The Colts continued their 2022 season on the road on Sunday against an AFC South rival, the Tennessee Titans, who were 3-2 coming off a bye week. The Colts managed to get some key players back from injury in running backs Nyheim Hines and Jonathan Taylor but also were without two key starters in defensive end Kwity Paye and linebacker Shaquille Leonard.
The now Colts sit at 3-3-1, and are currently second in the AFC South. The Colts couldn’t manage to grab their fourth win of the year and needed to catch the Tennessee Titans as they sit first in and above the Colts in the AFC South title.
The national media have moved the Colts down in the power rankings board after their loss against the Titans. Here is how the Colts stack up in the week 7 power rankings.
ESPN has the Colts at 22
The Colts are averaging just 16.1 points per game, and it isn’t good enough. QB Matt Ryan has now been benched in favor of Sam Ehlinger. The Colts have a viable defense that on Sunday didn’t allow a touchdown against the Titans. But they have been so anemic on offense that almost nothing else matters. Time will tell whether the newly promoted starter can spark the team, but if the likes of Ryan and Jonathan Taylor can’t transcend the Colts’ offensive line play, who can?
NFL.com has the Colts at 26.
Andrew Luck to Jacoby Brissett to Philip Rivers to Carson Wentz to Matt Ryan ... to Sam Ehlinger? In a stunning turn of events, the Colts announced Monday that Ryan will be benched for the duration of the season in favor of Ehlinger, a preseason superstar with zero career starts. Ryan certainly earned a benching with his leaden, turnover-prone play, but parachuting out of the latest expensive-veteran-QB gamble after just seven games begs some very important questions about who is actually running the show in Indy. It goes without saying that both GM Chris Ballard and coach Frank Reich stand on very shaky ground.
CBS Sports has the Colts at 18.
They are in a hole in the division because of the two losses to the Titans. Matt Ryan turned it over again against the Titans, which led to his being benched. It’s Sam Ehlinger time.
USA Today has the Colts at 28.
Bold move to make the switch from veteran QB Matt Ryan to preseason star Sam Ehlinger. Still, the owner matchup between Jim Irsay and Snyder is the juiciest subplot of Week 8’s showdown with the Commanders.
Yahoo Sports has the Colts at 22.
It’s hard to unpack the Matt Ryan benching, which happened after a tough loss to the Titans. Ryan has been turning it over at an alarming rate. But do the Colts really think Sam Ehlinger is better? We’ll find out. It really seems like a sacrifice by GM Chris Ballard and coach Frank Reich, who have to be feeling some heat and now can blame their failures this season on Ryan.
Bleacher Report has the Colts at 16.
Scoring has been an issue for the Colts all season long. The team has topped 20 points in a game just once, and that was against the Jaguars. But if Sunday’s loss to Tennessee was any indication, that output was less turning a corner and more one fluke outing against a bad team. After Indy’s latest offensive dud, head coach Frank Reich said the team is working toward correcting the issue, even if the results aren’t there yet.
“The name of the game is points, right?” Reich said. “We’re not scoring enough points. I think we’ve made progress in some of those areas. I think we’ve found more rhythm lately. We just have to find the end zone more.”
That’s the problem with these Colts, though. Every time the team takes a step forward, it’s followed by two back. Fresh off last week’s win (arguably the Colts’ best game of the year), Indy was a mistake-prone mess again against the rival Titans. In the last three meetings with Tennessee, the Colts have turned the ball over a whopping nine times, including three on Sunday. There are big changes afoot though. With Matt Ryan dealing with a shoulder injury, Reich said Monday that Sam Ehlinger will start under center against the Commanders this week. It’s not a temporary thing, either. Per Reich, Ehlinger will start the rest of the season.
Pro Football Network has the Colts at 23.
Matt Ryan doesn’t stand a chance. Make no mistake, Ryan needs to be put out on the clothesline, but like Rodgers in Green Bay, he has quite a bit working against him. The Colts’ offensive line has disintegrated over the past few years, and Chris Ballard’s penny-pinching nature has affected the roster greatly.
Tennessee has their number. Indianapolis has now lost five straight against Tennessee and is now in quite a hole in the AFC South. With an unkind schedule ahead, things don’t look good for their division title hopes.