If you were asked to name the top four or five quarterbacks in the NFL, you might say Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan. Or maybe Ben Roethlisberger. Or maybe someone else.
But you might not name Philip Rivers.
Well, maybe you should. A six-time Pro-Bowler, Rivers has led the league in yards, he’s led the league in touchdowns, and he’s been the face of the Chargers franchise since 2004.
Is Rivers, 35, a Hall of Famer?
“I think when it’s all said and done, he will be,” former Charger and All-Pro Shawne Merriman said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I almost put Philip and Tony (Romo) in the same kind of category when it comes to how people perceive them. Different players and whatnot but the same kind of category: when it’s all said and done, I think the numbers will show that Philip should be a Hall of Famer. Him not having a ring is obviously going to hurt him a little bit, but when it’s all said and done, I think the numbers will show he deserves to be there.”
Merriman, 33, played for the Chargers from 2005-10. He led the league in sacks in 2006 and was a three-time All-Pro. He was once the most dominant defensive player in the NFL.
And yet, he has regrets.
“I even feel bad to this day because we should have had a ring or two,” Merriman said. “In 2006, 2007, we definitely had an opportunity to have a ring.”
In 2006, the Chargers went 14-2 but lost to the Patriots in the divisional round by a field goal. In 2009, meanwhile, they went 13-3 and lost to the Jets – again in the divisional round, and again by a field goal.
“The game of football is (so) short-lived that you look at the opportunities you had and say, ‘Man, we at least should have got one,’” Merriman said. “That would have alleviated a lot of the talk for Philip, LT (LaDainian Tomlinson), Lorenzo Neal, Antonio Gates. Potentially, I probably played on a team with four or five Hall of Famers, and at some point in time, that ring or two is going to come up again. It’s kind of devastating for me now that I look at it that we didn’t achieve that.”