This season will feel strange. For the first time in 14 seasons, number 17 will not be under center for the Chargers. Instead, Philip Rivers has agreed to a one-year deal worth $25 million with the Indianapolis Colts.
This deal reunites Rivers with his former San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who is now the head coach of the Colts and his former quarterback's coach Nick Sirianni, who is the Colts offensive coordinator.
The language will be the same for the quarterback, but that might be the only similar thing. He will now be throwing to four-time Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton, who is a smaller receiver that gets separation. They have a good tight end in Jack Doyle, who could see a target increase because Rivers in the past has always used his tight end as a security blanket. The Colts have a solid running back in Marlon Mack, who rushed for over 1,000 yards last season.
The Colts are a great landing spot for Rivers because they have a top-five offensive line. When Peyton Manning was the quarterback the offensive line was good, when Andrew Luck was in his younger years, he took a lot of shots, so the Colts began drafting offensive lineman.
They now have one of the best in the NFL, which will help the Colts run the ball and give Rivers enough time to throw the ball.
The Colts on Monday surprised the league when they traded their first-round draft pick to the San Francisco 49ers for defensive lineman DeForest Buckner to help with pass-rushing. The Colts defense will be a lot better next season.
They will also need to help get more weapons for Rivers. After Hilton, the Colts lack consistency at the receiver’s position. They have players like Zach Pascal but will need to see someone like Parris Campbell step up. If given the weapons the NC State alum could help get the Colts back into playoff contention.
Last season, it is no secret that Rivers struggled. He threw 20 interceptions and some of them were game losing interceptions, but it wasn’t solely on him. Injuries played a factor. He didn’t have left tackle Russell Okung and center Mike Pouncey for most of the season. He also lost tight end, Hunter Henry, for four games to a knee injury. Another factor was he missed receiver Tyrell Williams who signed with the then Oakland Raiders.
Rivers was a big reason why the Chargers succeeded and made playoff runs. Now he is looking for an opportunity to win a championship. The Colts give him the best opportunity to accomplish that because the AFC South is wide open. The Texans traded away DeAndre Hopkins, the Jags having a lot of questions at quarterback, and the Titans could regress.
Rivers has moved his family from San Diego to Florida. He is now a Colt. Even though he is on a new team the love that San Diego has for the 16-year vet will add new fans of the Colts.