The Indianapolis Colts made several key moves in the offseason after narrowly missing out on the playoffs in 2021. Indianapolis has a well-built roster with a good offense and better defense. That being said, let’s dive into our Colts 2022 bold predictions.
The revamped Colts have the potential to make a playoff run in the competitive AFC this season. Indianapolis’ most pivotal move was trading away quarterback Carson Wentz, effectively swapping him with former MVP Matt Ryan courtesy of a trade with the Atlanta Falcons.
Although Ryan is not the elite signal-caller he was a few years ago, he can still play at a very high level. The 37-year-old’s experience could help the Colts get back to the playoffs. Ryan and the Falcons won the NFC in 2017, but infamously blew a 28-3 lead to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Ryan has not come close to the Super Bowl since. A new situation with a better roster late in his career could help him find success once again.
Here are our four Colts’ bold predictions for the 2022 NFL season.
4. Stephon Gilmore becomes a top corner once again
Stephon Gilmore was one of the best cornerbacks in football just a few seasons ago. In the 2019 season, Gilmore won Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first cornerback to win the award since Charles Woodson.
Gilmore has dealt with injuries ever since. He was traded to the Carolina Panthers last season, playing solid football under coach Ron Rivera. Landing with a solid defense like the Colts can help him get Gilmore back to where he belongs as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.
3. Jonathan Taylor gets even better
Taylor was tremendous last season, emerging as arguably the top running back in football. He was the focal point of Indianapolis’ offense as a second-year player, and will be the same in 2022.
Taylor led the league in four rushing categories last season with 1,811 yards, 18 touchdowns, 332 carries and 106.5 yards per game. He is a gifted, relentless back running behind a talented offensive line, led by four-time All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson, due for a bounce-back year. Taylor will be a terror for defenses again in 2022, especially with what should be an improved passing attack to complement him.
2. Matt Ryan has a great season
Ryan’s new situation could help him get back to playoff contention as he nears the end of his career. Ryan was in a difficult environment las season, with no proven wide receiver after Calvin Ridley left the Falcons in late October.
Cordarrelle Patterson, who is a great utility player, made an impact in the receiving game lined up in the backfield and out wide. Rookie tight end Kyle Pitts also had a good season, but Atlanta’s lack of pass-catching depth made it tough for the offense to succeed. The offensive line also struggled to give Ryan time in the pocket.
In Indianapolis, Ryan is playing with an All-Pro running back, throwing to an intriguing group of receivers and operating behind a top-10 offensive line. Look for him to thrive in his Colts debut.
1. Michael Pittman Jr. has breakout campaign
Pittman took a jump from his rookie year to his sophomore season, but could explode in his third campaign. He is the solidified top receiver for Indy and will likely be Ryan’s favorite target. For years, Ryan established a dynamic connection with Julio Jones, another tall, physical wideout with rare athleticism. While Pittman Jr. is not quote on the level Jones once was, he could still establish great chemistry with Ryan.
Last season, Pittman hauled in 88 passes for 1,082 yards and six touchdowns. He. should take another leap forward and be recognized as one of the best young receivers in football.