The Indianapolis Colts have cycled through four quarterbacks in as many seasons, which has halted the drive of the team to compete for the Super Bowl. Andrew Luck’s shock retirement at the age of 28 stunned the franchise and forced them to scramble for a replacement. Jacoby Brissett held down the fort for a year before being replaced by Philip Rivers. Rivers lasted only a season before heading off into retirement, prompting a trade for Carson Wentz. Head coach Frank Reich failed to unlock the same magic with Wentz as he did when the two men were paired at the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Colts made the decision to cash in on Wentz while they still could, trading him to the Washington Commanders. With the capital acquired, Indianapolis moved for Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons, with the desperate hope of finally having found a solution to their quarterback problems. The Colts are an outsider in the betting odds to reach the Super Bowl at 10/1 to win the AFC Conference, which makes them a prime candidate to consider using a £10 stake to earn £30 in free bets as part of a welcome offer for signing up to a bookmaker. It would take a turn of events for the Colts to compete in the AFC.
Indianapolis have been credited for their approach by building through the draft and attempting to be aggressive with trades with Wentz and now Ryan. However, it has not translated to success on the field, displaying a lack of killer instinct. Reich and his team should have been in the post-season in 2021, but lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the final game of the term. The Colts did reach the playoffs with Rivers in 2020, but failed to take their chances against the Buffalo Bills in the Wildcard Round, the story of their franchise in recent history and Rivers’ career.
History is arguably repeating itself with Ryan in the quarterback position. He and the Falcons were in a dominant position to win Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots, only to allow Tom Brady and company to record a 25-point comeback and win the title in overtime. Ryan has been the nearly-man at quarterback over his career, and has produced stellar moments, but has never been good enough to get his team over the line. The 36-year-old now joins a team that has emulated his own story in the NFL.
Indianapolis do have talent on offense, none more so than the leading rusher of the 2021 season. However, it will be up to Ryan to conduct the team and make them not only potent against weak teams, but against the formidable units in the NFL. There may be a time when they have to go score for score against the Bills, Kansas City Chiefs or Cincinnati Bengals. The Colts must be able to rise to the occasion. For too long now they’ve shirked in big moments. Indianapolis must stop being pretenders in the AFC and make a serious challenge sooner rather than later.
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