Earlier this offseason, the Indianapolis Colts traded a third-round pick for longtime Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
According to Pro Football Focus, acquiring the former league MVP was the best move of the Colts’ offseason:
“The Colts will once again have a new starting quarterback under center in 2022, marking the fifth straight season they’ll trot out a different option in Week 1.”
“Indianapolis and general manager Chris Ballard undoubtedly deserve criticism for trading a second- and future first-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for quarterback Carson Wentz, but they mitigated the damage as much as possible this offseason.”
“By acquiring two third-round picks from the Washington Commanders for Wentz, and using the latter of those picks to acquire Ryan, Indianapolis upgraded at the quarterback position hopefully for the foreseeable future (though Ryan will be 37 years old in 2022).”
“Despite his increased age, Ryan earned a 95.0 grade on passes thrown 10-plus yards downfield in 2021, fourth among quarterbacks. This is behind the 31st-ranked pass-blocking offensive line in the NFL, with rookie Kyle Pitts as his top receiving weapon following the loss of Calvin Ridley after just five games. Ryan will be a major upgrade for Frank Reich’s offense and could push Indianapolis right back into the playoffs.”
While the Colts had a more ‘splashy’ offseason with a variety of moves under general manager Chris Ballard, it’s easy to see why PFF chose Ryan as the team’s best offseason move.
Head coach Frank Reich spoke highly of his new quarterback after the team’s mini-camp concluded back in June.
“Matt was unbelievable, did a great job, great command — really, A-Z. He did everything right — just great leadership, great play,” Reich said of the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback.
Many believed Indianapolis was poised to make the playoffs for a second straight season under Reich in 2021. The Colts, who finished 9-8, ultimately fell short because of inconsistencies at the quarterback spot and within the passing game.
The Colts are hoping that, under Ryan, along with several new additions at wide receiver and tight end, their 2022 offense will be more efficient and productive, particularly through the air.
Ryan, who’s now the fifth different starting quarterback Reich has had to work with since taking over as Indianapolis’ head coach in 2018, could help provide more consistency at such a crucial position as the Colts look to make a playoff push in 2022.