The passing offense was a major question mark for the Colts, heading into their game against rookie Joe Burrow and the Bengals. Indy was 28th in the league at converting third downs and dead last in 4th quarter scoring.
Philip Rivers stepped into a game against the number nine ranked defense in terms of passing yards allowed per game, responding the way he needed to, completing 66% of his passes for a season-high 371 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
“There was no panic. I’m new to these experiences with this football team,” Rivers said after the game (per IndyStarSports reporter Jim Ayello). “I wasn’t feeling panic from anyone. 17 years, you’ve been down 21-0 before.
Rivers added that he “did a better job in the passing game minus the one interception, that again, didn’t need to happen.”
Colts Remain Confident in Rivers
The Indianapolis Colts made a big splash this offseason, signing the former Chargers QB to a one-year, $25 million fully guaranteed deal, fresh off his career-worst 20-23 TD to INT ratio.
The 39-year-old Rivers led Indy to a 3-1 record in the first four games, masking what some thought was another disappointing year for Rivers. In those first four weeks, he averaged an underwhelming 246 yards per game and threw one touchdown each week. He also threw three interceptions over that span. Indianapolis’s three wins have come against teams with a combined 5-10 record (4 of those belong to the Bears who they beat in week 3).
Things got much, much worse for the veteran quarterback last week against the Browns. In a game the colts would lose by 9, Rivers threw two interceptions in the second half.
The embattled quarterback decided this past week that he would read the reports on himself. Who knows if he saw Rex Ryan and Randy moss absolutely kill him pregame, but he obviously silenced his haters for at least one more week.
Wide receiver Marcus Johnson, who caught five balls for 108 yards, said of Rivers, “I just felt like Phil was really comfortable and we were hitting on all cylinders.”
This is another win against a terrible team, but Indy will take what they can get. They’ll need Rivers to build on this performance if they want to wrestle the division away from the Tenessee Titans next month.