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NFL Power Rankings Week 4: Colts remain tough to place through 3 weeks

NFL: SEP 27 Jets at Colts Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Colts had a solid win over the New York Jets last week, beating a team they definitely should have, and doing so soundly. They have yet to play a very competitive team this season, and dropped a game to a Jaguars team they definitely should have been able to beat, but they seem to have found their footing now.

The question is, just how good is this team really? Until they’ve played higher quality opponents, that question is likely to remain, with many wondering if their defense will hold its position as the top in the league once they begin facing tougher offenses. All the team can do is win the games they have, and over the past two weeks, they’ve done that handily.

Here’s what they’re saying about the Colts after 3 weeks:


ESPN has the Colts holding steady at 16th.

What we got wrong: Philip Rivers would take the lead role in the Colts’ offense.

Rivers has shown an ability to be effective without having to fling the ball 40-plus times a game. Rivers might have set off some warning signs about his ability at age 38 when he attempted 46 passes and threw two interceptions in the Colts’ Week 1 loss at Jacksonville. Rivers has averaged only 23 attempts a game over the past two games. Instead, the Colts have leaned on their running game and defense to carry things to lighten Rivers’ workload and help cut down his mistakes. That’s an approach the Colts will likely continue.

NFL.com has the Colts up to 11th.

You get the feeling teams have a little pep in their step in the week leading up to a meeting with the Jets. The Colts looked like a squad having fun on Sunday, as Philip Rivers reached a pair of personal milestones (400 TDs, 60,000 yards) and the defense filled up the box score with two pick-sixes and a safety in a 36-7 win. Rivers didn’t need to do much against New York’s overmatched defense, finishing without a turnover for the first time this season. At 2-1, the Colts are off to a solid start, but they’re a tough team to gauge thanks to a soft schedule to start the year. They travel to Chicago this week for a date with the undefeated Bears.

CBS Sports has the Colts at 15th.

They might look back on their season and wonder how they lost at Jacksonville to open the season. They’ve won two straight since and have come on as a defense.

USA Today has the Colts at 15th.

Look who’s got the No. 1 defense in the league ... and it’s not even close with Indianapolis allowing nearly 65 fewer yards per game than second-ranked Pittsburgh.

Yahoo! Sports have the Colts at 16th.

The Colts have played the Jaguars, Vikings and Jets, who have combined for a 1-8 record. And in the one win, the Jaguars over the Colts, Indianapolis outgained Jacksonville 445-241. Long story short, the Colts haven’t played a tough schedule. But the last two weeks, they did rout the Vikings and Jets, which is a good sign. We’ll just have to wait for them to play a quality opponent before we know who the Colts are.

Bleacher Report has the Colts at 13th.

The Indianapolis Colts headed into the 2020 season with more than a little hype about their chances of making noise this season. Much of that hype died down after an uneven loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1.

After emphatic wins over the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Jets, the hype is starting to build again.

There’s an asterisk of sorts attached to the Colts’ recent roll, in that it came against two teams that are a combined 0-6. The Jets absolutely look the part of the league’s worst team.

But Philip Rivers is playing relatively well under center. Rookie Jonathan Taylor appears to have the chops to serve as the team’s lead running back. The Colts have one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. And Indy entered Week 3 leading the league in total defense.

“The sneaky-loaded Indianapolis defense has surrendered just 18 points and 27 first downs while registering six takeaways in back-to-back blowout victories,” Gagnon said. “That could legitimately be a top-five unit this year, and the offense is balanced and reliable enough to keep the Colts moving. Indy is the clear front-runner in the AFC South.”


AFC South Rankings

Texans

ESPN: 20

NFL: 21

CBS Sports: 21

USA Today: 20

Yahoo!: 20

B/R: 25

Titans

ESPN: 8

NFL: 7

CBS Sports: 7

USA Today: 7

Yahoo!: 7

B/R: 12

Jaguars

ESPN: 27

NFL: 26

CBS Sports: 27

USA Today: 27

Yahoo!: 27

B/R: 28