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Philip Rivers Off to Best Start of his Career

He's 36 years old and in his 15th season, yet Philip Rivers is showing no sign of slowing down.

In fact, Rivers is off to one of the best starts of his career, tying his mark for most touchdown passes (11) in the first four games of a season.

Overall, number 17 has completed 100 of 147 attempts (68.0 percent) for 1,156 yards, 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions for a 110.8 passer rating.

It shouldn't surprise anyone to learn that those stats also rank among the best in the league.

At the quarter mark of the season, Rivers owns the sixth-best passer rating in the league and second highest in the AFC behind only Patrick Mahomes. His 11 touchdown passes also rank second in the NFL with Mahomes the only quarterback to throw more. In addition, a whopping 42.2 percent of his completions have gone for first downs, which ranks third in the NFL and first in the AFC.

It also shouldn't shock anyone to hear how much respect Rivers has throughout the league.

"Everyone knows Philip's one of the best quarterbacks in the league (and) to me one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game," 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan said last week, mere days before Rivers would go on beat San Francisco with another impressive performance. "I still think Philip is underrated because I don't think people appreciate him enough on how good he is. There's a reason they're a top offense every single year, regardless of what happens. He's the man, and you have to play as good as you can. You have to be sound (because) he's going to attack you aggressively with his arm and his mind."

In addition, Rivers continues to make history like clockwork, most recently passing John Elway (51,475) for the eighth-most passing yards in NFL history. He also passed Fran Tarkenton for sole possession of sixth on the all-time touchdown passes list, entering Week 5 with 353 career passing TDs. In addition, his two wins bring his career total up to 108, passing Terry Bradshaw for 12th all-time. 

"He's one of the best competitors in the game," Head Coach Anthony Lynn recently remarked. "He knows this game well. He prepares. His preparation is equal to his will to win. So, as long as you have that in a quarterback, you're going to be in pretty good shape."

Yet despite his strong start, Rivers thinks he hasn't been at his best. In fact, he said as much on Sunday after emphasizing the Bolts were able to pull out the win despite him having an off day. Thus, Rivers is quick to credit his receivers for the team's overall success while downplaying his own personal stats.

"I could have made some better throws early, too, in the season," he said. "(On Sunday), I didn't throw it great. I don't need to say that, it was probably obvious watching. The receivers are going to be fine. It's one of those deals you're going to get in a rhythm (with different guys in different games)… It's such a dynamic group. We have so many guys. It's just going to be kind of week to week. I can't tell you who is going to get the ball, and I think that's what makes us tough to defend."

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