COSTA MESA, Calif. -- As a quarterback at North Carolina State, a young Philip Rivers yearned to break his idol Brett Favre's all-time consecutive-starts streak.
Rivers has the longest active consecutive-games streak in the NFL and will join Favre, Eli Manning and Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks to make at least 200 consecutive starts in NFL history when he takes on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
Rivers will also become the 10th player since at least 1970 to post a start streak of 200 games.
However, Rivers understands Favre's all-time record of 297 consecutive starts is probably out of reach.
"Favre was always a favorite of mine," Rivers said. "Still is. I kind of wanted to have that mark, or at least push for it in college. I was able to play 51 in a row in college. ... I always thought of all the things in the pros, that would be the one, and I'm not going to get there.
"So y'all can do the math and figure out your projection of how many years I'm going to play, but I'm not going to get to 300. It's pretty cool. I mean, the two Mannings and Favre have started over 200 in a row, and I just feel thankful."
Rivers reminisced this week about his first career start in 2006 against the Oakland Raiders, a 27-0 victory on Monday Night Football in which he threw just 11 passes for 108 passing yards and a touchdown to his favorite target, tight end Antonio Gates -- the first of an NFL-record 88 touchdowns between the quarterback and his tight end.
Rivers has a 111-88 career record in regular-season games that he has started.
"He's a pro's pro," Chargers offensive lineman Michael Schofield said. "He watches as much film as he possibly can. He takes care of his body -- he does it all. And that's what gets you to 200 games."
There's certainly been some close calls in terms of injuries along the way. Rivers famously played with a torn ACL in his left knee in the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots after the 2007 season, although postseason games do not count as part of the streak.
He played through a chest injury and bulging disk in his back during the backstretch of the 2014 season, missing his first practice since 2007.
Rivers was also diagnosed with his first concussion last year and did not clear the concussion protocol until Friday, two days before taking the field against the Buffalo Bills in a 54-24 victory in Week 10 of last season.
Each time Rivers has faced an injury, he's answered the bell.
"You have to take care of yourself off the field in order to last that long and play that many consecutive games, and he's done it for a long time," Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. "I'd love that to rub off [on] the rest of the team. He's a professional."
Lynn acknowledged that Rivers has had things break his way as well.
"Well, I just think the harder you work, the luckier you get," joked Lynn.