Philip Rivers is as fiery as they come.
His spirit is part of what makes him one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game.
There are many iconic moments featuring number 17’s competitive nature, and Sunday’s game provided some new brand new ones.
As the players were asked question after question inside the locker room following their fifth win in a row, many went out of their way to say this was as fired up as they’ve ever seen the future Hall of Famer.
“We’re coming into a hostile environment, we had to bring our own energy,” Mike Williams said. “And Phil, he brought it big time. He was bringing a lot of energy for us and we were feeding off of it.”
“He’s always hyped,” said Keenan Allen, “But today, he was real hyped.”
Rivers doesn’t disagree.
“I was fired up,” he said. “I was fired up for many reasons. Some personal, some just excited. I love playing here, and this is probably my last shot playing here. It’s exciting when you play in this kind of atmosphere and this environment. I think it was exciting to come out and see how many Charger fans were here. I was fired up. You like going against great defenses, especially guys like Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright; guys that you’ve seen multiple times (that) you respect from afar. It’s just fun.”
So, you weren’t imagining things if you thought Rivers was extra animated following Melvin Gordon’s touchdown.
“I was pretty fired up,” he said. “I was fired up because I thought it was holding. There’s nothing worse than a touchdown run and you get it called back. Once I heard them say defensive holding, I was fired up.”
It’s also why he was super fired up following Mike Williams’ acrobatic tightrope jaunt into the end zone.
“Mike’s (touchdown), I knew we were good with the completion and then I don’t know how his heels didn’t hit. I’m sure someone argued that they did, but when you can’t see them, you can’t overturn it, so found a way to get in there.”
And then, of course, there was the game-sealing pass breakup in the end zone on the final play of the game. Television cameras caught his exuberance as he pointed into the stands while shouting, “Yeah baby!! Woooo!! Yeah!!”
However, emotion alone doesn’t allow for the type of success Rivers has had throughout the years – the type of success that allows you to start 200 consecutive games like number 17 did today. In the process, he joined the likes of Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning as the only quarterbacks to accomplish the feat.
“He’s just on his game, man,” said Melvin Gordon. “Phil, he’s a guru at this. Like I said, he plays chess out there. He knows what’s going on, he knows where guys are going to be, studies film like crazy. I watch him, so this is expected from Phil. It is what it is. He’s been doing it for a while.”