ovation from teammates who not only believe in their quarterback but care for him deeply.
“He’s awesome,” Hardwick said with an ear-to-ear smile on his face. “To see him get that, it’s just an awesome feeling. It’s a testament to his work ethic and ability. We couldn’t be happier for him.”
McCoy spoke after the game as well about the accomplishment of his quarterback.
“A great accomplishment,” he said. “It’s something that’s not easy to do obviously. It’s not easy to play quarterback in this league. He’s the second guy in the history of the Chargers organization, so what an honor. What an accomplishment.”
Not to be lost in the shuffle of the milestone is another banner day in what has been a standout season for number 17. Rivers was 22 of 26 (84.6%) for 285 yards and one touchdown, resulting in a 125.2 passer rating.
“We’re very fortunate to have Philip Rivers as our quarterback,” McCoy said. “We said from day one here what type of player he is. He’s bought into the offensive system. He’s had some great players around him. That’s the one thing he said to the team when we gave him the game ball in (the locker room). There are a lot of guys that have been here in this organization over his entire career that’s helped him get there. When you get good players around you good things will happen. But it all starts with the quarterback and he’s one of the best in the business. We’re very fortunate.”