After a busy offseason, the Indianapolis Colts are one of the more intriguing teams coming out of the AFC South.
As it currently stands, they are slight favorites to win the division over the Tennessee Titans. It would be the first time since 2014 that the Colts stand atop the division, and if they’re going to accomplish that goal, the X-factors will have to play a major role.
The term “X-factor” gets thrown around a lot in sports. We’re going to define it as Google does. “A variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.”
The variables in this situation are players on the Colts roster. Recent history tells us how the majority of the players are likely to perform. However, some of them can be the reason the team exceeds expectations if they themselves exceed expectations. If they don’t, it could be another reason why the Colts don’t make that tier jump.
As the Colts aim to end the drought of division titles, these are the X-factors for the upcoming season:
QB Matt Ryan
Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
The quarterback position is a bit unfair to put on this list. It’s the most important position throughout the game. Of course, Ryan’s performance is going to be directly tied to the success (or lack thereof) of the team.
But it’s a bit more than that. Just as Carson Wentz was an X-factor in 2021, the same goes for Ryan. However, it’s slightly different. Where Wentz made his difference by making some shocking, jaw-dropping throws that reminded us all why he continues to get chances, Ryan needs to bring stability.
The peaks and valleys of Wentz’s game ultimately hurt the Colts in the long run. Simply based on his 14-year career, volatility shouldn’t be as big of a concern when it comes to Ryan. Stability is the key here.
With Ryan, the Colts will lean on him to make the layups. Get the ball out quickly, and let the receiving corps work with the ball in their hands….