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The Indianapolis Colts officially signed Phillip Rivers to a 1-year deal.

My first thought is that Rivers won’t be in Indy past 2020.

While many see it as a huge upgrade over last year’s starter Jacoby Brissett, that may not be the case.

Rivers is 38 and his best days are behind him. Other than Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, every quarterback starts drastically regressing. Some examples are Brett Favre, Eli Manning, and Josh McCown.

In 2019, despite finishing high in passing yards, he struggled to lead the Chargers to wins, especially in close games.

The Chargers dropped to 5-11, which included nine, one-possession losses. He threw many interceptions in the final two minutes, and failed under pressure. 

This Colts roster is good, but Phillip Rivers doesn’t put them over the top. Rivers needs weapons to succeed, and the Colts’ weapons don’t compare to what he had with the Chargers through his career.

If Rivers does not improve his play, the Colts will be forced to again look for their future Quarterback.

To start, the Colts have Jacoby Brissett on the roster, who showed flashes before his injury in Pittsburgh.

In addition, the Colts could take a QB in the 2nd round such as Jake Fromm or Jacob Eason. Or, the Colts could take a QB in what looks to be a great 2021 quarterback class which will include Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Sam Ehlinger, and Kellen Mond.

With that being said, the Colts likely signed Rivers to be a one year stop-gap guy, meaning several things:

  • They don’t think any of the available QB’s between Brissett, the other Free Agents, and the incoming rookies — will do a better job than Rivers can this season.
  • They want to groom a young Quarterback behind a veteran like Rivers, and are willing to see if Rivers can return to his old-self in a new situation in the meantime.

However, there is a legitimate chance this can work out in some way.

Firstly, the Chargers had one of the worst offensive lines of the century in 2019, and the Colts have one of the best in the NFL.

Let’s also not forget that LA dealt with a home field disadvantage, and basically played 16 road games.

Most importantly, going from a multitude of offensive play-callers to an elite coaching staff should help. He has connections with Head Coach Frank Reich and OC Nick Sirianni, which could be huge.

Don’t get me wrong, Rivers won’t be bad in 2020. He will be given all the tools to succeed, and a change of scenery will help. Although, this is far from the long-term plan in Indianapolis.