Last season for the Indianapolis Colts was a disaster. Apparently, Matt Ryan feels the same way. All throughout training camp, the word was how accurate Matt Ryan was. His decision making and touch on the ball made him the perfect counter to castoff Carson Wentz.
Well, the season started, and there was no accuracy to be found. Rookie Alec Pierce was forced to make some of the most acrobatic catches for four yard gains as the ball sailed wide of the mark. How Ryan described last season to The Athletic is the most accurate thing I have seen from him in the last year and a half:
“I mean, it was a s— show, you know, it was a s— show of 18 months basically is the best way to describe it,” Ryan told The Athletic on Monday morning. “But I think everybody in our family handled it well and came out of it stronger and in a really good spot.”
Before the season began, Shaquille Leonard dealt with nerve and back issues that limited him to only three games.
The season started with a bang by producing a tie with the lowly Houston Texans after a missed game-winning field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship who was released shortly thereafter.
From there, the list continued.
Midway through the season, Frank Reich benched Ryan. Not temporarily, though. He came out and said it was for the whole season.
Why was Ryan benched? Oh, it could have been for those nine interceptions and eleven fumbles. The problem wasn’t that he was benched; it’s that it was for the season instead of stating they needed his shoulder to heal and re-evaluating after a few weeks. There was no coming back from that without looking bad, which is exactly what happened.
After what I guess you could call a game against New England in which the Colts seemingly had negative 200 yards at halftime, the plug was pulled on Reich’s time as head coach.
I love Jeff Saturday, and won’t speak ill of him. He was forced into a terrible situation which I imagine went something like this.
Irsay: “Hey, what do you think about being a head coach?”
Saturday: “Yeah, I think I would be interested some day.”
Irsay: “How about tomorrow?”
Saturday was plucked from the set at ESPN and asked to coach an NFL game with no time to prepare. He decided to insert Ryan back in as the starter, and somehow, he won. The next seven...that is a different story. Most games were competitive, but blowing a 33 point lead was the cherry on top.
Yes, Ryan played his part in the season being an abject disaster. At times, it felt like the Peyton Manning statue that resides outside of Lucas Oil had more ability to escape the pocket than the 37 year old veteran. No matter how bad Ryan’s play was, he didn’t do it alone and couldn’t have had any idea how bad it would all go.
No matter how it is labeled, 2022 was definitely a show no Colts fan wanted to watch. I only hope there are no reruns planned for the future.