Jacoby Brissett playing his way into a starting job

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 22: Jacoby Brissett
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 22: Jacoby Brissett /

Jacoby Brissett led the Colts to their third win of the season in Houston on Sunday. The former Patriots QB contributed 320 yards of total offense and tossed 2 touchdown passes in the 20-14 win.

The 23-year-old has been serviceable, if not spectacular, in Andrew Luck’s absence leading Indy to a 3-6 record. Though this may seem underwhelming, considering the lack of talent on this roster Brissett has done much more than expected of him.

His playmaking ability and his unflappable, mature attitude on the field have caught the eye.

He could well be a future franchise quarterback. It is doubtful if any other backup in the league could’ve won 3 games with the Colts current roster, especially not in their second year as a pro.

It’s fair to say Chris Ballard wasn’t expecting Brissett to be the starter for the whole season when he traded for him back in September. However, after seeing what he can do, the Colts GM now has a valuable asset at his disposal.

He may not be in the Colts long term plans as a starter, but he might just be good enough to attract outside attention if his stellar play continues.

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Let’s take a look at his impressive start in Indy and his future as a possible starter in the NFL.

The Numbers

Whilst the former North Carolina standout hasn’t set the world alight, he is quietly putting together an efficient statistical campaign. He plays within the constraints of the offense, rarely throwing balls into tight windows or risking turnovers.

Brissett has thrown just four interceptions in nine games despite ranking 12th in the league for pass attempts. Of quarterbacks with 200 attempts or more, only four have thrown fewer picks.

His completion percentage sits at a very respectable 61.1%. Placed into context, Brissett is bettering MVP candidate Carson Wentz, Phillip Rivers and Matthew Stafford in this key statistic.

His seven passing touchdowns are hardly awe-inspiring. But, he has also added three running scores. His sneaky speed and athleticism outside the pocket are important weapons.

The 23-year-old has all the physical tools required to be a successful quarterback. He is evidently mentally up to the task too.

After such a quick turnaround from one team to another, and being thrust into the starting role, Brissett has grasped the offense in no time. The second-year pro has flashed good arm strength on a number of deep throws to TY Hilton including touchdown passes of 61 and 81 yards respectively.

Brissett also hit his speedy Pro-Bowl receiver on a touchdown pass that travelled a full 52 yards in the air on Sunday. The Colts QB ranks 15th in the league in passing yards.

This puts him ahead of a number of established franchise guys including Dak Prescott, Andy Dalton and Matthew Stafford.


Whilst these numbers don’t mean is he necessarily as good as them, it shows that he can put up the same kind of production even with a bad roster.

The Colts have virtually no reliable running game. Their offensive line is a mess and the defense can’t get off the field with regularity. This leaves Brissett with a lot to do off his own back.

He has excelled in the face of adversity, stringing together drives with impressive throws and extending plays with his legs. Sure, he sometimes hangs on to the ball too long and he isn’t the most comfortable pocket passer around but those are things that can be developed. After all, he has started just 9 games in his career.

His ability to adjust on the fly to a new environment has been hugely impressive. Even more so when you considered the giant Andrew Luck sized cloud that has been hovering over the franchise all season.

The former Tar Heel has gone about his business in a quiet, but assured manner. He has found ways to win games with an offense that struggles to run the ball and can’t protect him.

Brissett may not ever be a top-tier signal caller, but he certainly appears to be able to lead teams to wins and that is what it’s all about at the end of the day.

Chris Ballard has a valuable piece that he could get great value for in the trade market come draft time.

He has proven that he can play to a competent level in the league. At the worst he is likely the league’s best backup.

His ceiling could be a playoff caliber quarterback similar to Tyrod Taylor. On a team with a good defense, and in a structured run first offense that minimizes throwing risk as the Bills do with Taylor, he could be a franchise guy.

Which one turns out to be true remains to be seen. Either way, Jacoby Brissett has a long career ahead of him.