It’s time to deliver Colts quarterback Philip Rivers an apology.
Remember earlier in the season when fans and pundits wrote off the Indianapolis Colts as a playoff contender because quarterback Philip Rivers was consistently proving why he was signed to be a stopgap option under center and nothing further?
As it turns out, however, that was a woefully misguided take because Rivers, though he hasn’t garnered national headlines, has methodically proven over the last nine or so weeks that Indy would be making a mistake if they choose to let him walk as a free agent in the offseason.
The bottom line is that everybody (including us) owes Rivers an apology, because he has quietly been a top-10 player at the quarterback position this season. In fact, over the last six games, you’d be hard-pressed to name a handful of QBs that have performed better than him.
During that span, Rivers is 68-of-91 (78.6%) for 757 yards and six touchdowns compared to zero interceptions — numbers that equate to an impeccable 120.8 passer rating.
That stretch is impressive, but Rivers’ improved form actually dates all the way back to the Colts’ degrading loss to Cleveland back in Week 5, when he threw for less than 245 yards and zero touchdowns to two interceptions on 33 pass attempts.
Through the first five games of 2020, the 38-year-old gunslinger had just as many touchdowns (five) as interceptions and led Indianapolis to a mediocre 3-2 record, which included a loss to the lowly Jaguars, who still only have one win, to open the year that he was largely responsible for.
In the nine weeks since, Rivers has logged a passer rating of 105.4 or higher in seven of a possible nine games (all wins). He also hasn’t had a multi-turnover game since that Browns loss and has been turnover free in five games during that span. Seriously, what more could fans ask for?
Despite Indy being a run-first offense for most of the season, Rivers currently ranks seventh in the NFL in completion percentage (68.7%), ninth in yards per attempt (7.7) and 10th in passing yards (3,735). The eight-time Pro Bowler also ranks just outside the top 10 in completions (331), passer rating (99.0) and first downs (181).
If you told us after the Cleveland debacle that — given how many up-and-coming young stars there are — that Rivers would finish as one of the top quarterbacks in the league, we probably would’ve laughed in your face.
We were quick to eviscerate him early, and rightfully so, considering how awful he looked at times, but this our official apology letter to him. There’s obviously a lot of unfinished business left this season, but Rivers’ consistency should have the Colts pressing the issue to re-sign him to another one-year deal once the offseason rolls around.