You raise good points.
I think the Colts had everything to win a SB this year. They believed that, and from everything we've seen in the playoffs, I agree with them. Now, even if they won a SB this year, I dont think it's a stretch to say that it would have been a team that won while not being the best version of the offense that it could be (I think this version of the offense is pretty condensed to match the QB's ability). NEXT YEAR, the big unknown with Rivers is that he a QB who is a year older, with some injury issues. It's a risk. I'm sure the team has run its scenario analysis and will come up with the best solution.
If the goal next season is a SB at all costs i.e. all chips in the pot, then I don't think it gets better than Rivers. I like Stafford and I drool at the prospect of him with Frank Reich but I think the deal with him is high ceiling but lower floor than Rivers. With Rivers, I think his ceiling is probably what we saw this season, maybe a pinch higher, but as long as he is healthy, i think this is also close to his floor.
A rookie QB could come in and have a higher ceiling than Rivers, but once again, the floor would be in the basement I imagine because you just can never tell.
Eason? Same as a rookie I think.
The goal from day 1 should always be finding a future QB. Ballard has always said that. At least since Luck walked. It's always forefront in their mind, he has done nothing to make me think otherwise.
Not trying to pi$$ on him just pointing out what the facts showed. And that’s that against the better teams when he had to throw it more than we ran it we were a losing team. So that tells me that when he HAD to do it (or he felt he HAD to) because the defense stacked the box he couldn’t do it. So my point is that he & we (the Colts) need to recognize his limitations if he’s to be brought back.
He has the mind to be the perfect game manager. He can’t be the superstar QB anymore against the better teams. If he takes the approach Peyton took in his final run with the Broncos (Rivers isn’t that cooked but he may as well have been against the better teams) then we can beat the better teams and make a deeper playoff run. We actually could’ve done it this year if Rivers became more of a full time game manager against the better teams.
Following the game manger blueprint we win the Jags, Steelers, & Ravens games & we’re 13-3 or 14-2 and the #2 seed. And judging from what I’ve seen this year, that blueprint would be working well in these playoffs. If they do bring Rivers back and expect him to carry the team vs better competition then he needs a Sure Fire #1 receiver. It’ll give Rivers a security blanket and it’ll open up others off of him. Should we trade for OBJ if we bring back Rivers? If we thought Pittman & Campbell looked good on those crossers, imagine ODB? Those could be house calls with OBJ.
Burrow had some of the best pocket movement and awareness I've seen since Luck. Truly special. (thanks to athleticism) He was also making insane plays out of structure. Something that can't exactly be said about Jones...