Can Philip Rivers win the Colts (or anyone) a Super Bowl?

Indianapolis Colts, NFL Free Agency

At the age of 38, Philip Rivers is set to hit the free agent market. Should he land in a decent spot, is he capable of leading a team to the promised land?

All good things must come to an end. For Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers, now appears to be that time.

After 16 years with the franchise, Philip Rivers will be a free agent this offseason and won’t be returning to LA. During his tenure, the former No. 4 pick from 2004 posted a 123-101 record and threw 397 touchdowns. He is one of the better quarterbacks of this generation and will for all intents and purposes join the 400-touchdown club in the fall.

The Indianapolis Colts seem like a very solid landing spot for Rivers, with FanSided’s Stacking the Box podcast crew recently thinking the idea over. Head coach Frank Reich has a history with Rivers, and Indy was competitive last season despite having their franchise quarterback retire right before the regular season.

Should Rivers end up in Indianapolis, could he put them over the top? The team’s current starter, Jacoby Brissett, played a decent brand of football in 2019. He limited turnovers and although he doesn’t do anything flashy, he’s a capable quarterback. Here’s a comparison of Rivers and Brissett’s 2019 numbers:

  • Rivers: 4,615 yards, 23 TD, 20 INT, 7.8 Y/A, 88.5 passer rating (16 games)
  • Brissett: 2,942 yards, 18 TD, 6 INT, 6.6 Y/A, 88.0 passer rating (15 games)

Rivers’ best is almost surely better than Brissett’s best, even as the longtime starter enters his age-38 season (he turns 39 in December). There are some valid concerns with what Rivers brings to the table, though. His arm isn’t what it used to be and it comes up short at times. 20 interceptions is a far cry from the six picks Brissett threw last season.

Thinking bigger picture: What does Rivers need in order to get to (or win) a Super Bowl? He’s never been to one in his career despite having some pretty good Chargers teams to work with. Teams like Tampa Bay, Chicago and even New England have all been talked about as potential destinations, but are those stops ready to win with a signal-caller like him?

At this point in his career, Rivers doesn’t want to be a placeholder during a rebuild. Teams of contender status are his only options. Tampa Bay has some weapons on offense, but its defense is still under construction. No one knows what New England will look like in the event Tom Brady departs, which makes their ceiling uncertain. Chicago boasts one of the best defenses in the league and is in need of an upgrade at quarterback.

Philip Rivers is no longer very-good-to-great at his job. His physical limitations and turnover tendencies don’t bode well for him at his next stop. Then again, plenty of people were worried about an aging Peyton Manning before he landed in a perfect situation in Denver years ago. Could Rivers follow suit?

It isn’t very likely.

The great thing about football, though, is that you never know what’s around the corner.

Next: What each team with a quarterback decision to make should do

Products You May Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *