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"An Offensive Achievement Over the Last Decade" for Rivers
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It seems to be a weekly occurrence that Philip Rivers sets new marks and climbs the record books.
Always humble, number 17 even admitted that the one he set in Sunday’s 31-25 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars was particularly special.
Rivers’ second touchdown of the day tied him with Joe Montana with 273 all-time TD passes, while he passed the legendary 49er with his third score late in the first half. Number 17 wasn’t done, as his fourth touchdown tied him with Vinny Testaverde (275) for 11th in NFL history.
Learning he joined such lofty company as Montana and Testaverde brought a wide smile to the quarterback’s face.
“Joe Montana was on my wall,” he said. “I get the chills when you say I passed him because those are names I grew up watching. Thankful is the word that keeps coming to me. I’ve had the opportunity to be out there for 155 in a row. At 3-8, there is not a lot that excites you. But winning a game and hearing names like Montana and Testaverde, that does make me smile.”
It was only fitting that Antonio Gates was on the receiving end of the touchdown that tied Montana, as well as the TD that passed him. After answering questions earlier in the week about a sideline spat he equated to brothers having a disagreement, Rivers explained how it is always meaningful tossing a TD to the all-time great tight end.
“That’s awesome. I asked Gatesy how much we need to get him to be the all-time tight end touchdown leader, and we still got a little ways to go. But we’ll keep pushing to get him there.”
The touchdown mark wasn’t the only landmark accomplishment Rivers reached on Sunday. On his 23-yard completion to Dontrelle Inman in the first half, he became the fourth fastest QB in history to reach 40,000 career passing yards. Only Drew Brees (152 games), Dan Marino (153) and Peyton Manning (154) did so in fewer games, while Tom Brady (162) is fifth.
“I didn’t even know that about (being) fourth fastest,” Rivers said. “I’m very thankful. Just like any touchdown or anything else, there were at least five guys protecting and a lot of receivers on the other end to get to 40,000 yards. That’s a collective effort. That’s a team (record). That’s an offensive achievement over the last decade, so that is pretty cool. You appreciate all those things more when you are done, but it’s OK to appreciate them now as well.”
Inman was unaware he was on the receiving end of that historic moment.
“I feel special now! I’ve got to go keep that ball. It makes it special because we keep fighting. Our record is 3-8, but we keep fighting like we’re 8-3. What makes Philip so special because he’ll never give up.”
Head Coach Mike McCoy is constantly amazed by what Rivers is able to do even opening his postgame press conference lauding his QB.
“How special is 17? Some of those plays he checked to in the red area, I mean it’s what it’s all about. He’s amazing. To prepare the way he does and get in the end zone the way he does. Give him so much credit…. Everybody, every time they watch this guy play football, we’re so fortunate to have him.”