Colts have challenge in facing Philip Rivers

October, 11, 2013
10/11/13
4:00
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said his team's success against the Indianapolis Colts -- 5-1 in the past six games -- can’t be taken into consideration anymore because the Chargers have a number of different faces on their roster now.

The roster might be different, but Rivers is still on it, and that’s all that matters.

Rivers has thrown for 577 yards and completed 71.8 percent of his pass attempts in three career meetings against the Colts.

[+] EnlargePhilip Rivers
Jeffrey G. Pittenger/USA TODAY SportsChargers QB Philip Rivers has passed for more than 400 yards three times this season.
“Trust me, I know what San Diego, especially Philip Rivers, is capable of,” Colts linebacker Robert Mathis said. “We’ve had a lot of battles over the years. Definitely not a team we’re sleeping on because they can beat you and they can beat you good. Everybody’s prepared, focused and has the task at hand.”

Playing a complete game has been a difficult task for the Chargers. That's part of the reason they're 2-3 this season. That hasn’t stopped Rivers from putting up very good statistics. Statistics so good that Colts coach Chuck Pagano basically had them memorized during his news conference earlier this week.

“Anytime you’re completing 73.8 percent of your passes and you’ve thrown for 1,610 yards, 13 touchdowns and five picks, you’re doing something right,” Pagano said. “He’s a game-wrecker. He’s a winner. He’s a Pro Bowler. He gives them a chance every single week to win.”

Not bad, Coach, you were nearly perfect. Rivers has actually completed 73.7 percent of his passes this season. That's still pretty impressive.

Pagano knowing Rivers’ statistics tells you how dangerous a quarterback he is.

“He’s done a great job of just managing the offense and running the system and believing in the system,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy said. “Take the short throw. Take the shot.”

Indianapolis has faced mobile quarterbacks in three of its first five games. Rivers is completely the opposite of Oakland’s Terrelle Pryor, San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick and Seattle’s Russell Wilson because he’s a pocket passer.

The Colts are sixth in the league against the pass (201.4 yards), and they’ve sacked the quarterback 15 times this season. But getting to Rivers might be a challenge because he likes to get rid of the ball quickly and the Chargers run a fast-paced offense. He has thrown for at least 401 yards three times this season.

“Regardless if he’s not the speed guy we’ve been going up against at the quarterback position, he’s still pretty dangerous,” Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman said. “That arm is still as alive as it was when he first got in the league. He’s definitely slinging that thing around, got a lot of guys he’s starting to become comfortable with.”

Mike Wells

ESPN Indianapolis Colts reporter

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