Brace Yourself Duval, Rivers is Coming
This Sunday, the Jaguars welcome in a quarterback that has dominated them throughout his career. No it’s not that guy who used to be in New England. Certainly not the signal caller in Pittsburgh. No it is Philip Rivers. Yes that veteran quarterback with a unique hitch in his motion that played in San Diego for 16 years. However this time he suits up under center for AFC South rival Indianapolis Colts. Yet again, the Jaguars defense will be challenged all afternoon in week one of the 2020 season.
Rivers’ Historical Domination
Rivers has played nine career games against the Jaguars, all with the Chargers. He’s has a 7-2 all-time record, including a 4-2 record at TIAA Bank Field. During those matchups, Rivers led the Chargers to an average of 31.22 points in those games. Yes you read that right, over 31 points per game. A team does not win many games yielding that amount.
Against the Jaguars, Rivers has completed 69% of his passes, throwing for 2,668 yards, and also tossed 24 touchdowns compared to only five interceptions. He has thrown only one pick in his last seven games against the Jags and has a 111.86 passer rating. When Rivers comes to Jacksonville, history has a tendency to repeat itself.
Recent Memories in Jacksonville
Just nine months ago, Rivers led the Chargers into Jacksonville and left with a victory. Actually it was more than a victory. More so an annihilation 45-10.
During the week 14 contest, Rivers completed 16 of 22 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns. This was the sixth time in seven career games against the Jaguarss in which he’s thrown for at least three scores, and the fifth time he’s surpassed 300 yards.
The Jaguars had no answer for Rivers defensively. Rivers toyed with the defense and led the Chargers to scores on six of the first seven possessions. Certainly a humbling and embarrassing defeat for Jacksonville at the hands of a 37-year old quarterback in the “decline” of his career.
Expect more of the same from Rivers in his Colts’ debut on Sunday. Now Rivers has a solid offensive line and a running game. Last season, the Colts offensive line had their way with the defensive front. Expect more of the same this season with several pieces missing from the Jaguars front. Running backs Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor will eat up chunks of yardage between the tackles.
Therefore, allowing more opportunity for the play action passing game. This is where it gets dangerous for the young Jacksonville secondary. Look for Rivers to find holes downfield against inexperienced cornerbacks and down the seams against the unproven safeties. It will be a long afternoon searching for answers by Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash. The Colts are embracing a “win now” mindset entering the 2020 season and it starts Sunday.
Prediction: Colts 38-20