Everyone can have an opinion. The world would be boring if we all thought the same.
If the NFL season happens, at least we could each have a chance to be proven correct. My guess is we'll both just solidify our opinions. I think Rivers will have a good season and the Colts win 10-12 games and win the division. I think Cam will do fine with the Pats and they will win 10-12 games and win their much easier division.
No way. I am not going to defend the job that Grigs did overall...I wanted him gone much sooner than others.
But...I will point out that you are wrong about Grigs having it easy. He inherited a terrible 2-14 roster...and a lot of dead cap that first year...from Manning and having to cut other leftover vets from the Polian era (Clark, Brackett, Bullitt, Addai).
He spent what little cap space he had to re-sign both Wayne and Mathis (moves that were criticized by some at the time)...and other cheap FAs like Redding and Avery. He also traded a future pick for a young Vontae Davis before the season began. All of those players played critical roles on that massive turnaround.
That is why he won the award...not just because of that draft (which I agree is overrated in hindsight)...but because of the totality of his work that offseason...and the situation he was in. And he absolutely deserved it.
It wasn't until he cycled through that dead cap space that he started spending real money in FA. And with an elite franchise QB on a rookie deal...he absolutely should have been aggressive. Unfortunately...he just wasn't very good at evaluation...and made poor moves left and right...while dealing with some bad injury luck. Still...it got them to precipice.
When Ballard took over, he too had a really bad roster...but lots of cap flexibility. He was more prudent (probably because of unknowns about Luck, scheme, coaching, etc.). But those unknowns also meant that Ballard's first year got to be a "rebuilding year" with little expectations...and it fortuitously resulted in the #3 pick in a QB heavy draft with multiple QB needy teams. And with a franchise QB already on the roster...he had options. To his (much deserved) credit...he absolutely crushed the trade with the NYJ and (possibly) all of the picks he got from that trade. But that was a massive opportunity that very few Execs ever get.
How does that 2018 draft look IF Luck retired a year early...and Ballard has to strongly considering using that #3 pick on a QB?
Because that's essentially what Grigs had to do. Yes he got Luck...but for the purpose of roster construction...Luck just a replacement for the franchise QB that was injured and released...and he had to use his most valuable asset he would ever have...to get that replacement. Who knows what that draft (and Grigs' overall draft record) looks like if Grigs was allowed to cash in on that pick.
I am a big Ballard fan...and I am hopeful there are great things coming for this team...but if I am being objective...if anyone got off easy their first year...it was him. There are fans that place the blame for that 2017 draft class on Pagano...and then there are others that would tell you that offseason technically didn't happen...and 2018 was actually Ballard's first year.
We all know Ballard is a better GM (all aspects)...but we really can't compare him and Grigs...because they have just had different paths. And to be fair...neither has had a winning season without Luck as the starting QB that season...but Grigs actually had a 6-4 record without Luck...while Ballard is 11-21. I expect that this season will improve upon that.
Much of what you say is correct, but may not mean Cam is the better QB right now. Cam is .500 the past 46 games he has started. So his "winner" game play has disappeared over the past 4 years. His style of play requires the offense to be suited to him. The Colts are not there and Rivers fit into the Colts offense much better.