When questioning a group of Charger fans regarding who their favorite San Diego quarterback of all-time is you receive varied responses. Depending on which era you began watching the Bolts play, there are about 5 or 6 names that continually seem to pop up and dominate the conversation.
Below is a chart from footballdb.com.
|Billy Joe Tolliver||1989-1990||2||595||305||51.3||3,671||6.17||21||24||49||65.5|
Needless to say that the last four names are not going to be a part of the poll. I am going to throw in Jack Kemp for some of our more “seasoned” Charger fans. Despite not totaling 6,000 yards passing, Kemp did finish with a 22-6 record. Doug Flutie was one of my favorite quarterbacks but he didn’t really spend enough time as a starter to be in the running. John Friesz, Jim Harbaugh and Billy Joe Tolliver, well, they are just here to complete the list of the top-ten statistical signal callers.
Although Drew Brees has gone on to win a Super bowl, and have a fantastic career, with the New Orleans Saints, his time with the Chargers is a bit overrated. Some like to talk about the decision to move on from Brees to Philip Rivers was a huge mistake. Those that believed that only did so in hindsight. San Diego, Miami and New Orleans were the only teams interested in signing Brees. The shoulder injury he suffered in the last week of the regular season in a meaningless game made the decision a bit easier for the Bolts. Having Rivers waiting in the wings contributed to the ease of that decision as well.
Stan “The Man” Humphries is the only quarterback on this list to lead San Diego to a Super bowl. Many fans claim him as their favorite signal caller. Humphries was ultra-tough and he kind of seemed like of the fans. He didn’t exactly look like a great athlete. His leadership and toughness make him a fan favorite.
Though John Hadl’s days were before my time, I have the utmost respect for what he did while slinging the ball in the powder blues. As you can see from the chart above, he put up some very impressive numbers. My issue with Hadl is that he finished his career with more interceptions than touchdowns.
That brings us to my favorite, Philip Rivers. His time as a Charger has made him one of my favorite players of all-time, not just a favorite quarterback. Rivers has at least 4 more years to build on his impressive stats. Everyone remembers him playing through a torn ACL during the playoffs. His passer rating is higher than that of Dan Fouts; who we’ll get to in a moment. Philip has over twice as many touchdowns as interceptions. Despite consecutive seasons of poor numbers in 2011 and 2012, he has been a steady force since taking over the starting job in America’s finest city. Rivers will be getting my vote without a doubt.
Last, but not least, is Dan Fouts. The bearded-Hall of Famer was a part of one of the most prolific offenses of all-time. And like Rivers, he was incredibly tough. The stats that Fouts has under his belt earned him the nod to Canton. I already mentioned that Rivers will get my vote, but it was a terribly hard decision. Fouts finished with 254 touchdown passes and the former Oregon Duck never played for another NFL franchise other than the Chargers. He was the real deal.
Now its your turn. Place your vote on the poll below and then justify your choice by leaving a comment as well.
Thanks a lot for reading and voting.
For all of you football fans/Charger fans (or part time Charger fans) that question our man under center, here’s some food for thought. Philip Rivers is the one of the most successful quarterbacks in Charger’s history. How does he compare to other Charger’s quarterbacks? I’m glad you asked.
John Hadl played for the Chargers for 10 seasons (1962-1972) and had 114 starts. Hadle threw for over 33,000 yards and ended his career with only a 67.4 QB rating but from 1966-1969 he threw for over 3000 yards and averaged 23 touchdowns per season. (14 game seasons back then).
Dan Fouts was the most illustrious and longest tenured quarterback in Charger’s history. He played for San Diego for 15 seasons (1973-1987) and had 171 starts. Fouts threw for over 43,000 yards and ended up with an 80.2 QB rating.
Stan Humphries played for the Chargers for 6 seasons and is the only quarterback to lead the Chargers to a Superbowl appearance. Humphries threw for over 17,000 and ended with a QB rating of 75.8.
Drew Brees only played four years for San Diego but being one of the best quarterbacks in the league, I couldn’t leave him off this list. During his four years in San Diego, Brees’ career was quite productive with the 2003 campaign being his worst. That year he lost the starting role to Doug Flutie. The 2005 season, Brees QB rating was a respectable 89.2 which was 10th best in the league.
At the end of the 2005 season, Brees tore his labrum, an injury most athletes rarely come back from if at all. By this time, Philip Rivers is on the roster getting paid big bucks. It was an easy decision for A.J. Smith. Schottenheimer wanted to keep him but Smith said no. Wonder what he would have done had Brees stayed healthy. We all know how his career turned out since then already having won a Superbowl and surpassing Dan Marino’s single season passing record for one of only two teams that was willing to take a chance on him.
Philip Rivers has been on the Charger’s roster now for going on 10 seasons. During the 7 years behind center, Rivers has started every single game. That’s 112 straight starts. Incredible. During those 7 years, Rivers has amassed 27,891 passing yards, a 63.6 completion percentage and a 94.5 QB rating, the best in Chargers history and # 6 on the NFL career all time passing list. In comparison, Joe Montana ended his career with a 92.3 QB rating and a 63.2 completion percentage.
How can anyone argue those numbers?
I’ll take Rivers as my QB any day.