Let’s face it, Philip Rivers has not delivered what the Indianapolis Colts expected so far in 2020.
So it’s only natural that Colts fans and the media are wondering if Coach Reich is anywhere near the point of benching him.
The short answer is no.
At least if you believe what Reich recently said about Rivers to The Athletic.
“My trust at the end of the day is that this guy is a Hall of Fame quarterback. I have the utmost belief in him, and our team has the utmost belief in him, and you’re gonna have to live with some mistakes. We truly believe the good will far outweigh the bad.”
Philip Rivers – 2020 Statistics
Through 5 games, he has completed 109 out of 154 passes; that is a 70.8% completion rate.
His total yardage is 1,227.
All of that looks good until the touchdown/interception ratio is reviewed.
He has thrown 4 TD passes and 5 INTs which ties him for 27th among NFL QBs.
Interceptions have always been an issue for him; he has thrown 203 in his 17 year career.
Maybe that’s what Reich means about living with some mistakes.
Week 5 vs. Cleveland
His worst game as a Colt happened against Cleveland.
This loss is at the hands of Philip Rivers. He over threw 3 first-downs, took two really bad sacks, threw two very bad interceptions, and then don’t even get me started on that awful safety. It’s clear the @Colts are not a playoff team with Rivers at the helm.
— Danny On NFL (@dannyonnfl) October 11, 2020
He threw no touchdowns and 2 INTs.
One was a pick 6.
— TitansTonk (@TitansTonk) October 11, 2020
Then, there was the inexplicable safety he took that gave Cleveland 2 more points.
Remember that Cleveland defeated the Colts by 9 points with a final score of 32-23.
That means Rivers’ mistakes cost the team the same 9 points they lost by.
The protection hasn't been great, and Hines fair-catching that kick on the 4 didn't help, but the Colts paid Philip Rivers $25 million to be a reliable veteran QB this year, to lift the offense from whatever it became late last season.
Today, he's not getting it done.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) October 11, 2020
When asked about his performance against Cleveland, Rivers said:
“We started off pretty danged good. Really that first half, we weren’t great but we were pretty good. Then the second half, it wasn’t good at all.’’
Colts are 3-2.
Of course, the Colts record is okay, particularly by 2020 NFL standards at 3-2.
But their schedule has been relatively easy, and their defense has kept them in games.
The Colts wins came against the New York Jets and Chicago and a good Minnesota team.
A head scratching loss to Jacksonville and the Week 5 loss to Cleveland complete the picture.
Next 2 Games Will Tell The Tale.
The Colts have Cincinnati in Week 6, followed by a Week 7 bye, and a Week 8 game against Detroit.
Those are very winnable games where Rivers should perform well.
If he does not, the decision to bench him may be revisited before Week 9’s game against Baltimore.
Who Is Waiting In The Wings?
Jacoby Brissett, who has been the starting QB before, is Rivers’ backup.
And if Reich really wants to shake things up, he has rookie Jacob Eason as the third string QB.
It bears mentioning that Rivers and Brissett are only contracted through the 2020 season.
So at some point, and it’s probably too early since there is a lot of football yet to play, the team will have to figure out who or what the strategy is for QB going forward into next season.
Brissett is a capable understudy at this point, and Eason impressed at the shortened camp.
I’m fully aware Jacob eason will be probably not be great and will more likely be bad. But at least it will be fun and then we will definitely know if he’s a possible answer for 2021+. The worst case is going with him as an unknown
— Maxx Hotton (@getinHottonhere) October 12, 2020
So sooner or later, Coach Reich may need to address the Rivers situation a different way than he has done so far.