Philip Rivers ‘unpredictability makes NFL Colts’ most frustrating team


Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers lay flat on his back with arms and legs outstretched as if preparing to do snow angels. Only there was no snow inside the Lucas Oil Stadium. There was nothing but disappointment for the Colts and Rivers, who had just suffered the ignominy of tripping over his own feet and having the safety of Ravens Chuck Clark. jump over him while returning a 65-yard fumble for a touchdown.

The score came at the end of the first quarter, but looking back it was a sign of how the afternoon would play out for the Colts, who in a disturbing trend were again unable to meet the challenge against a quality opponent, the 24-10. defeat raising more questions about their legitimacy as Super Bowl contenders.

Although they are 5-3, it is getting harder and harder to join as their record was built on the foundation of Jell-O, with wins over the winless Jets, the Bengals two-wins and the Vikings and Lions to three wins. Overall, their opponents’ .349 win percentage coming in on Sunday was the lowest in the league.

I’ve never been one to downgrade a team for beating bad opponents because teams have no control over the schedule. But if you constantly fall flat as you step up the competition – Indianapolis is 1-2 against teams with winning records, losing to Cleveland and Baltimore while beating Chicago – you start to slide through the specter of withtend to pretender, however often the trainer Frank Reich claims to have “more conviction” than he has the right staff to compete for a championship.

His words on Sunday will likely be the backdrop for the franchise over the next three games, as the Colts sandwich up against leaders AFC South (6-2) Tennessee around a game against Green Bay. , leader of the NFC North (6-2). ). How they come out of these competitions will likely depend on offensive play, which has been as inconsistent as his quarterback.

Rivers arrived in Indianapolis in the offseason to prove that his struggles over the past four seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers were less about him than the circumstances around him. He threw 63 interceptions and fumbled 27 times, losing 10, during that span. More disturbing than the turnovers themselves were the parts of the game where some did occur: late in one-scoring matches. The Chargers lost nine games with one scoring or less last season, and Rivers had a turnaround in the final 63 seconds of four of them.

Sunday raised more questions about his ball safety concerns, as the interception he threw in Indianapolis’ first half of the second half reinvigorated the Ravens at a time when doubt might have crept in. first half. He gained just 55 net yards and his top rushing game was 18 yards on 10 carries. The Ravens’ only points were on Clark’s fumble return, and now, to open the second period, the unit had lost a fumble on first base on the Indianapolis 3-yard line.

Then Good Philip – the guy who was 12 of 19 for 126 yards and no first-half turnover; the guy who had thrown for 633 yards and six scores with one interception the previous two games – was replaced by Bad Philip, whose through pass to Marcus Johnson was intercepted by Marcus Peters. Ten plays and 54 yards later, the Ravens had their first lead on a 1-yard TD led by Gus Edwards and have never looked back.

Baltimore’s last three possessions have been a touchdown, a punt, a basket; The last four in Indianapolis went punt, downs, downs, end of game.


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