Colts' Super Bowl odds improve significantly after signing Rivers
On Tuesday, longtime Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers found his new home, when he signed a one-year, $25 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the development yesterday afternoon, and since then, the Colts’ Super Bowl odds have skyrocketed, as a result.
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Before Indy brought in the veteran signal-caller, the Colts were listed at +4000 odds to hoist the Lombardi Trophy next year. Now, the team's odds have improved to +2000.
The Colts' Luck-less season
Before the start of the 2019 season, Indianapolis appeared primed for a playoff run, with Andrew Luck locked in at quarterback, one of the best offensive lines in the league, new options at receiver, and a burgeoning defense.
That all came crashing down in late August, when Luck stunned the league with the announcement of his sudden retirement during Week 3 of the preseason. Backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett stepped in as the starter and performed well during the first half of the season, before injuries thwarted him and his teammates.
Brissett sprained his MCL in his left knee in Week 9, while running back Marlon Mack, receiver T.Y. Hilton, and tight end Eric Ebron, among others on the roster, dealt with lingering injuries. On top of that, 47-year-old kicker Adam Vinatieri—long considered one of the greatest at his position—botched an alarming amount of field-goal and extra-point attempts. Some of those misses made the difference between a win and a loss for the Colts.
Indianapolis ended 2019 with a 7-9 mark and no playoff spot, but Rivers’ veteran leadership could right the ship in 2020.
Rivers' role in Indy's future
There’s still plenty of uncertainty surrounding Rivers, after his 16th and final season with the Chargers. The 38-year-old didn’t exactly impress in 2019, as he registered 23 touchdowns, 20 interceptions and an 88.5 quarterback rating.
For his career, Rivers has amassed 59,271 yards and 397 TDs (both sixth-all time by an NFL quarterback), with a 64.7% career completion percentage.
It’s expected that Rivers will start next season for Indianapolis and may help guide a new, young QB to become the future of the franchise. The Colts don’t own a first-round pick in the upcoming draft but could select a quarterback in the second or third round and have him learn behind Rivers in 2020.
Rivers and Reich reunion
Rivers’ move to Indy is all the more promising because of his previous relationship with head coach Frank Reich, who served as quarterbacks coach of the Bolts in 2013 and offensive coordinator from 2014-15.
Colts OC Nick Sirianni also spent time in the Chargers’ organization as the offensive quality control coach (2013), quarterbacks coach from 2014-15, and wide receivers coach from 2016-17.
In 2013, Rivers enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career, in which he completed 69.5% of his passes for 4,478 yards, 32 TDs, and got picked off just 11 times. At the end of that season, he was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Philip Rivers’ tenure with the Chargers:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 10, 2020
* 59,271 passing yards (franchise record)
* 397 passing TD (franchise record)
* Led team to 123 wins
* 8x Pro Bowler
* 224 straight starts (ZERO ever missed)
* 2013 NFL Comeback Player of the Year
A Bolts legend forever.
Rivers' production in 2013 also helped the Chargers reach the divisional round, where they fell to the Denver Broncos, 24-17.
The Colts have made the playoffs just once since 2015.
It may only last for one season, but with Rivers and Reich together again, they may generate just enough magic to send the Colts on a postseason run and usher in a new era of success in Indy's future.