Last season, the Indianapolis Colts had a tough end to their season, losing in Jacksonville to the hapless Jags, who were poised for the number one overall pick. After a strong season overall, they couldn’t get anything going offensively in Florida and dropped the final game, in which a win would have elevated them into an AFC Wild Card spot.
It truly felt like a gut punch for the franchise, as running back Jonathan Taylor had one of the best offensive seasons a player could have, recording 1,811 yards on the ground, scoring eighteen times, and averaging an unheard of nine yards per carry.
Taylor essentially ran for a first down every time he touched the football. With the unreliable Carson Wentz under center, the Colts’ offense started the season cold but quickly found their footing when offensive coordinator Marcus Brady realized the gem he had with his runners, Taylor and Nyheim Hines.
After such a dreadful way to finish the year, I had high expectations for Indy heading into 2022, as most of the AFC South had gotten much worse in the offseason. Additionally, they moved on from Wentz after just one season and traded for long-time Atlanta Falcon signal-caller Matt Ryan.
Through four weeks, however, they find themselves with just one win, two losses, and an embarrassing tie with the Houston Texans in Week One. As we head into the fifth week of the still young season, changes need to be made within this Colts organization and soon if they still want to have a chance at claiming the division crown in ‘22. I do not believe any team in this division will run away with it this year, so in my opinion, it is still very much up for grabs.
Time For Change
I’ve been very disappointed with the play of Indy thus far, especially Ryan and the receiving core. Not being able to throw the football with consistency has made it much harder for the running game to open up, and as a result Taylor has not had many running lanes and hasn’t put together a “Jonathan Taylor-esque” performance since the opening game against Houston.
Taylor will be inactive in tonight’s game against Denver, and it will solely be up to Hines and Phillip Lindsay, who the team recently brought up from the practice squad. In my opinion, tonight is a must-win game for these Colts, regardless of if it’s on the road in a hostile environment or without their star player. Denver has looked anemic all season offensively, and Russell Wilson still has yet to find a rhythm with his receivers.
Though Denver is favored tonight at home, I think this could be a big statement-type game for the Colts if Ryan can make some plays down the field. While he continues to get used to the AFC, the veteran quarterback is still trying to get fully acclimated with his new coaching staff as well, just as Wilson is on the other side.
This matchup of former league MVPs will have the football world surely glued to their television sets, as everyone’s watching to see which one prevails for their respective side.
What I Want To See
I want to see the Colts’ receivers find space for Matt Ryan to find them consistently. Additionally, tonight could serve as a bit of a revenge game for Phillip Lindsay, as the Broncos cut him a couple of years back, and now here he is with Indianapolis, geared and ready for an opportunity to prove he is more than a practice squad player.
For the Broncos, I’d love to see this offense finally start to put some things together, and I anticipate over a hundred fifty yards receiving between Cortland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. I do not believe the Colts are frauds just yet, and I picked them to pull out this upset tonight in primetime. Let’s see if they can deliver.