Each season, we preview the games by looking at three reasons the team will win and lose each week. For game 1 of this season, we have a guest contributor from Stampede Blue, Chris Blystone, to tell us why the Chargers will win.
With the Colts traveling to face your Chargers this Sunday to kick off our teams’ respective seasons, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic from both fan bases. However, I’m here to rain on that parade.
I’m going to dig deep, give my team a long, hard look, and tell you three reasons why you should feel really good about your Chargers this week. Here are three reasons the Colts are going to lose this Sunday.
Jacoby Brissett is not Andrew Luck
Perhaps no news rocked the NFL landscape for the coming year quite like Andrew Luck’s shocking retirement. Colts fans are still in a bit of a mourning period over the loss of our prodigious passer. Luck could do things as a passer that few in the NFL are capable of, and his pocket presence and ability to sense and evade pressure to make a big play were uncanny.
Jacoby Brissett is a relative unknown. We saw him take the helm in 2017 in Luck’s absence, but the offense and the surrounding talent were poor at best. His year was mediocre, and the season went badly. Brissett held the ball too long, lacked the vision to see open options deeper into his progressions, and struggled with inaccuracy.
While Frank Reich runs a far more advanced and up-to-date offense, and the talent around Brissett is far better, there is simply no way to know if he can really take his game to the next level short of seeing it happen. Even should he be able to figure it out and become a franchise passer, it seems likely that early on there will be some struggles. That makes him a likely weak point on the roster, and the Chargers are the beneficiaries.
Wide Receiver What-Ifs
The Colts have a lot to be excited about at the wide receiver position. Rookie Parris Campbell looked great in the limited training camp action he saw before a hamstring injury sidelined him. Second year player Deon Cain, who missed his rookie season with a torn ACL showed signs of being the dynamic playmaker they saw when they drafted him in 2018. Free agent signing Devin Funchess has looked like a player Brissett could target early and often throughout camp.
Here’s the problem. Apart from T.Y. Hilton, none of these guys have proven themselves to be particularly incredible in real game action. Sure, Devin Funchess has had decent production, but when the spotlight was shone on him last season as the WR1 in Carolina, he wilted. Deon Cain and Parris Campbell still haven’t done anything to warrant the hype yet.
Could these guys be great and propel this receiver room to one of the best in the league? Sure. But they could also prove to be excellent camp players and preseason warriors, only to let the team down in real game action. Relying heavily on the hopes of achievement rarely works out well in the NFL, and right now, that’s mostly what the Colts’ receiver room has to go on. Like Brissett, getting these guys early on might be the best draw for the Chargers too, since they will likely improve as the season goes on and they gain experience. As it stands, this is a raw and unproven unit that could very well struggle against a top shelf secondary.
It has been a long time since the Colts won a road opener. How long? The last time they did so was against the New York Giants to open a 2006 season that ended with a Super Bowl win. Peyton Manning was the quarterback.
Since that time, this team has frequently struggled both on the road and at home early in the season. The last time they won their regular season opener was in 2013.
If you are thinking that the past doesn’t have anything to do with the future where football is concerned, you may be right. However, it seems totally reasonable to note this trend and acknowledge that this team has historically started slowly. Even last year began that way, with the Colts going 1-5 before finding their rhythm. That factor combined with the myriad issues that come with replacing your franchise passer two weeks before kickoff could spell trouble for the Colts this Sunday.