Chargers key to victory No. 3: Don’t underestimate Jacoby Brissett
The Chargers are massively fortunate to not be facing one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks in their home opener, as an Andrew Luck-led offense is both dangerously explosive yet incredibly efficient. In 2018, Luck had nearly the same completion percentage and interception percentage as Philip Rivers, thanks in large part to a dominant offensive line. With that offensive line, Marlon Mack, who is not considered one of the better backs in the league, still rushed for nearly 1,000 yards on a 4.7 yards per rush average.
Now, the Chargers face an offense without Luck, who retired in one of the more shocking NFL stories in recent memory. But they cannot, and hopefully will not, underestimate Brissett.
2017 was Brissett’s only full season, with the young man from North Carolina State appearing in 16 games and starting 15. That year, Brissett threw for 3,098 yards and 13 touchdowns, as well as rush for 260 yards and four touchdowns. Though not brilliant numbers, they’re respectable. For reference, Tyrod Taylor has never thrown for that many yards in any season.
It’s also important to remember the changes along the offensive line. Many would argue Luck was forced to retire early because the Colts did not give him an adequate front five ahead of him. Now, the Colts boast one of the NFL’s best pass-blocking offensive lines.
Brissett now has more experience with the Colts than he did in 2017, a superior line, a running game, and even targets like T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron to throw to.
The Chargers nearly lost to both C.J. Beathard and Jeff Driskel last season, looking clumsy through most of the game but winning out thanks to talent alone by the time the clock expired. The Colts are a much better team than either of those two, and if they choose not to take Brissett seriously, they’ll drop another home opener.