As you’ve been reading this, you may have had a voice in your head, like Gollum whispering to himself in the movie, The Lord of the Rings:
"“What about the interceptions?..Nassty Pickss..What about all his turnovers?”"
Mexico City: Mauling by Media
Last season, Rivers got killed in the Mexico City game against the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, throwing four interceptions, including a game-ending, endzone pick. It was nationally televised, and Rivers was beaten up in the news cycle for weeks after. It was referred to repeatedly in the national sports media, creating the narrative that Rivers had fallen and could not get up.
That one game is still shaping the national perception more than actual stats from the game and the season.
The distinct chill in the air from a sizable number of Colts fans over Rivers’ arrival may stem from last year’s interceptions. Rivers is not Manning, nor Andrew Luck, nor Jacoby Brissett, and you may hold any of these three facts against your starting quarterback. Or maybe it’s the fact that Rivers (helped) beat the Colts in two stinging playoff losses, and is 7-2 all-time against the Colts, and by some is still seen as The Enemy. Yet the Colts won the big one: They got to pick Peyton Manning in the draft, and in the very next pick, the Chargers got Ryan Leaf.
So let it go, bro.
There is no statistical basis for assuming Old Man Rivers has stepped off a cliff, because of the INTs. Because he has done that, and worse, several times before, and fixed it before, every time.
Again, I’m calling in Reich, Sirianni, and Ballard as expert witnesses. If you think they’re dead wrong, please make your argument in the comments.
In 2018, Philip was in MVP conversation, beat the Chiefs, and took the Los Angeles Chargers (with one healthy starting linebacker) two games deep into the playoffs. Has he been shot off his horse? Or is it rather that Chargers’ Head coach Anthony Lynn has designed a run-first team that he has always devoutly wished for?
I will predict that the 2020 Chargers will have fewer interceptions. And will finish out of the playoffs.
Phil plays to the final whistle to somehow, someway, win. And then on the Tuesday, he starts all over. His daily motto is Nunc Coepi, Latin for “Now we start (all over) again”.
He has willed away all sense of self-preservation. He often celebrates a passing touchdown flat on his back. He doesn’t care about saving his stats, he wants to win the dad-gum gosh-darn game!
Rivers slings it when 2 scores behind. And occasionally, Rivers will make you cry like a four-year-old whose hamburger was intercepted by the dog. At the one-yard line. Goll-y!
But then ol’ Phil, being engulfed by 3 defenders, will lob an Alley-Oop to the running back, who takes it 40 yards for a touchdown. Rivers IS an old gunslinger, but the Colts’ leadership is confident that Phil can still shoot a fly off a Texan. Or a Jaguar or a Titan.