On a night where the Colts were rolling in all three phases, Philip Rivers managed to add an extra accolade to his already impressive resume.
Needing just three yards to move into fifth place on the NFL’s all-time passing yards list, Rivers completed his first pass of the night — an 11-yard strike to rookie Jonathan Taylor — to pass Hall of Famer (and childhood hero) Dan Marino (61,361 yards). He finished with 308 yards and one touchdown in the Colts’ 34-17 win over the Titans.
“It’s special, it’s special,” Rivers said of the accomplishment. “Those guys up there on that list, I don’t know that I’m in their category and that’s OK, but Dan Marino was on my wall. He was a poster on my wall as a young boy in Decatur and Athens, Alabama, so it’s special.
“Thankful that I’ve been able to play long enough. Thankful that I’ve been healthy enough to play over 230 in a row now and watching Dan Marino, meeting Dan Marino at the Senior Bowl, playing against his teams, it’s all special. It’s all just special and thankful that here, at 38, I’m still getting out here and competing and playing the game I love.”
Rivers’ big night now places him in a top-five group that includes all-time leader Drew Brees (79,536), Tom Brady (76,969), Peyton Manning (71,940) and Brett Favre (71,838).
Indianapolis kept Tennessee on its toes most of the night, opting to go with a no-huddle offense for the duration after having success with it in previous games. The veteran gunslinger looked spry, utilizing a more up-tempo approach, connecting with eight different receivers for an efficient 29-of-39, zero-turnover stat line. Indy either scored a TD or field goal on five of its eight drives and didn’t punt until late in the fourth quarter.
Frank Reich said after the game that he, Rivers and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni discussed going with the no-huddle throughout the week and decided roughly 24 hours before kickoff that that would be the game plan. It turned out to be a wise decision.
“Philip’s just, he’s in control. That puts him in the driver’s seat, allows him to see everything and get us in the right play when he needs to which he did with regularity tonight,” Reich said. “He’s just really good in that mode and he was accurate. Good decisions, good checks in the run game, good situational football. So, he was on point tonight, for sure.”
After turning in a poor showing against the Ravens in Week 9, Rivers and the Colts looked sensational in a pivotal divisional matchup. They’ll now have a mini-bye to rest and prepare for the Packers on Nov. 22.
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