The Colts continued their 2022 season on the road on Sunday against an AFC rival team in the New England Patriots. The Patriots were 4-4 coming off a divisional win over the New York Jets but were struggling for offensive consistency. The Colts managed to get a key player back from injury in starting defensive end Kwity Paye but were without star running back Jonathan Taylor.
The now Colts sit at 3-5-1, and are currently second in the AFC South. The Colts couldn’t manage to grab their fourth win of the year and needed to try to catch up to 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 again in the power rankings board after their loss against the Patriots. Here is how the Colts stack up in the week 9 power rankings.
ESPN has the Colts at 27:
Buckner has been the Colts’ best pass-rusher this season, leading the way for a defense that has excelled, in spite of a dysfunctional offense. Buckner leads the Colts in sacks (five) despite playing on the interior defensive line and being a magnet for double-teams this season. Buckner has freed up the Colts’ ends and linebackers to make plays, a big reason Indianapolis ranks second in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per attempt (3.8).
NFL.com has the Colts at 30:
After another grisly loss — the team’s third straight defeat — Jim Irsay decided he’d seen enough. The Colts owner fired head coach Frank Reich on Monday, replacing him with team consultant and former All-Pro center Jeff Saturday. It’s the kind of profoundly outside-the-box move you don’t see in the league anymore, but Irsay has repeatedly proved himself to be a maverick in the ranks of owners. Whether Saturday is qualified for the job is the subject of understandable debate, but it’s clear Irsay is an owner desperate for answers and in search of people he can trust. Saturday fit that bill ... and so he gets the big chair (on an interim basis, anyway). Wild times in Indy.
CBS Sports has the Colts at 24:
Maybe it wasn’t Matt Ryan after all. Sam Ehlinger was awful against the Patriots, which led to the firing of coach Frank Reich. This team is a mess.
USA Today has the Colts at 32:
Bizarre. But sure, maybe a guy with no NFL coaching experience can maximize a quarterback with next to no NFL playing experience.
Yahoo Sports has the Colts at 27:
Frank Reich being fired wasn’t too big of a shock. I laid out that Reich was trending that way. I’m not even sure where to start with the hire of Jeff Saturday. It’s the most shocking coaching hire I can remember. Say this about the Colts the rest of the way: They’ll be fascinating to watch, maybe in the car accident kind of way though.
Bleacher Report has the Colts at 27:
After the Indianapolis Colts put forth one of the worst offensive performances in recent memory against the Patriots, Sobleski wondered aloud who would be the next fall guy for the struggles that have dogged the team on that side of the ball this year. “Want to play a game? This one is called, ‘Who will serve as the Colts’ next scapegoat?’ Matt Ryan committed too many turnovers and wasn’t mobile enough,” Sobleski said. “Benched. Offensive coordinator Marcus Brady didn’t call a good enough game with Sam Ehlinger behind center or get the offense off the ground. Fired. The changes haven’t made any difference.”
Well, the Colts are trying another one—and it’s a doozy. Firing head coach Frank Reich was one thing. But Colts CEO Jim Irsay then decided to replace Reich with Jeff Saturday. Saturday is a beloved figure in Indianapolis, but he has no experience in the collegiate or professional ranks as a coach. Or a coordinator. And certainly not as a head coach. For his part, Saturday told reporters that lack of experience might actually be a positive. “Here’s a great part about my career,” he said. “I came in, nobody expects anything. I’m here. Nobody expects anything. Hopefully it’ll go extremely well. But I have no preconceived notion that I’m gonna be some spectacular anything.”
Now Indy has an inexperienced coach hoping to turn around an inexperienced quarterback who has been dreadful in two starts at the helm of the NFL’s worst offense for a team seemingly coming apart at the seams.
What could possibly go wrong?
Pro Football Network has the Colts at 27:
The Colts’ offense has been the worst in the league by DVOA and the fourth-worst by EPA per play. Whiffing on Matt Ryan was a death blow to an offense that had already seen its offensive line deteriorate over the past few seasons.
There’s no harm in seeing what Sam Ehlinger has over the last half of the season. He showed some nice pocket presence in his first start of the season and just happened to run into a buzzsaw against New England. He’ll have every opportunity to prove whether he can start at the NFL level.