The New QB in Indy
For the first time in 14 years, Philip Rivers is going to be under center for a different organization. The veteran quarterback, who had been with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers since 2006, is heading to the Midwest to play for the Indianapolis Colts. Rivers signed a one-year deal back in March to play for his former offensive coordinator, now Colts head coach Frank Reich.
A New Division
A change of scenery will be very beneficial for Rivers, giving him a new sense of hope for himself and for his new team. The AFC South has never been as tough and formidable as the AFC West Rivers leaves behind. There are no more games against the high-powered Chiefs and their stud quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. No more going to Denver to play against an intense defense while also trying to play in the thin air. Finally, no more playing the Raiders in the always raucous Black Hole, which usually has baseball dirt on half of the field.
Instead, he will be playing in sunny, warm Jacksonville against a less than stellar Jaguar team, a Texans team who traded away their best offensive weapon in DeAndre Hopkins, and the Titans, who had a prolonged season with their extraordinary run to the AFC Championship game. Another reason Rivers is going to love the change is he will be playing more indoor games than he ever has before; with 11 out of 16 games being in domed stadiums.
The New Offense
Rivers will still have explosive weapons on the offense with a top wide receiver in T.Y. Hilton, a young receiver who is ready to take the next step in Zach Pascal, a hard-nosed running back in Marlon Mack, and an always sure handed tight end in Jack Doyle. The Colts drafted two offensive playmakers in the second round of the NFL draft to add to their already stellar offense: All-American running back Jonathan Taylor from Wisconsin and senior wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. out of USC. The one upgrade Rivers will appreciate the most will be the Colts steady and always consistent offensive line. Led by their center Ryan Kelly, left tackle Anthony Castonzo, and first team all pro left guard Quenton Nelson. The offensive line only gave up 18 sacks last season, which was the fewest given up by any team in the NFL.
Since the shocking retirement of Andrew Luck in August 2019, the Colts’ only option was to turn to their viable backup quarterback, Jacoby Brissett. Brissett threw for just over 2,900 yards and had a completion percentage of 61% last season. He also had a 3-1 touchdown to interception ratio, which doesn’t compare to Rivers throwing for over 4,600 yards with a 66% completion percentage. Rivers almost had a 1-1 touchdown to interception ratio last season, throwing 23 touchdowns to 20 interceptions.
The Colts have made the playoffs and won their division just once since making an appearance in the AFC Championship game back in 2014. Will the veteran Rivers guide the Colts back to first place and help them reach the playoffs once again? YES! In my opinion, with all the experience Rivers brings to the team, the offensive weapons, and his familiarity with his head coach, the Colts once again should be atop the AFC South and bring back what has been missing in Indianapolis since the glory days of Peyton Manning.