Most pundits this offseason have praised the good work done by the Indianapolis Colts. Key additions include quarterback Matt Ryan and cornerback Stephon Gilmore as well as high-ceiling draft picks like receiver Alec Pierce, tight end Jelani Woods and tackle Bernhard Raimann.
Long-time NFL writer and media personality is bucking the trend and has the Colts going backwards in the first edition of his NFL Power Rankings.
King has the Colts all the way down to No. 21 after a 9-8 season that saw Indianapolis miss the playoffs. King doesn't seem to think Ryan is much of an upgrade over the departed Carson Wentz.
It’s a great cliché in the NFL, but so true about the Colts: They’ll go as far as the quarterback takes them. After a three-year, 27-23 post-Luck run with Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz, now they settle into a season with 37-year-old Matt Ryan and a suspect receiving corps that features three recent second-round picks—Parris Campbell (2019), Michael Pittman Jr. (2020) and Alec Pierce (2022). Ryan’s 7.1-yards-per-attempt with Atlanta last year was his lowest in eight years, and Frank Reich has been hungry to start stretching the defense with some deeper throws. So we’ll see if Ryan can still air it out. The Colts have the talent to win the AFC South, and the defense is good enough to keep them in games. They need a quarterback who makes receivers better and who’s in the building for more than 10 or 15 minutes. Ryan’s the latest hope for those jobs. - Peter King, ProFootballTalk
Ryan's 7.1-yards-per-attempt was close to a career low for the former Atlanta Falcon. Ryan also played behind one of the worst offensive lines in football and lost Julio Jones before the season, and Calvin Ridley's season never got started before excusing himself from the team on Halloween.
There's reason to believe, while not the strength of the team, the Colts receiving corp. is stronger than Kyle Pitts, Russell Gage, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Olamide Zaccheaus, the Falcons four-leading receivers in 2021.
And there's no debating the Colts superiority in the trenches.
While power rankings in May are an exercise in futility, it's a bit of a stretch to think the Colts will regress in 2022. Dan Hanzus of NFL.com has the Colts at No. 12 and ESPN's Power Index places the Colts at No. 8.
Time will tell who is closest when it comes to predicting the future of the 2022 season, but if King is picking the Colts at No. 21, we like the under.