The previous few years have been a tune of Matty Ice and Hearth. He’s both an MVP-caliber passer or he’s a borderline starter watching defenders react sooner whereas he will get slower. For the primary time in Ryan’s profession, he’ll share the backfield with an All-Professional-caliber working again, which ought to profit him within the Colts’ play-action heavy scheme. As defenses fixate on stopping Taylor, Ryan will function in opposition to helpful coverages. Michael Pittman isn’t any Julio Jones, however he’ll do. Ryan doesn’t must make splash performs to win 12 video games on this division.
Ryan attracted all the eye, however the Colts have been constructing to this for years. The offense may also be buttressed by a sticky-fingered defensive unit that pressured extra turnovers than each workforce within the NFL final season besides Dallas. In addition they added Stephon Gilmore within the offseason to a secondary that features Rock Ya-Sin and an elite slot nook in Kenny Moore. Chris Ballard traded for Yannick Ngakoue to repair a cross rush that generated solely 33 sacks, twenty fifth within the NFL. 2021 first-round decide Kwity Paye makes the leap by placing warmth on opposing quarterbacks. All-Professional stalwarts Deforest Buckner and linebacker Shaquille Leonard play as much as their lofty requirements as Indy boasts the NFL’s greatest protection. Not solely do they win the division, however they earn a first-round bye courtesy of the NFL’s softest schedule.
Shock Alternate End result: Indy benches Ryan and Foles leads the Colts to the postseason
Over in Tennessee, Derrick Henry begins to indicate indicators of his accelerated working again ageing. With no one to throw to apart from Robert Woods who remains to be recovering from an ACL damage, Tannehill nosedives, then will get benched for Malik Willis mid-season. In the meantime, the Texans proceed their descent right into a cellar dweller franchise.
The Jacksonville Jaguars ranked thirty second in factors final season and twenty eighth in factors allowed. This season, the expertise coalesces they usually flip right into a middle-of-the-pack workforce on each side of the ball. Jaguars acquisitions Evan Engram, Christian Kirk, and Brandon Scherff stay as much as the large contracts they signed this spring and provides Trevor Lawrence the weapons he must flourish. The 2-headed dragon backfield of Travis Etienne and James Robinson begin respiratory fireplace mid-season. In the meantime, in Indianapolis, Matt Ryan’s poor performances carry over from Atlanta to Indy. He’s so washed up within the first half of the season that the Colts flip to Nick Foles. And someway it really works. Foles sneaks Indy into the postseason by means of the backdoor as they limp to the division title in a weakened division.