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NFL Power Rankings Week 7: Injuries, inexperience keeping the Colts at the bottom

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets NorthJersey.com-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts dropped another game, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’re hanging out at the bottom of everyone’s rankings again this week. There are a lot of reasons for their struggles. Youth and inexperience, injuries, and significant talent gaps at some positions have hampered their success all season.

At some point, you are what your record says you are, and what the Colts record says is that they are one of the worst teams in football. The good news is that the AFC has very little in terms of clear leaders. The teams in the AFC South are all doing their best to lose the division, with the Texans in the lead currently and letting their quarterback get hit at an alarming rate. A couple of wins could very realistically turn things around for the Colts at this stage.

However, until the Colts start putting together actual wins instead of hypothetical ones, they’re just a bad team. Here’s how they stacked up in this week’s power rankings.


NFL.com has the Colts ranked 29th.

The stats don’t show it, but Andrew Luck is playing at such a high level. Yes, he did start the game against the Jets with a pick-six to Morris Claiborne. We should note that the ball hit Marlon Mack right in the hands. Perhaps Mack was upset that he wasn’t active for the Colts’ dropfest against the Patriots a few Thursdays ago and didn’t want to feel left out. Luck was far from perfect (23-of-43, 301 yards, four TDs and three picks), but recall that he is throwing the football to wide receivers who couldn’t start for 80 percent of the teams in the league. Too many turnovers by the offense coupled with a defense that couldn’t rankle rookie Sam Darnold ... not a good mix.

Yahoo! Sports has the Colts ranked 30th.

Here were the players who had at least 30 yards for the Colts on Sunday: Marlon Mack, Eric Ebron, Chester Rogers, Marcus Johnson, Zach Pascal, Mo Alie-Cox, Nyheim Hines. Not many of those guys aside from Ebron and perhaps Hines (or Alie-Cox, if you need a good offensive rebounder) would be playing a significant role for most NFL teams. And still the Colts put up 428 yards and 34 points on a pretty good Jets defense. A lot of that came in garbage time, but still. Yes, the Colts are 1-5, but over the next few years as they build a team for Frank Reich and Andrew Luck to work with, they’ll do some damage.

ESPN has the Colts ranked 27th.

Andrew Luck leads the NFL with 288 pass attempt this season, but they aren’t doing much damage. He averages 6.2 yards per attempt (32nd in NFL) likely because his average throw distance of 7.3 yards downfield ranks 28th in the NFL.

CBS Sports has the Colts ranked 26th.

The defense has tailed off in recent weeks, and the offense has too many injuries to keep up. It’s going to be a long season.

USA Today has the Colts at 27th.

Our colleagues at The Indianapolis Star have already begun assessing prospects who will be available at the top of the 2019 NFL draft.

Bleacher Report has the Colts at 28th.

Not a lot has gone right for the Indianapolis Colts this season. But in recent weeks, the play of Andrew Luck had been a bright spot.

Luck did throw four touchdown passes in Sunday’s loss to the Jets, but it was otherwise a game to forget. Luck completed 23 of 43 passes for 301 yards and wasn’t sacked, but he threw three interceptions.

One was his second pass of the game—that it was taken back for a touchdown rather summed up the game for Indy. The season, for that matter.

The Colts are staying in games. But you can’t win in the NFL with four turnovers. And Indianapolis certainly isn’t a good enough team to be able to afford that many mistakes.

At this point, the Colts might as well embrace the suck and angle for the highest pick possible.

Because this team is barreling down the road to nowhere at breakneck speed.