NC State legend Philip Rivers is entering his 16th season in the NFL, but it will be his first year not wearing a Chargers jersey. Rivers signed a 1-year $25 million contract with the Colts back in March, with all of the money being guaranteed.
Obviously, Rivers is Indianapolis’ starting Quarterback. He will be throwing to the likes of Receivers T.Y. Hilton & Zach Pascal, Tight End Jack Doyle and former NC State Running Back Nyheim Hines. All of these receivers actually graded out well in 2019 according to ProFootball Focus, though their stats were lackluster with former Wolfpack Quarterback Jacoby Brissett struggling.
2019 PFF Grades
T.Y. Hilton – 75.1
Zach Pascal – 73.7
Jack Doyle – 69.2
Rivers isn’t a Spring Chicken, but he’s still a productive NFL Quarterback. Yes, according to ProFootballFocus, his grade of 72.4 was his lowest overall grade since 2012, ranking 17th in the NFL last year. Despite that, his 4,615 passing yards were his highest since 2015, marking his 7th consecutive season of 4,000+ yards.
Rivers threw 23 touchdowns, which was his lowest total since 2007. That number could increase in 2020 standing behind a better Offensive Line. The Chargers O-Line ranked 2nd to last in Pass Blocking according to PFF, and the Colts ranked 13th by comparison.
The pass rush had an impact on 24 of Philip Rivers’s 30 Interceptable Balls in 2019 (that’s a huge number). #Colts OL is significantly better than Chargers OL.
— Andy Benoit (@Andy_Benoit) September 9, 2020
Also, though Indianapolis is a new city for Rivers, the offensive system is far from new. He has been running Frank Reich’s system since 2013, working together with the Chargers for 3 seasons. Current Colts Offensive Coordinator Nick Sirianni also worked with Rivers there, and had this to say about his expectations for Rivers.
“I expect him to be the guy that leads the offense,” Sirianni said, via Andrew Walker of the team website. “We know how accurate he is and how he’s a great decision-maker. He’s accurate. He makes good fast decisions. So I expect that out of him in the pass game. Getting us into the right protection call, because he studies blitzes and the opposing team more than anyone I’ve ever been around.
“Then in the run game, just running the show, checking when he needs to, getting people in position to make plays. So I just expect the same from what I’ve (experienced). Obviously, we have a lot of years and a lot of history with him. Just, I expect the same Philip Rivers that we had when we were in San Diego together.” (NBC)
Despite being one year older, expect Rivers to have a bounce back year in 2020 in Indy.