1. Matt Ryan makes the Colts the team to beat in the AFC South
So it’s been established that the Jaguars have a shot at winning eight or nine games. However, the Indianapolis Colts made an important change in the offseason that immediately place them as the team to beat in the AFC South and that’s the acquisition of Matt Ryan.
Colts general manager Chris Ballard has found several building blocks, including linebacker Darius Leonard and guard Quenton Nelson, over the last few years. However, he hasn’t been able to get the quarterback position right and has instead resorted to temporary solutions since Andrew Luck retired.
Sure, Ballard had no control over Luck’s decision to call it quits but he’s had several tries to find a long-term answer at quarterback and has failed. For the time being, Ryan could provide stability at the position. While he may not be in his prime anymore, he’s still a pretty solid passer.
Even last year, when the Atlanta Falcons traded Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley abruptly retired, Ryan put up respectable numbers with tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson as his top weapons.
Indy had a good enough roster last year to make the playoffs and if they had gotten better play from Carson Wentz, they might have qualified for the postseason. Now with Ryan at the helm, they could once again win the division, a feat they haven’t achieved since 2014. Then again, the Jags won’t make it easy for them.