And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.-Meister Eckhart
Alright… So we’ve finally figured out who will be under center for the Indianapolis Colts this season. In doing so we see yet another new beginning for the franchise. Just yesterday Matt Ryan was traded to the Colts for the 82nd pick (3rd round). And I have got to say… I will take it. Now I know nothing about constructing a winning squad in the NFL, but I’m going to run with this straight from the gut and say I love it.
You have to think about the situation that Ballard had gotten the Colts into. Matt Ryan was the best option. An option that didn’t seem available at the beginning of free agency. I mean the Atlanta Falcons really did their franchise star for the last 2 decades dirty in this one. It seemed out of the blue that an Atlanta rebuild was presented, even though it was desperately needed. It still looked like they would ride with Matt Ryan until the wheels fell off.
Matt Ryan has been the face of the Atlanta Falcons for 14 years. While I am grateful that we have addressed our most glaring issue on the roster, can’t help but feel like Matt Ryan got absolutely dissed by the front office here. He restructured his monster contract in order to give the front office the ability to get him other guys with more cap space in good faith, and they did not reciprocate. I believe the fans of Indianapolis will welcome him with open arms and he will forget the franchise that did him dirty pretty shortly after his arrival in The Circle City.
While a 20 to 12 isn’t a great TD to Interception ratio. I truly believe that most of Atlanta’s roster is absolute doodoo stank, except the freak of nature that is Kyle Pitts and a few defensive dogs. I really believe that we may get to see sparks of Matt Ryan of old when he had a run game to open the playbook a bit. I remember when Matt Ryan had a tandem of Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman (Shout out my Hoosiers) where the Falcons offense was dominant. Yes that was with Julio Jones and Matt probably both in the prime of their careers, but then again with guys like Aaron Rodgers and Tommy Titles out there whose to say he can’t have a strong showing in this his 15th season in the NFL.
I really believe that Jonathon Taylor will open up the passing game in a way that Matt has not seen in quite some time. Of course there are still glaring needs in the passing game. But if Michael Pittman Jr. can continue to progress and we are able to find a reliable deep threat either through what’s left of free agency or the draft, we could really see something out of this squad. This year’s wide receiver draft class is pretty stacked so we may be able to pick someone up that could make an immediate impact. Although there is now a glaring hole at Tight End (barring Mo Allie-Cox stepping up to what I believe his potential could be), a deep threat to compliment Michael Pittman’s game would be exceptional in my very unprofessional, very biased opinion.
Another effect that signing Matt Ryan might have is the free agency of Julio Jones. And while even just typing that out makes me feel like I may be going a little senile, it hasn’t stopped Darius Leonard from going to recruit the Hall of Fame bound wide receiver. Darius tweeted out yesterday,
“@juliojones_11 aye man hear me out! Matt have already thrown you a lot of touchdowns in the dome in Atlanta, y’all could finish what y’all started in Atlanta in the dome here in Indy!” And yeah, a tweet may not mean much. But hey, why not kick the tires. If this is a possibility we could really see an entirely new offense in Lucas Oil next season.
I’ll be the first to admit while writing this I am getting flashbacks to when we signed Carson Wentz. This hopeful, and admittedly somewhat unwarranted optimism is an all too familiar feeling that I felt 3 times in the last 3 years. Rivers. Wentz. And now Ryan. But whatever… I bleed Blue. So I’m riding with this team for better or worse.
So all in all, I’m possibly too optimistic about what Matt Ryan had left to offer, but then again I didn’t expect Phillip Rivers to do jack in Indianapolis. And honestly I was wanting him to come back for a second season. I believe Matt Ryan to have an even better chance to make a difference in our season than Phillip did. Which is very promising in my own opinion. So I will be putting all of my chips on Matt Ryan this year. For better or worse I was born a Colts fan, an irrationally loyal one at that. So excited about this season, I’m on board wherever this may lead.