The Indianapolis Colts didn’t play in Week 14 because of a bye week, adding a wee bit of mystery to the identity of the Week 15 starting quarterback.
The Vikings host the Colts this Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium, hoping to rebound from a humbling loss to the whippersnapping Detroit Lions, 34-23. Minnesota still needs just one win or Detroit loss to clinch the NFC North for the first time since 2017.
And according to Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday, Indianapolis knows the right man for the job in Minnesota this weekend — Matt Ryan.
Zak Keefer from The Athletic reported Monday, “Colts HC Jeff Saturday says the team will stick with Matt Ryan at quarterback heading into Minnesota on Saturday.”
Ryan, a former league MVP in 2016, has played poorly in 2022 and was even benched by ex-head coach Frank Reich before Reich was terminated. The Colts gave second-year passer Sam Ehlinger a brief look, fired Reich, and returned to Ryan as QB1.
And none of those plans has worked, as the Colts enter Week 15 with a mangy 4-8-1 (.346) record and a 3% probability of reaching the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight. And make no mistake, the win-loss total is mangy because the Colts were the fashionable pick by national NFL media to win the AFC South. The prediction was false.
Heading into last weekend, Ryan ranked around the NFL’s fifth-worst quarterback when all credibly QB metrics were blended. He’s thrown for 13 touchdowns to 13 interceptions in 11 starts, a vast departure from the worldbeater who won the MVP award in 2016 and damn near a Super Bowl.
Thankfully for Ryan and the Colts sake, the Vikings defense — pass defense especially — has been mostly horrific this season, and in particular, the last four weeks. Minnesota ranks dead last in total yards allowed to opponents and passing yards allowed, too. The Vikings defense is built to force turnovers, and when it does no such thing, it’s just a festival of ineptitude, evidenced in recent outings versus the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions.
Ed Donatell’s team has made every quarterback, regardless of talent, look like a Pro Bowler since the start of Week 10. And if Jeff Saturday gets his way Saturday in Minneapolis, Ryan will be added to the list.
The Vikings haven’t beaten the Colts in 25 years. The last time Indianapolis lost a game to Minnesota, current Minnesota skipper Kevin O’Connell was in sixth grade.
The Colts are four-points underdogs, though, entering U.S. Bank Stadium.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).