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Power Rankings Week 3: Colts On the Move Up After Hard-Fought Win

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Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

With the retirement of Andrew Luck, the expectations from all over the NFL landscape cratered for the Indianapolis Colts. Through two weeks, some are beginning to question whether that was premature.

For many of us who’ve spent a lot of time watching and analyzing this roster, it isn’t a shock. This is a well-constructed, well-coached team. They’re going to win a lot of games this season and be right there in some games they’ll lose. While a road divisional win against a Titans team that is famous for being inconsistent won’t move the needle much for this team, wins over the next couple weeks could change that conversation.

Here’s where they stack up heading into week 3.

ESPN has the Colts at 17th.

The running game. Colts coach Frank Reich said during the spring that he felt like they could be a top-five rushing team this season. That seemed kind of far-fetched considering the Colts were supposed to have Andrew Luck as their starting quarterback. Luck is retired and the Colts -- for the first time since at least the pre-Peyton Manning days in 1997 -- are relying heavily on the run game. The Colts have rushed for more yards (370) than they’ve thrown for (336) through the first two games. The 370 yards rushing is tied for second in the NFL.

NFL.com has the Colts ranked 17th.

Turns out the Colts still own the Titans, even with Andrew Luck enjoying early retirement. Jacoby Brissett connected with T.Y. Hilton for the go-ahead touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and the Indy defense smothered a Marcus Mariota-led offense that had so much success moving the ball up and down the field a week earlier against the Browns. Despite the win, much of the postgame focus was on kicker Adam Vinatieri, who missed two more extra points on Sunday and is up to seven misses in his last three games (including last year’s playoff clunker against the Chiefs). Reports out of Indianapolis had Vinatieri leaning toward retirement after the game, but it appears Frank Reich and the Colts talked him out of it, as Reich announced on Monday that Vinatieri will kick against the Falcons in Week 3. If he struggles again, you don’t imagine the Colts will fight quite as hard to change the future Hall of Famer’s mind.

USA Today has the Colts 15th.

After splitting two on road, four of next five at home for scrappy team we should know not to count out regardless of circumstances.

Yahoo! Sports has the Colts 16th.

The Colts might end up being the best team in the AFC South after all. To come out of their first two games, at the Chargers and at the Titans, with a win and an overtime loss is a good start. If the Colts win the division, start engraving the NFL Coach of the Year trophy with Frank Reich’s name.

Bleacher Report has the Colts at 13th.

If you like nail-biters, the Indianapolis Colts are the team for you in 2019.

One week after falling in overtime, the Colts again went down to the wire in Nashville. But this time it was the Colts who came out on top, with Jacoby Brissett finding T.Y. Hilton for a game-winning touchdown pass in the fourth quarter in Nashville.

Brissett’s numbers were far from eye-popping—he threw for less than 150 yards in the win. But Brissett also tossed three touchdown passes, and just as he did against the Chargers, Brissett kept the Colts in position to win the game late.

When Andrew Luck called it a career, more than a few people wrote the 2019 Colts off as any sort of factor in the AFC South.

But no one’s running away with the division yet, and if the Colts keep hanging in games, they may hang around in the race a lot longer than folks expected.

”Jacoby Brissett isn’t a hindrance,” Sobleski said. “He’s not just a backup who was thrust into a starting role; he’s a talented young signal-caller capable of leading a playoff-caliber roster past quality opponents, as seen Sunday during Indianapolis’ 19-17 victory over the rival Tennessee Titans. A 69.1 completion percentage and 5-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio so far is fantastic considering the circumstances.”


AFC South Rivals

Texans

NFL.com: 14

ESPN: 12

Yahoo!: 15

USA Today: 18

Bleacher Report: 9

Jaguars

NFL.com: 25

ESPN: 24

Yahoo!: 28

USA Today: 23

Bleacher Report: 24

Titans

NFL.com: 18

ESPN: 18

Yahoo!: 17

USA Today: 16

Bleacher Report: 17