What does a successful NFL debut look like for Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson?

The Indianapolis Colts will kick off their 2023 campaign against the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday. What should we expect from rookie QB Anthony Richardson in his first career start?
Indianapolis Colts v Philadelphia Eagles
Indianapolis Colts v Philadelphia Eagles / Michael Owens/GettyImages

After months on end of gritty preparation, the 2023 fourth-overall pick Anthony Richardson is ready to take the field as the third-youngest starting quarterback in NFL history. Indianapolis Colts fans nationwide have been waiting in anticipation to watch Anthony Richardson take the reins of a reconstructed Colts team.

While Richardson has faced criticism across the league for being inexperienced, he has stayed poised, positive, and persistent throughout the entire offseason. The 21-year-old was named as a team captain last week, showing how much trust and respect he has earned within the Colts' organization.

Looking ahead to this weekend's matchup, the Colts will play their AFC South rival in the Jacksonville Jaguars to open the season. A divisional matchup as Richardson's first NFL game only adds more pressure, but the rookie isn't phased.

"Pressure is for the unprepared."

Colts QB Anthony Richardson

Richardson has shown composure and confidence on and off the field, with his preseason performances showing glimpses of his potential to become a star quarterback in the NFL.

What would a possible stat line for Anthony Richardson look like?

Against a mediocre Jaguars defense, Anthony Richardson has an opportunity to put up solid numbers in his NFL debut. A likely stat line would look something like this:

50-60% completion rate 200-250 passing yards 1-2 passing touchdowns 1-2 interceptions 8-10 rushes 50-80 rushing yards 0-1 rushing touchdowns

While some of these numbers may be on the more optimistic side, it still displays what many would consider a successful game for the NFL's youngest current starting QB. If Richardson can produce nearly 300 yards of offense, the Colts' organization would be more than pleased after a disastrous 2022 season.

Thankfully, Colts fans have set the expectations low for this team. What's most important for this organization is game-by-game improvement, and every minute on the field will help towards this goal. This team has an unmatched energy compared to years prior, and a never quit attitude is imperative to push towards a successful future.

Should we judge Anthony Richardson based only on the numbers?

Richardson is guaranteed to make mistakes in his first game, but does it really matter? Every rookie quarterback in NFL history has their bad moments, and former Colts legends Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck were no different. In his first season in 1998, Manning led the league in interceptions by throwing 28 on the year.

Don't be surprised if Richardson turns the ball over often throughout the season. Fortunately, turnovers can slowly fade away with game experience and improved decision making as the year goes on. A veteran offensive line will need to protect Richardson as best as possible to avoid errant decisions being made by the rookie.

No matter the result, the Colts' organization is taking a step in the right direction every day. A young team melding together throughout the season will show their chemistry as the games go by, and improvement is the ultimate goal for Indianapolis this season.