Would Colts be AFC favorite if they acquired Matthew Stafford?

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 03: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 03: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Considering how the Indianapolis Colts lost a quarterback, left tackle, and offensive coordinator in a two-week span, it’s easy to assume that Frank Reich’s squad is in line for a major regression.

However, with the news that Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is now available in trade talks, Indy has a clear path to contention.

Not only will adding Stafford keep the offense humming along, but adding him to a team coached by Reich and Matt Eberflus with a ton of cap space could make the Colts a favorite to contend for a Super Bowl.

The Colts will be very good with Matthew Stafford, but can they win a championship?

One thing Colts fans can take for granted is that they would be the betting favorites in the division with Stafford. As amazing and dominant as Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill, and the Tennessee Titans can be, they still have an incredibly porous defense, and losing offensive coordinator Arthur Smith after he took the Atlanta Falcons head coaching job could lead to an offensive regression for Mike Vrabel and Tennessee.

Unfortunately, Stafford will have to slice through an elite group of quarterbacks to get the Colts to the promised land. Not only will Patrick Mahomes be a constant threat in the AFC, but Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson remain elite, young quarterbacks in Buffalo and Baltimore, which could impede Stafford from advancing in the postseason.

The Colts need to trust the Reich-Ballard tag team to fill out the rest of the roster, getting them some stud wide receivers, a new left tackle, and some more pass rushers. if they’re able to do that, Indy’s balanced attack could be enough to help them make a deep playoff run. The Colts were Top 10 in both points scored and points allowed last year, showing that getting a star QB like Stafford and building through free agency could vault them into that elite tier. This is pretty clearly the best rushing attack the former Lion has ever had.

The AFC still runs through Mahomes, and the likes of both Allen and Jackson will present quite the challenge for the Colts. However, if they answer their quarterback question by adding Stafford and spend their cap space wisely, they should be able to overtake the Titans in the AFC South and plant themselves firmly in the Super Bowl discussion.