The Indianapolis Colts had a disappointing 2022 NFL season. That wasn't too surprising. However, with a new head coach in Shane Steichen and some bold off-season moves, the Colts are looking to turn things around in the 2023 NFL season. Here are four bold predictions for the Colts in the upcoming season.

Indianapolis Colts Performance in the 2022 NFL Season

The Colts had a chaotic and disappointing 2022 NFL season, finishing with a 4-12-1 record. The team struggled with injuries and inconsistent play, particularly at the quarterback position. They did not get consistent play from their three quarterbacks — Matt Ryan, Sam Ehlinger, and Nick Foles. However, they have some interesting new faces leading the way. Coach Steichen is there along with recently annointed QB1 Anthony Richardson. It'll also be interesting to see if star running back Jonathan Taylor stays on board. Still, the Colts are looking to bounce back in the 2023 NFL season.

As we look forward to the 2023 NFL Regular Season, let's dive into some bold predictions for the Indianapolis Colts, especially focusing on Anthony Richardson.

4. Jonathan Taylor's Stays with the Colts

Jonathan Taylor, the star running back for the Colts, is in a bit of a tough spot. He wanted a new contract from the team, but they haven't agreed to one. This has led to rumors of a possible trade. The Green Bay Packers, in fact, have been the latest team connected to a possible deal. However, it's not that simple. You see, Taylor doesn't have much bargaining power, and the Colts don't have a strong reason to trade him.

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If another team wants Taylor, they would not only be getting him as a player but also inheriting his contract demands. In today's NFL, teams are cautious about handing out big contracts to running backs. That said, Taylor's best move might be to play out the season and try his luck next year in free agency. It's a situation that could change at any moment. Right now, though, it's not looking great for Taylor's hopes of a trade.

3. Shaquille Leonard Makes the Pro Bowl

Middle linebacker Shaquille Leonard has faced injury setbacks in recent years. However, this year, he's been fully engaged in training camp. He's even been given the green light for full-contact practice. That is certainly a positive sign. Leonard's back seems to be holding up well, and he's feeling optimistic about the upcoming season.

Yes, it's too early to say if he'll return to his All-Pro form. Still, there's a good chance he could make the Pro Bowl. Take note that Leonard has a history of defying expectations, and this season could be another example of that.

2. Anthony Richardson's Rookie Year Impact

Now, let's talk about the exciting rookie, Anthony Richardson. He's an athletic quarterback who's expected to rely on his running skills while he develops his passing game. We've seen this trend with quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, and Justin Fields. They are great examples of QBs who used their legs early in their careers.

Of course, Richardson has exceptional athleticism, and head coach Shane Steichen has experience designing an offense around a mobile quarterback (see Hurts). Richardson could easily rush for over 500 yards in a 17-game season. His running ability will not only help mask his passing inconsistencies but also open up passing opportunities thanks to play-action and RPO plays.

Although Richardson might receive some recognition in the Rookie of the Year race, it's possible he won't win the award. Bryce Young, the first overall pick for the Carolina Panthers, is a strong contender due to his pro-ready skills. Yes, that's despite concerns about his size and durability.

1. Playoffs Will Elude the Colts

Looking at the bigger picture, the Colts face some significant challenges in the 2023 season. They're undergoing a transition with a new head coach and a rookie quarterback. While last season's four wins may not be repeated, it's hard to imagine them reaching more than seven wins this year. That's even with a favorable schedule in one of the NFL's less competitive divisions.

Remember also that the Jacksonville Jaguars are seen as the favorites in the division. Having said that, the Colts' success will heavily depend on how well they perform against them. It is also quite clear that Indianapolis is entering a rebuilding phase. This could lead to a season with fewer than seven wins as they lay the foundation for future success.

Looking Ahead

In conclusion, the 2023 NFL season holds both uncertainty and promise for the Indianapolis Colts. Jonathan Taylor's contract situation remains in limbo, Shaquille Leonard is making a remarkable comeback, and Anthony Richardson is poised to make an impact. However, the playoffs might still be out of reach for this transitioning team. As the season unfolds, we'll see if these bold predictions hold and what surprises the Colts have in store for us.