It has been a rocky start to the 2021 season. Any sensible person would have expected the opening weeks were going to be rocky but the reality is that the Colts had opportunities to beat playoff teams, at home and on the road, and couldn’t get the job done.
Injuries have been a major theme again this season. The biggest impact has been on the offensive line, at wide receiver, and in the second. Of course, all teams have to overcome adversity.
Injuries notwithstanding, the Colts have never been blown out of a game. They’ve put projected playoff teams on their heels for stretches. They have the look of a team that simply needs to take one more step to re-enter the playoff conversation and push the Titans for the AFC South.
The Indianapolis Colts have been a franchise in transition since franchise quarterback Andrew Luck decided to walk away from the game in 2019. Last year, Philip Rivers decided to reunite with Frank Reich in the twilight of his career, and his onfield presence led Indianapolis to the playoffs. He was even good enough to shock the Buffalo Bills on the road — although the rest of the team let him down.
When Rivers retired, Matthew Stafford was on the block and was clearly the biggest name available. Most fans hoped that years of shrewd salary-cap management could bring Stafford down I-69 to Indianapolis. Alas, the Rams offered compensation the Colts couldn’t match, including a bridge starting quarterback.
Why not try to resurrect the career of Carson Wentz?
There were red flags after he had arguably the worst statistical season of any long-term starter in the NFL last year. He had taken a beating on an Eagles team that was a shell of the Super Bowl-winning version from 2017-2018. Some thought he might be broken mentally after his MVP-level play was cut short, just for backup Nick Foles to lead the team to a championship. It is Foles, not Wentz, who has been immortalized in a statue with Doug Pederson.
No matter. Frank Reich mortgaged his future by betting on his ability to bring Wentz back. The results, so far, have exceeded anything Colts fans could have reasonably expected.
Is Wentz in the MVP conversation? No. Will he ever be? I suppose anything is possible, but probably not. At least not with Kyley Murray, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson generating so much buzz. However, can the Colts win games, even playoff games, with Wentz playing as he has been to this point in the season? Colts fans seem to think so.
If Colts fans are looking for a promising theme with the Titans, one can look at this season’s fan confidence results and conclude that Tennesse is due for another big shock. What better way to deliver that shock than to see the Titans follow up wins against the Bills and Chiefs with a loss against division rival Indianapolis?
A Colts will apparently come as a shock to fans across the league. This week fans expect the Titans to come out on top. Of course, they also chose the Cardinals to keep their unbeaten streak alive against a Packers team without important offensive weapons. Shows what NFL fans know...
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