Person of Interest: San Diego’s Philip Rivers

Sep 11, 2014, 9:16 AM | Updated: 9:39 am
Philip Rivers rebounded from a two-year slump last season, earning a Pro Bowl selection and winning the NFL's comeback player of the year award. (AP)
(AP)

Vitals

• Position: Prolific passer, incorrigible complainer
• Height: 6-5
• Weight: 228
• Age: 32
• Experience: 11th season

The storyline

The former first-round pick led the NFL in rebounding last year. No, seriously, he was named the league’s comeback player of the year after a season in which he had 32 touchdown passes, just 11 interceptions and threw for more than 4,000 yards for the fifth time in six seasons.

The dude is prolific. Has been since he was installed as the starting quarterback in 2006 after serving a two-year apprenticeship behind Drew Brees. Rivers hasn’t missed a game since then, he has led the team to five playoff berths in his eight seasons as the starter and has a career record of 83-56 after Monday night’s loss in Arizona.

But there’s also a question of empty calories packed into that resume. For all that regular-season success and statistics, Rivers has yet to reach a Super Bowl and in fact has only led his team to the AFC Championship Game once.

He did, however, lead San Diego to four consecutive wins to close out last season, earn a playoff spot, and then go and beat Cincinnati on the road in the wild-card round.

“He’s an incredible football player,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of Rivers. “He’s shown over the years that he has great ability for all the intangible stuff: The sense of the field, control of the game, ability to make the big play, he’s had great finishes, red-zone efficiency, and third-down efficiency.”

The statement

Rivers is part of the older generation of franchise quarterbacks in the NFL.

He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t run. At least not fast. Someone who seeks to stand tall in the pocket and pick apart an opposing defense.

The kind of guy that Ron Jaworski loves. And Trent Dilfer. And all those people who believe that a more conventional pocket passer is the key to sustained success in the NFL.

It also means he’s the kind of guy who’s going to be throwing into the teeth of Seattle’s defensive strength, going against a secondary that produced three Pro Bowlers last season.

“Philip is a gunslinger,” cornerback Richard Sherman said. “He’s an elite quarterback in his league. We are happy to play him. We are happy to have that kind of challenge. We know he will challenge us and we will challenge him back.”

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Person of Interest: San Diego’s Philip Rivers