The Indianapolis Colts must find an elite quarterback soon, or the window of opportunity will close quicker than anticipated.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay recently said that he wants to bring multiple championships to Indianapolis within the next decade, which is something the fans hear every year. Do Irsay and the front office have a commitment to making that happen, though?
There is one thing that the Divisional Round showed the entire league and it’s that you must have an elite-level quarterback to compete for championships. The Tennessee Titans recorded 9 sacks on Saturday and still lost the game to Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.
The best Divisional Round in recent history included clutch performances from Burrow, Matthew Stafford, and Patrick Mahomes. It also included near-clutch performances from Tom Brady and Josh Allen as well. There is a case that every quarterback playing in the Conference Championships is elite.
AFC is getting tougher
There is a long list of talented quarterbacks in the AFC and the list is going to continue to grow. Just last year, the AFC was a race between Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. Now there are more including Justin Herbet, Mac Jones, Burrow, and Allen. That’s six quarterbacks right there that can all but guarantee a post-season berth.
Let’s factor in mid-level quarterbacks that have a talented team around them like the Titans, Browns, and Raiders and you’re looking at a very crowded AFC. That leaves Indianapolis looking on the outside with just average quarterback play.
Colts must get better this offseason
After a long season of ups and downs, the team is in limbo at the quarterback position, again. Since Frank Reich has taken over as head coach, the Colts have started Andrew Luck (16), Jacoby Brissett (15), Brian Hoyer (1), Philip Rivers (16), and Carson Wentz (17). That doesn’t include the other six quarterbacks since Peyton Manning last suited up as a Colt.
The jury is still out on whether Wentz will continue to be the quarterback in the future. Not one person in the front office would make a statement that guaranteed Wentz of being the starter in 2022.
Wentz wasn’t awful all season, in fact, there were several key games that he did well in. Comparing the 2021 season with some of his best seasons isn’t too far off. In fact, Wentz improved a lot in just one season after coming off his career-worst. His 27 to 7 TD to INT ratio is tied for second-best in his career.
Indianapolis can’t make it by with just average or improved play, though. If the Colts want to compete for championships now, they’ll need to match (or get close to) what the Chiefs, Bills, Bengals, and many other teams are doing. So where does that leave them in 2022?