The Indianapolis Colts finished the 2023 season with a 9-8 record and lost a de facto AFC South Championship in Week 18 to the Houston Texans. Despite the disappointing end to the season, there is a great deal of promise surrounding the team. First-year head coach Shane Steichen immediately proved himself as a great hire, keeping the Colts competitive while navigating a ton of obstacles.
The biggest obstacles were losing rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson in Week 5 and only having running back Jonathan Taylor for 10 games, with Taylor being limited in a few of those games. Still, the Colts were able to have a very productive offense thanks to everyone else stepping up.
Everyone acknowledges that things will be even better with a healthy Richardson and Taylor for a full season, but the people probably aren’t fully grasping just how dangerous a trio of Steichen, Richardson, and Taylor will be for the NFL. The thought of Shane Steichen having Anthony Richardson and Jonathan Taylor healthy for a full season should keep the rest of the league up at night all offseason.
Anthony Richardson and Jonathan Taylor will be even scarier than people think
It’s been a while since Richardson was on the field, so it’s fair if people forgot just how exciting he was only a few games into his rookie season. He was looking really good with his arm and great with his legs. All the pre-draft concerns were null. Richardson was ripping the ball across the field with pretty good accuracy.
It also may have been forgotten how Steichen was scheming up quarterback runs. In the highlights above, you can see Richardson make a lot of cool plays, but notice the way Steichen set up the different quarterback runs. That’s a part of the playbook that wasn’t even utilized after Richardson went down. It’s also fair to assume that the majority of that portion of the playbook is untapped. It’s doubtful that Steichen unleashed everything in the first few weeks.
Now take the combination of an dynamic quarterback like Richardson and a creative play caller like Steichen, and add in an elite running back like Jonathan Taylor. The way the Colts will be able to challenge defenses next season, if healthy, should have Indy's fans beyond excited and fans of other teams terrified.
All this is to say that if you were impressed by Shane Steichen and the promise of this Colts team in 2023, you ain't seen nothing yet.