Week One came, and Week One went, and for the Colts it wasn’t one to remember. Heading into the game as heavy favorites, the Colts started out well, jumping to an early 7-0 lead in the 1st quarter. After one half of play, things were looking good, as the Colts led the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-14. The Jags had other plans for the second half, as they outscored the Colts 14-3 and managed to give the Colts their first loss of the 2020 season.
This is a game the Colts needed to win for multiple reasons.
It was Philip Rivers‘s first game to show that he still had something left in the tank. It was against a team that many projected to be in contention for the 1st overall pick. It was a division game in which they could come out of the gate strong, and show that they were a legit threat in the AFC. Instead, what happened was Philip Rivers threw two interceptions. They lost to a team actively trying to lose, and they showed that maybe they aren’t as good as people – including me – predicted this season.
Rivers threw for 363 yards and completed 78% of his passes. The key stat however, is that he threw only one touchdown to two interceptions. The Colts stacked their running back room with talent this off-season and then proceeded to run the ball only 22 times, compared to 46 passes. The early injury to Marlon Mack should not have changed the game plan, but it seems it did. Throwing the ball 46 times a game with a quarterback who is 38 years old is not going to work. The Colts are built around their ability to run the ball behind a strong offensive line and control time of possession. If they continue to forget who they are, and not play to their strengths, this is going to be a very long season.
Moving forward, the Colts still have a very talented roster, but they cannot play the style of game they played in Week 1. They will not win many games this season if they attempt to rely on Philip Rivers carrying them to victory. Rivers, at this stage of his career, should be little more than a game manager who makes a big throw here and there as he attempts to limit mistakes. If the Colts attempt to play towards their strengths, they will be a team that can make some noise this year. However, if they plan to rely on Philip Rivers’ arm all season long, we may see the Colts drafting closer to the top 10 than pick 32 this year.