The Indianapolis Colts spent most of the offseason telling everyone why their $25 million investment in quarterback Philip Rivers was going to pay off, touting the "legendary" and "Hall of Fame" talent as a key to their offensive turnaround. And for parts of Sunday's season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, that seemed plausible. Until crunch time, of course, when the 38-year-old Rivers looked much like his 2019 self, throwing his second interception of the game en route to an improbable defeat at the hands of arguably the worst-ranked team entering the 2020 campaign.
Rivers wasn't all bad in his anticipated Colts debut, leading Indianapolis on a seven-play, 63-yard scoring drive to open Week 1, exhibiting chemistry with second-year receiver Parris Campbell and finishing the day with a completion percentage above 78. When he was needed most, however, the longtime Chargers signal-caller flopped, particularly while attempting to bring Indy back from down four late in the fourth quarter. Picked off with just over 4:30 to go, Rivers wasn't much better with a second chance at redemption later in the quarter, firing three straight incompletions from the Jaguars' 26-yard line trailing by seven.
No QB is immune to late-game struggles, but the issue here is twofold: 1.) Rivers came to the Colts with a growing reputation for back-breaking interceptions, especially after throwing 20 in 2019 alone; and 2.) This was the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team best known for auctioning off disgruntled talent and vying for a future No. 1 overall draft pick while entering Week 1 as eight-point home underdogs.
The season is very young, no doubt, and Rivers is experienced enough to rebound. But there's no denying Colts fans can't be overly pleased with what they saw from their new QB on Sunday.