The Colts continued their 2022 season at home on Sunday against an NFC team with a familiar face returning to Indianapolis in Carson Wentz, although he is on injured reserve, the Washington Commanders. The Commanders were 3-4 coming off a three game win streak. The Colts managed to get a key player back from injury in linebacker Shaquille Leonard but were without starting defensive end Kwity Paye.
The now Colts sit at 3-4-1, 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 Commanders. Here is how the Colts stack up in the week 8 power rankings.
ESPN has the Colts at 22:
The Colts’ offensive results didn’t change, even though the quarterback did (from Matt Ryan to Sam Ehlinger). But the defense has been this team’s most consistent element in 2022. Indianapolis is eighth in scoring defense, allowing 19.6 points per game. In the past four games, the Colts’ defense has allowed an average of 16.3 points. Coordinator Gus Bradley’s unit is legit.
NFL.com has the Colts at 28:
New quarterback, similar results for the Colts, who don’t score enough points to win on a regular basis. Sam Ehlinger avoided the disastrous mistakes that pock-marked Matt Ryan’s short run as QB1, throwing for 201 yards on 17-of-23 passing, but the Colts scored one touchdown or fewer for the fourth time in eight weeks. It’s a chronic lack of production that allows a mediocre team like the Commanders to sneak out of Lucas Oil Stadium with a 17-16 win. “I know we didn’t gain, like, a thousand yards or anything like that, but I felt today we could find a rhythm with what we have out there,” head coach Frank Reich said Sunday. “I felt today that we can put something together and continue to get better.” Reich better hope so — his job likely depends on it.
CBS Sports has the Colts at 22:
They changed quarterbacks, yet got the same results. So maybe it wasn’t Matt Ryan after all.
USA Today has the Colts at 30:
Regardless of who’s playing quarterback, this squad is DOA unless RB Jonathan Taylor can recapture something close to his 2021 All-Pro form.
Yahoo Sports has the Colts at 23:
Sam Ehlinger did OK, but the Colts scored 16 points and lost in the final minute. Now they’re just a losing team with a quarterback who will go through a lot of growing pains. They can’t even rely on Jonathan Taylor the way the Titans are relying on Derrick Henry. Taylor is averaging 77 rushing yards per game (106.5 last season) with one rushing TD (18 last season) and had a costly fumble in Sunday’s loss. Nothing is going well for the Colts.
Bleacher Report has the Colts at 23:
In an effort to jump-start the offense, the Indianapolis Colts made a big change last week. After less than half a season, the Matt Ryan era in Indy is over—Ryan was benched in favor of youngster Sam Ehlinger. And while Ehlinger’s numbers were modest in his NFL debut and the Colts lost to the Washington Commanders on Sunday, head coach Frank Reich told reporters that the second-year signal-caller from Texas showed some promise in his first game. “No disrespect to Matt because I thought he had some good moments,” Reich said. “But I thought Sam looked good. He looked really poised. He threw it well. I thought he played well. I know we didn’t gain, like, a thousand yards or anything like that, but I felt today we could find a rhythm with what we have out there. I felt today that we can put something together and continue to get better.”
As Sobleski wrote, though, the problem, as evidenced by the final score, is that quarterback was far from the Colts’ only problem. “Well, the switch from Ryan to Ehlinger didn’t provide the boost Indianapolis hoped it would,” he said. “To be fair, Ryan is dealing with an injured shoulder, while Ehlinger played relatively well in his first career start. The quarterback’s performance during Indianapolis’ gut-wrenching 17-16 loss shows the team’s issues run far deeper than who’s behind center. Turnovers, a shoddy offensive line and an inability to come up with a big play when necessary have plagued the Colts all season.”
Pro Football Network has the Colts at 22:
The Colts might officially be a lost cause. They averaged six yards per play against Washington but could only find their way into the end zone after a Taylor Heinicke interception.
After playing well for the entire game, Indianapolis’ defense couldn’t get stops when it mattered most. Washington put together an 82-yard drive that ended in a field goal and an 89-yard drive resulting in a touchdown that ultimately made the difference in this game.