5. Winning despite the loss of Anthony Richardson
When it was announced that Anthony Richardson would be out for the remainder of the season after the first Titans’ game, fans were ready to mail it in for the rest of the year. But Indianapolis showed the league why having a strong backup quarterback is so important, and Gardner Minshew has now brought back Minshew Mania in Indianapolis.
The past couple of seasons, he had been sitting behind Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia, and fit well in this Shane Steichen offense he was so familiar with. This was a perfect match for Minshew and Steichen, which has paid dividends for the Colts and their hopes for this season.
One can only imagine if the Colts would be better, worse, or about the same if Richardson was the one under center, but at the end of the day it was quite a surprise that Minshew was able to perform the way he did. The young star from Florida will make his return in 2024 and should be the expected starter, but for now, it is Minshew time in Indy.
The Washington State product has not put up numbers that will make your eyes jump, but he has done just enough to keep this team over 500. He has started seven games and appeared in all 11, with 1972 yards, eight touchdowns to seven interceptions. So the touchdown to interception ratio has not been the best, but it has been just good enough to win games. While Richardson will be a huge piece of this offense in 2024 and beyond, it was still a pleasant surprise to see this team still winnng despite the loss.