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Colts 2022 NFL preview, schedule: Matt Ryan could spur AFC South also-rans to playoffs

The Indianapolis Colts missed out on the playoffs in the final week but things may be very different in 2022 with Matt Ryan running the offense.

Estados UnidosUpdate:
Matt Ryan could spur Colts to playoffs
Bryan M. BennettGetty

Frank Reich is in his fifth season as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and will head into the 2022 NFL campaign with his fifth different quarterback after Andrew Luck (2018), Jacoby Brissett (2019), Phillip Rivers (2020) and Carson Wentz (2021). This season, the job of running the offense will fall to Matt Ryan, in what could prove a decisive moment for the franchise to return to the playoffs for the first time since a 2020 Wild Card Round loss to the Bills.

Ryan trade a solid bet for Colts’ offense

The Colts acquired 2016 MVP Ryan in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons, in which they gave up a third-round pick round in the 2022 Draft. The Boston College product will look to make Indianapolis’ passing offense more potent than it was last year, when they ranked 26th in yards generated at an average of 197.7 per game.

Something that will make the job easier for “Matty Ice” is that he hasn’t ever had a running back on the same level as Jonathan Taylor. The Wisconsin alum racked up 2,171 yards and 20 touchdowns from scrimmage to lead the league in both last season.

Although they didn’t have a first-round pick in the 2022 Draft, the Colts added more offensive elements in the second and third with wide receiver Alec Pierce and tight end Jelani Woods, respectively. Pierce is aiming to start from day one alongside Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell. For his part, Woods, standing at 2.01 meters, will be a huge target in the end zone for Ryan.

Colts bolster defensive line

The Colts were the second-worst team in terms of touchdown passes allowed with 32 during 2021: only the Washington Commanders allowed more (34). As such, the team management concentrated on strengthening the secondary defense with the additions of cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Rodney McLeod.

With Ryan, some promising rookies and the additions made on defense, the outlook in the AFC South looks promising for the Colts. The Jacksonville Jaguars are in their second season of rebuilding under Trevor Lawrence, the Houston Texans are betting on David Mills’ arm and the Tennessee Titans will be dependent on injuries not affecting Derrick Henry.

Indianapolis Colts

Record in 2021: 9-8

Stadium: Lucas Oil Stadium

Super Bowl titles: 2 (V and XLI)

Head Coach: Frank Reich

Offensive Coordinator: Marcus Brady

Defensive Coordinator: Gus Bradley

Colts 2022 schedule

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5
at Texansat Jaguarsvs Chiefsvs Titansat Broncos
Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10
vs Jaguarsat Titansvs Commandersat Patriotsat Raiders
Week 11Week 12Week 13Week 14Week 15
vs Eaglesvs Steelersat CowboysBYEat Vikings
Week 16Week 17Week 18
vs Chargersat Giantsvs Texans