Philip Rivers has run the full gamut of emotions over his 13 NFL seasons. From exhilarating wins to debilitating losses, number 17 has seen it all.
However, what he's experienced to start this season is something so new it almost goes beyond words.
All four of the Chargers unlikely losses entering Week 6 came after what looked like a Bolts victory well into the second half. Rivers said it's embarrassing to have a 1-4 record with the way they have played.
Rivers is off to the type of start you'd expect from one of the games' top quarterbacks, completing 117 of 172 passes (68.0%) for 1,469 yards, 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions for a 108.4 passer rating. Among those with 100 attempts, the QB ranks third in the NFL in touchdown passes, fourth in passing yards and passer rating, and fifth in completion percentage. The QB passed Johnny Unitas and Warren Moon last week for ninth in NFL history with 292 touchdown passes. He is just 125 yards from passing Dan Fouts to become the Chargers all-time passing yards leader, which would also rank 13th in league history.
Rivers has heard plenty of talk from fans and media members across the nation about how they feel sorry he has had to deal with these heartbreaking losses.
But Number 17 made one thing clear after Tuesday's practice.
"I guess I should take that as a compliment in a sense, but at the same time, nobody needs to feel sorry for me," he said. "I have an opportunity to be a quarterback in the NFL, live in (San Diego and) play here. My faith, my family and this football is more than I ever could have imagined as an eight-year-old little boy. Yeah, we're in a tough stretch. There doesn't need to be any sympathy for me. I look at it as, while I can honestly say I think I'm playing pretty (well), I've always felt my job is to find a way to lead us to win the games. Now we're five of the last 21 games (the last two seasons). I take responsibility for that, too. I can look at it honestly that yeah, I'm playing alright. But I'm not playing good enough until we walk off winning. We haven't done that yet."
Both a realist and an optimist, Rivers has not lost faith in this team but remains acutely aware of the obstacles ahead.
Still, the QB is bullish over the short term and long term prospects of the Bolts' nucleus based on their play on the field and their camaraderie off of it. The 2016 Chargers are a young team with a core that figures to be together for the foreseeable future. Rivers believes working through this adversity will make them a mentally tough team with a hardened foundation for years to come.
"I 100 percent believe that, but that is if we can overcome it. And when I say that, our expectations are that we can overcome it and make a run at this thing. But I just mean right now, overcome it means start winning these games. The new core of this team will start to grow with the toughness and belief (that we can overcome anything). So that is the silver lining in this. Obviously no one can see that right now and it sounds ridiculous, but I definitely believe that can be it."