In the same way as Tom Brady, there is considerable debate about Philip Rivers’s drop in 2019 production. Was it due to Rivers, the Chargers, or both? As far as the Chargers are concerned it was all on Rivers. Supplementing that theory is the fact that Los Angeles let Rivers go without a fight. Since 2006 Rivers quarterbacked the Lightning Bolts but was considered washed up at the end. Indianapolis suffered from the 2019 NFL betting odds due to the unexpected preseason retirement of quarterback Andrew Luck. Jacoby Brisset proved not up to the task of taking over. Thus, enter Rivers.
Philip Rivers to Indianapolis Colts
Philip Rivers to Indianapolis Colts Overview
At the onset of the announcement that Rivers had singed with the Colts was moderate offshore betting activity. Criticism of Rivers was harsher than what was the case for Brady. Rivers never won a Super Bowl with the Chargers. More emphatically he is simply not held in the same esteem as Brady. What is lost in the noise is some potential upside for bringing in Rivers.
Specifically, Rivers went from a quarterback rating of 105.5 in 2018 to 88.5 in 2019. His touchdown to interception ratio went from 32/12 in 2018 to 23/20 in 2019. He dropped from 8.5 yards per pass attempt in 2018 to 7.8 last season. Of course, the 20 interceptions stick out worse of all. The debate is whether or not these numbers were all Rivers’ fault. Consider that the entire Chargers team fell apart in 2019 with a 5-11 record. Rivers had to try and carry the offensive burden due to a rushing attack ranked 28th in the NFL.
First, Philip Rivers will be reuniting with Colts coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni. This threesome worked together with the San Diego Chargers. While with Reich and Sirianni, Rivers had tremendous productivity. Reich has proven to be a very good NFL head coach and kept the Colts in contention for most of last year. He is an ex-NFL quarterback that knows the ropes.
Another factor that works in Rivers’ favor is that the Colts do offer assets that he lacked last year. Accordingly running back Marlon Mack is an asset for the NFL odds. Mack ran for 1091 yards and 4.4 yards per carry with eight touchdowns last year. T.Y. Hilton has cleared the 1000 yard receiving threshold in five seasons. Likewise, he has averaged 15.6 yards per catch in his career. Above all the Colts will provide Rivers with perhaps the best offensive line he has ever had.
2020 Rivers and Colts Outlook
From this point of low expectations is the possibility of the Colts and Rivers working out well. The AFC South is competitive with the Texans, Jaguars, and Titans. But it’s hardly dominant. Indianapolis was a 2018 playoff team and can certainly reach that level yet again. Rivers should feel rejuvenated to be with a new and well-coached team. Following that is a much better supporting cast around him. Naturally, Tom Brady to Tampa Bay is getting all the hype. But the Colts may prove that they found the better fit.