Has a Colts win ever felt more like a loss? The NFL season is only 5 weeks young so normally fanbases are happy with any win in October but the Colts 12-9 OT victory in Denver didn’t leave many feeling warm and fuzzy. In the Frank Reich era, the Colts are notoriously slow starters with a record of 10-14-1 Weeks 1-5 and 29-16 Week 6 on. The biggest reason for the slow start? Probably breaking in a new starting QB every season from Luck to Brissett to Rivers to Wentz and now Ryan, the lack of QB continuity without a doubt has held the Colts back from starting strong. Even RB Nyheim Hines voiced his frustration after the Titans loss in week 4, perhaps a peek behind the curtain in the locker room into how some have grown tired of the QB carousel.
Colts RB Nyheim Hines yesterday (1/2):
“Not an excuse, but every year we have a new quarterback. So each year we have growing pains while we sit here + watch Tennessee, which has had Tannehill, what, my whole career? And each year we’re restarting and we have to turn the page.”
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) October 3, 2022
The reason Carson Wentz was shipped out of Indy after a season that produced 27 TDs and only 7 INTs had as much to do with the leadership aspect of being a franchise QB as the on the field product fans see on Sunday. Matt Ryan was supposed to be the perfect blend of respected veteran QB like Philip Rivers 2020, but also still have the physical tools that Rivers lacked at the end of his career. Best case scenario? Ryan replicates the offense the Colts had in 2018 with Andrew Luck. The worst case scenario? Well, I think Colts fans are seeing it.
With some blame falling on the offensive line, Ryan has struggled mightily at protecting the ball.
Most fumbles in the 2022 season:
1) #Colts Matt Ryan – *11
2) #Panthers Baker Mayfield – 6
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 8, 2022
A 2-2-1 record isn’t an abnormally bad record through 5 games. So many teams in the NFL were 2-2 through 4 weeks that Bucs QB Tom Brady called play around the league “sloppy”. But not all wins are created equally and even if the Colts can still win a soft AFC South, what does that get you? Blown out at home in the Wildcard round? As we’ve seen across the NFL, the only way to win big is if you have an elite QB. Mahomes, Allen, Jackson, Herbert, Burrow, and Murray are the next wave of young star QBs in the NFL. They also have something in common: they are 1st round picks.
After what was perhaps the most embarrassing loss for the Colts since they moved to Indianapolis in 1984, Owner Jim Irsay stood outside his private jet in a video on Twitter and proclaimed the franchise would be going “All Chips In” . So why hasn’t Ballard taken a QB in the 1st round yet? Here’s his answer last year when asked that question:
#Colts GM Chris Ballard on drafting a QB in the first round: “Taking one in the first round will get y’all off my a** for a little bit, but the moment he doesn’t play well, I’m getting run out the door. There’s a difference between taking one and taking the right one.”
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 14, 2021
Ballard knows he has one shot at nailing a QB in the draft. When that QB is in the building, the GM’s clock starts ticking. Either he goes bust or nails the flop and you find yourself amongst the top of the NFL. Pressure from the Colts fanbase and Owner are growing every week. It’s time for Ballard to push his chips in the middle of the table or fold and let someone else do it.
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