Throughout this series I will outline what my best, middle, and worst case scenario is for each position group in the Colts. Starting with the most important: quarterback
(Disclaimer: injury is always the absolute worst case scenario, so we will talk about worst case assuming the players remain healthy for the sake of the article)
Best Case: Matt Ryan takes advantage of a great o-line and an elite running game, returns to elite form.
Matt Ryan is more than capable of putting up great numbers and leading an efficient offense, that is nothing new, but like most quarterbacks in the NFL, he needs an appropiate supporting cast in order to do so. With Atlanta’s offensive line and running game in shambles, Ryan struggled the past couple of seasons. Now with a solid line, and one of the best running backs in the NFL in Jonathan Taylor, along with some intriguing weapons in the passing game, I expect Ryan to step up and recapture his old form. This would be the best case scenario for the position. The Colts don’t even need Ryan to carry the offense, they just need him to make the correct calls at the line, limit turnovers, and be an important (but not the biggest) cog in a machine that runs smoothly. I imagine a season where he quickly adapts to the offense, manages to keep turnovers to a minimum, while also elevating the young pass catching options.
Middle Scenario: The improved supporting cast helps, but Ryan still has his limitations.
While Ryan did win an MVP award, it is worth noting that it happened five seasons ago, and, albeit a fantastic 2018 season, was average the other four seasons. There is a possibility that Ryan is just exactly that, the type of quarterback that will definitely not cost you games, which is already in itself an improvement, but not the type of quarterback to exactly win you games either. The Colts are probably fine with that, as with the way the team is built they don’t exactly need their quarterback to throw for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns every single game to be competitive. Without even setting foot on the field Ryan already helps this young Colts’ offense so much with his leadership and pedigree, so that is already a big plus.
Worst Case: The amount of punishment taken over the last few years takes its toll, Ryan starts to regress.
We have seen it time and time again with the quarterback position, when regression starts, it is usually quickly and sudden. Ryan has taken over 40 sacks in each of the past four seasons, that type of beatdown is worrying, and as a result Ryan’s body might not be as strong as the Colts want, and enduring that type of pressure for such a prolonged period of time could certainly leave a mark in the back of a quarterback. The worst case scenario is that Ryan fails to adapt to a new offense, and starts to regress this season.