The Indianapolis Colts will be heading into 2022 with a new starting quarterback for the fifth time in as many years. Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Phillip Rivers and Carson Wentz have started the last four years, and this season, it will be Matt Ryan’s turn.
Ryan was acquired from the Atlanta Falcons earlier this offseason in exchange for a third-round pick. Indianapolis is hoping that he will help them get over the hump as Wentz fell short in the biggest moments last season.
The Colts have a very good roster, as they should be competing for a playoff spot this upcoming season and potentially an AFC South division crown. Ryan isn’t the MVP caliber he was earlier in his season, but he is still more than capable of getting the job done. If he lives up to the comparison that wide receivers coach Reggie Wayne made of him, Indianapolis will be just fine.
Wayne, who spent his entire 14-season career with the Colts, recently compared Ryan to the quarterback he spent a majority of his career catching passes from; Peyton Manning. The two are very similar based on what Wayne has seen.
“It makes me throw up how much he reminds me of Peyton so much,” Wayne said of Ryan, via Daniel Chavkin of SI.com. “He’s the epitome of a leader. In meetings, he’s vocal. He’s trying to get connections with the receivers, trying to get extra as much as possible.”
Making that connection with his receivers will be key to the team’s success. The Colts are very young at wide receiver, with Michael Pittman Jr. leading the way and a lot of uncertainties behind him. Keke Coutee, who has four years of NFL experience, is the elder statesman in the group.
The team has high hopes for Alec Pierce, who they selected in the second round of the draft. If the Colts want to bring in another veteran, they should check in with Ryan’s former go-to man, Julio Jones.
Jones would bring experience to the wide receiver room that they are sorely lacking and he already has excellent chemistry with Ryan, as the two played together on the Falcons for 10 seasons.
Comparing Matt Ryan to Manning is certainly high praise being given by Wayne. Hopefully, Ryan can find the same level of success that Manning did with the Colts, as this is a team poised to make a run to the postseason with improved quarterback play.