Last year was a season to forget for the Colts, as they were in a great position to head into the postseason before dropping each of their final two games of the regular season, including an inexcusable home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Indianapolis Colts (2021 Record: 9-8)
Biggest Addition: Matt Ryan
The Colts will start their fifth quarterback in five years in Week 1 with the addition of former Falcons signal-caller Matt Ryan. They possess a mostly win-now roster on both sides of the football and introducing a quarterback that can bring immediate success with plenty of experience felt like the strongest move here.
Ryan can still bring it with a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio over the last two seasons including a 66% completion rate.
Biggest Loss: Carson Wentz
Wentz’s lone season in Indy was deemed a failure despite slinging 27 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. The team’s failures were mainly placed on him as the former Pro Bowler was run out of town and has since landed with the Washington Commanders.
Ryan is likely a lateral move here, but the learning curve of yet another new quarterback may mean a slow start to the season similar to their 1-4 record after five weeks in 2021.
X-Factor: Michael Pittman Jr.
Pittman showed serious flashes of being a No. 1 wide receiver in his second season, including a five-game stretch of 27 receptions for 379 yards and five touchdowns. He’ll need to do that more often to give Matt Ryan a top option out wide to complement their strong running game.
AFC East Futures Market
Line Movement: +140 to +105
Amount of tickets: 57.5%
Amount of handle: 64.1%
Colts Season Outlook
The Colts will need to quickly forget about the pains of the 2021 season and prepare for a new era with Matt Ryan under center.
Running back Jonathan Taylor is coming off one of the most dominant seasons at his position in recent history and if he can produce similar numbers, the passing game will open up for Ryan.
The question here will come at the wide receiver position. Pittman still needs to show some consistency while the team will need one of Ashton Dulin or Parris Campbell to step up as a complementary option in the passing game.
The departure of star wide receiver A.J. Brown from the Titans opens things up a bit for the Colts in the AFC South and the shift in the odds continues.
The Colts feel like a value play here as Tennessee may be in a worse spot for a wide receiver than Indianapolis. Grab them at +125 before the season gets closer and they may shift to minus-money to take home the division crown.