The Indianapolis Colts come in at No. 13 on Shook’s list, ranking just ahead the Baltimore Ravens, the new-and-improved Denver Broncos and division rival Tennessee Titans.
One important note is that Shook put together this list following a grading-point system that was established by NFL.com’s Ali Bhanpuri, as he mentions from his article:
“This exercise is muddied by teams that follow a committee approach (looking at you, Patriots), but the most important tenet is simple: Quarterbacks matter more than anyone else. I’ve graded them accordingly, following a procedure established by Ali Bhanpuri, our senior director of content and editorial, which weighs rankings of players in each of the three categories. I ordered quarterbacks by two key criteria:
Who do I want in a one-game scenario? Who do I trust most to go out and win my team a game?
Which quarterbacks do I think will put together the most impressive performances over an entire season?”
The Colts arguably have the best running back in the league in Jonathan Taylor, who ran away with the league’s rushing title last season, piling up 1,811 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. Taylor’s monstrous 2021 campaign may be hard to replicate, but the third-year, do-it-all back will be looking to build on his record-breaking performances of last season.
Matt Ryan is the new signal-caller, and while he just recently turned 37, the former league MVP has shown throughout training camp and the preseason that he can still play and make the necessary throws the Colts need him to make. Ryan’s ability to go through his progressions and get rid of the ball promptly could help elevate the Colts’ offense and provide the extra push needed to make a run at the playoffs this season.
Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. is coming off his best season as a pro, racking up over 1,000 receiving yards and six touchdowns while averaging slightly over 12 yards per catch in 2021. With Ryan now at the helm, the third-year wideout could be poised for an even better season and, if he hasn’t done so already, solidify himself as the Colts’ No. 1 wideout moving forward.