Saturday, September 10, 2022

Indianapolis Colts Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Indianapolis Colts in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 14

Who's on the hot seat: Coach Frank Reich

Now entering his fifth season, Reich does not seem in jeopardy of being fired. But the stakes are still high. The Colts have what they believe is the best team of his tenure, and owner Jim Irsay is growing increasingly impatient, as the franchise has just one playoff victory since 2014. It's also notable that Reich was a driving force behind last season's failed Carson Wentz experiment. If the Colts fall short again, Reich will find himself on thin ice. -- Rank: 12

When will we see Shaquille Leonard on the field? The Colts need their All-Pro linebacker in top form to get to where they want to go in 2022, and it was a very positive sign when the team took Leonard off the PUP list. Back surgery had shut Leonard down until last week, and it remains to be seen how Indy plans to work its top defensive playmaker back into the mix. GM Chris Ballard was purposefully (some might say annoyingly) vague about the linebacker's status: "Might be Week 1. Might be Week 6." Thanks, man.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 11

Matt Ryan is in as the quarterback, which is an upgrade over Carson Wentz. They will still be run heavy with Jonathan Taylor, but Ryan can make the big plays. They are the team to beat in the AFC South.

The Athletic -- Rank: 15

The good news: Shaquille Leonard feels good for the first time in a long time, Stephon Gilmore seems primed for a comeback year, they have the third-easiest schedule in the league and the owner no longer hates the quarterback.

The bad news: There are legitimate concerns about the Colts' ability to protect Matt Ryan, with journeyman Matt Pryor under the spotlight at left tackle. How many times can Jonathan Taylor be reasonably expected to carry the ball after a league-high 332 last season?

Nugget to remember: In the nine seasons since he left Seattle, Gus Bradley has had a top-10 defense by DVOA only twice (No. 10 with the Chargers in both 2017 and 2018), while his defenses have ranked in the bottom half of the league in six of those nine seasons.

The Ringer -- Rank: 16

Getting off the Carson Wentz roller coaster after one season was a necessary step after his Week 18 collapse against the Jaguars that ultimately cost the Colts a playoff bid. Veteran Matt Ryan is a slight upgrade over Wentz over the course of a season, but a much safer, consistent ride week to week. The receiving corps is big and loaded with potential but still very young, and question marks remain at left tackle and outside corner opposite of Stephon Gilmore. This is an improved Colts team with Ryan at the helm, but I'm not yet ready to call it a great one.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 14

I don't buy the notion that Nyheim Hines is going to get much more run this season. Jonathan Taylor is still either the best running back in the NFL or on a very short list. The Colts missed the playoffs last season and aren't going to be taking their best offensive weapon off the field that often.

PFT -- Rank: 11

At a time when everyone is wondering whether Russell Wilson will join the Tom Brady/Matthew Stafford parade from new team to NFL title, Matt Ryan may be in a better position to actually pull that off.

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