After the way the 2023 regular season went, there’s no doubt that the Indianapolis Colts are one of the most promising teams in the league. Shane Steichen, in his first year as a head coach, led Indy on an incredible turnaround and had the team one win away from the postseason. That was all accomplished while facing several obstacles.
One of the biggest obstacles that the Colts had to overcome was losing rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson. Even with Richardson missing most of the season, he had quickly shown the league enough for everyone to be excited about his return to the lineup. With what Richardson was able to do when healthy plus what Indianapolis did over the entire season, the Colts are undoubtedly one of the most promising teams in the league. However, not everyone sees it that way.
Bill Barnwell, in a recent piece for ESPN, wanted to determine which of the 14 teams with starting quarterbacks on a rookie deal have the best chance to win a Super Bowl in the next three seasons. Barnwell separated the teams into three groups: when rookie quarterback contracts go wrong, is this the right quarterback, and a ranking of the top six teams.
The Colts didn’t make the ranking section. Instead, they were listed under the is-this-the-right-quarterback category.
Not everyone is sold on the Colts’ future
To be fair, Barnwell acknowledged that Indianapolis has a lot going for itself and that Richardson career got off to a promising start. Still, the fact that Richardson only played in four games, sustaining an injury in three of them, lands them in this category. Barnwell does say teams in this group have guys that could possibly be superstars and could put the league on notice.
It’s an understandable take, but that doesn’t mean that it’ll be readily accepted by Colts fans. That’s especially the case since a team like the Chicago Bears was placed in the ranked group. There’s a great deal of people that believe Shane Steichen with a healthy Anthony Richardson, along with the rest of the quality players in Indianapolis, could make the Colts contenders as soon as next season. Of course, everything will be settled on the field.