Philip Rivers is plenty busy at home, where he and his wife, Tiffany, are expecting their ninth child.
On the field, he’s also got his work cut out for him.
On the heels of an MVP-caliber season (32 TDs, 12 INTs, 105.5 rating) and maybe his best in five years, the 37-year-old Los Angeles Chargers quarterback is set to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2013 and just the second time in nine seasons. It’s hard to believe considering the Chargers were in the postseason for Rivers’ first four seasons as a full-time starter, even advancing to the AFC Championship Game in 2007, but this might be the Pro Bowler’s last, best chance at a long-awaited Super Bowl title.
Up first, on Sunday afternoon: the Baltimore Ravens.
Not only do the Ravens enter the playoffs on a three-game win streak with momentum from rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson’s high-speed option attack, but they also boast the NFL’s No. 1 defense. The last time the two sides met, on Dec. 22 with the postseason picture still taking shape, Baltimore got the best of the Chargers, picking off Rivers twice, holding L.A. to 10 points in its own stadium, and securing its own path to the playoffs.
This Sunday, Rivers gets his second shot at the Ravens — and a big one to keep Los Angeles moving toward a Lombardi. And along the way — both on the field with his 10 teammates and at home with his 10 others — he leans on the Christian faith that’s carried him throughout his career.
“My faith has always been very important to me,” Rivers told CBN News in 2017. “I think that the center of our marriage and the foundation of our relationship was on Jesus. That is why it’s worked to this point … I hope that God has used me to touch one of you in your faith journey with Jesus.”
The same year, Rivers also addressed San Diego’s The Rock Church, telling pastor Miles McPherson that anytime he’s encountered lows in life, he’s been reminded of his strength in Christ.
“Too many times we think we’ve fallen too far from God or we’re not worthy,” he said. “(It’s) only by God’s mercy and grace. We aren’t worthy, we’re all sinners, but we are because of Jesus dying for us.”
Rivers and the Chargers kick off on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET on the road against Baltimore. If they were to win that game, they’d advance to play either the Kansas City Chiefs or New England Patriots in the divisional round.