Because of an animated exchange between Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler back in 2007 that added some fuel to the fire of the Chargers/Broncos rivalry, these two QBs continue to be linked to each other. Since Cutler was traded to the Chicago Bears prior to the 2009 NFL season, this is the first meeting between Rivers and Cutler since 2008.
Another reason that these two QBs have been compared to one another is that their careers started in the same division in the same season. Rivers became the Chargers starting QB in 2006, and Cutler took the starting job away from Jake Plummer in Denver halfway through the 2006 season. One key difference is that Rivers had two years to learn on the sidelines while Cutler was just a rookie (and therefore, is two years younger than El Capitan).
For their careers, Rivers has the upper hand. Philip has more passing yards (22,404 vs 17,997), more yards per attempt (7.9 vs 7.4), a higher TD% (5.3% of his passes go for TDs vs. 4.6%), a lower INT% (2.6% of his passes have been picked off vs. 3.4%), a lower Sack% (5.6% vs 6.1%).....you get the idea. Rivers has been better, but don't forget that Cutler is two years younger and less experienced.
When we compare compare Cutler's 2010 to Rivers' 2008 season, Philip comes out with more passing yards, more TDs, less INTs, yards per attempt and a better Sack%, TD% and INT%. He even just-barely finished with a better record (11-5 vs. 10-5).
However, with Philip having a uncharacteristically bad season, the tables have turned a little bit in 2011. This season, Rivers is still ahead in terms of passing yards (2,743 vs. 2,033), Sack% and TDs (13 vs. 11), but is worse in just about every other category. Cutler has a better TD%, INT% and QB Rating, but not significantly better. Perhaps an old competition ignites some old flames for Rivers and he has a huge game in Chicago against the Bears.