The Colts’ ascent into the AFC South lead is being fueled by their newfound depth.

The Colts’ ascent into the AFC South lead is being fueled by their newfound depth.


Zack Moss (21), a running back for the Indianapolis Colts, is praised by his teammates after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the second half of an NFL game on Sunday, Oct.
8 in Indianapolis in 2023.

During a timeout in the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Oct.
1, Indianapolis Colts head coach Shane Steichen, left, speaks with quarterback Gardner Minshew, right.
8 in Indianapolis in 2023.

On Sunday, October 15, while playing in an NFL football game, Indianapolis Colts running back Zack Moss evades the Tennessee Titans’ defense.
Indianapolis on August 8, 2023.

On Sunday, October 1, during pregame warmups for their NFL matchup against the Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (left) snatches the ball away from Tennessee Titans quarterback Anthony Richardson (right).
August 8 in Indianapolis, 2023.

Indianapolis Colts head coach Shane Steichen built his offense around rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson and 2021 NFL rushing champion Jonathan Taylor.


Zack Moss and Gardner Minshew both appear to be quite at ease wearing it.

The unlikely pairing of Minshew and Moss has managed to give Indy a share of the AFC South lead despite Richardson suffering his third injury in four games on Sunday and being ruled out of the matchup at Jacksonville the following weekend due to an AC joint injury in his throwing shoulder. Taylor is still working his way back into game shape after a 10-month absence.

The way they’ve played doesn’t surprise Steichen.

In reference to what he observed the previous two seasons while they were teammates in Philadelphia, Steichen said, “I think (Minshew) is an elite processor of the game.
“You know you’ve got a guy when he can process the game and make decisions fast dot.
He’s really good, accurate, and knows where to throw the ball at the right moment and location.
For us, he has been great.

The statistics are accurate

In his four appearances, Minshew has won three of them, including two in place of an injured Richardson.
He hasn’t thrown an interception and is completing almost 69 percent of his passes.

Even better has been Moss.
Even though he didn’t play in the team’s opening-round defeat to Jacksonville, Moss’ 165-yard, two-touchdown performance against Tennessee propelled him to third place among NFL rushers with 445 yards.
Additionally, with four total touchdowns, he is tied for tenth place.

For Indy (3-2), having depth is a welcome luxury.
The team tried to manage Taylor’s injuries by rotating three quarterbacks last season. The defense was without three-time All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard for 15 games, and the offensive line had trouble.
A 4-12-1 record was the outcome.

The Colts have no trouble solving problems this year.

While three-time Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly and left tackle Bernhard Raimann missed two games each due to concussion protocol, Wesley French and Blake Freeland showed they could step in and perform well.
Even with Leonard out with a groin injury, the defense managed to contain longtime foe Derrick Henry.


On Sunday’s rematch with the Jaguars (3-2), there is hope that Richardson’s right shoulder injury won’t sideline him for too long.
Within the next few weeks, Taylor’s workload will increase.
The Colts will still depend on Minshew, Moss, and other players, though, until they are back to full strength.

Kelly exclaimed, “Those guys just ran their asses off, and I couldn’t be more proud of the team overall.”.
This team is very exciting and enjoyable, and Gardner is stepping up and doing a fantastic job.

What is effective.

it’s the offensive line.
The line struggled to keep quarterbacks safe or open up lanes for Taylor last year.
The Colts are currently tied for 11th place in the league in yards per carry (4 points) and are 12th in the league in terms of sacks allowed (12), rushing yards per game (131 points), and rushing yards per attempt (4 points).



Coverage of passing.
Three-time All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins, who had eight receptions for a season-high 140 yards, repeatedly exploited Indy’s young, largely inexperienced secondary.



Josh Downs, wide receiver.
His roommate at training camp, Richardson, has a soft spot for the rookie.
On Sunday, Downs delivered with Richardson and without.
With six catches for 97 yards, his best game thus far.



Alec Piece, WR.
With his body control and capacity for contested catches, Indy’s top draft pick in 2022 showed promise last season.
He has served primarily as a ruse this season. He only caught one pass for 10 yards out of the two that were thrown his way against Tennessee.



The team was awaiting more medical data before making any treatment decisions, according to Steichen, who did not have a timeline for Richardson’s return.
The TE Mo Alie-Cox of the Colts is the most recent Colt to enter the concussion protocol.
Kwity Paye, the Titans’ DE, also missed the game due to the protocol.



The Colts snapped a seven-game home losing streak that had lasted almost a full calendar year.



The outcome of the second meeting with Jacksonville will be crucial to the divisional race.
With a victory, Indianapolis would move to 3-1 in the AFC South and reclaim first place. Minshew will make his NFL debut against the team with which he played his first two seasons.
The Colts’ defense only allows 81.06 points worth of rushing yards per game, so he’ll need Indy’s ground game to be strong.


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