For the first time in his lengthy career, Philip Rivers will be playing for a team outside of California.
ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter broke the news via Twitter.
Colts are giving Philip Rivers a one-year, $25 million deal, per source. https://t.co/Nhdjuf1250
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2020
New Team, New Rivers?
Philip Rivers has been a hit or miss quarterback during his long career that has been entirely with the Chargers franchise.
The QB is coming off of one of his lesser seasons in the NFL with 23 touchdowns to a whopping 20 interceptions. However, we cannot be so quick to judge. He rattled off three-straight Pro Bowl appearances in the three years before 2019. He averaged 31 touchdowns to just over 14 interceptions.
The Chargers called passing plays on over 63 percent of their offensive snaps, ranking sixth in the NFL. Naturally, it seems like a pretty big issue when the person in charge of that pass-heavy offense ranks 29th all-time in career interceptions with 198.
According to ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick, many of these interceptions come from aging and poor decision making. Riddick says Rivers has been making mistakes you would expect out of a rookie, not a 16-year veteran.
That being said, a dodgy offensive line is partially responsible for Rivers’s errors. In Indianapolis, No. 17 will have more, or at least better, protection.
Rivers made the Pro Bowl eight times during his 16-years as a Charger. The Indianapolis Colts will hope to capture some of that Pro Bowl level talent.
New Leader in Indy
When Rivers’s departure was announced in January, one of the possible locations for him to land was Indianapolis.
According to Riddick, his signing with the Colts makes a lot of sense for both Rivers and the Colts.
Even for a quarterback as experienced as Rivers, learning an entirely new offense can take some time. It helps to have a history with your new coach.
After one year as quarterbacks coach, the Chargers promoted Reich to offensive coordinator. Although he was fired after two seasons at the position, the Chargers averaged tenth and fourth best passing offenses in the league in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
In Indianapolis, Reich and Rivers will have Marlon Mack, who averaged 78 rush yards per game to go along with eight touchdowns and no fumbles. Some might point out the Chargers have prolific receivers like Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry and even Austin Ekeler who boosted Rivers’s stats.
For example, the Colts need to work on their receiving core, among other areas, before they are ready to call themselves “Super Bowl Contenders”.
Regardless, a new QB will bring a fiery energy to a Colts team that lacked that edge recently.
Colts fans will hope it means a first Super Bowl appearance in over ten years.