The Indianapolis Colts brought in quarterback Matt Ryan via a trade with the Atlanta Falcons last March. The Colts wanted a culture change from previous quarterback Carson Wentz.
While no one denies the professionalism and leadership of Ryan, the results on the field haven't been what many expected early in the season.
Ryan fell one spot to No. 22 in this week's NFL.com QB Index compiled by Marc Sessler, but he's not willing to place all the blame on the 37-year old quarterback for the Colts lackluster start on offense.
Sunday's upset win over the Chiefs had more to do with a batch of key mistakes by Kansas City and less to do with Ryan setting fire to terra firma. He fumbled twice (losing one) and was blown to pieces against a Chiefs front that piled up five sacks. Ryan also put the game on his back to direct an eight-minute touchdown march to seal the win. His season highpoint came at an unexpected juncture, but I don't expect the pocket punishment to cease anytime soon inside an offense still sitting dead last in points per drive. -- Marc Sessler, NFL.com
Ironically, Wentz is ranked three-spots ahead of Ryan according to Sessler. Wentz fell just two spots after his Washington Commanders were throttled by the Philadelphia Eagles 24-8. Wentz completed 23 of 41 passes for 211 yards without a touchdown or interception.
Sessler isn't the only one pointing fingers at the Colts offensive line. Stephen Holder, the Colts' beat writer for ESPN, wrote on Tuesday of Ryan:
Matt Ryan is finding himself in a familiar situation, one reminiscent of his recent seasons with the Falcons: Shaky offensive line play and unproven passing targets are limiting his effectiveness. As a result of the heavy pass rush, Ryan is struggling with protecting the football. He has already fumbled seven times. But the veteran has showed composure when needed, like on the 43rd game-winning drive of his career Sunday versus the Chiefs, when he completed 8 of 10 pass attempts. -- Stephen Holder, ESPN
Ryan showed Colts fans a glimpse of the old "Matty-Ice" on Sunday in the comeback win against the Chiefs. His young receivers Alec Pierce and Jelani Woods are starting to step up.
No one expects the Colts offensive line, the most expensive offensive line in the NFL, to continue to play this poorly.
Ryan will have another chance on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans to prove he and the Colts are headed in the right direction... or show that Sunday against the Chiefs was a false dawn.