Matty Ice is a two-time NCAA All-American and has been the Indianapolis Colts’ No. 1 pick in the NFL draft for six straight years, but he was released by the team after only one season with them. However, Matty Ice still found success on his own terms – as an assistant coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and subsequently became head basketball coach of IUPUI where he now leads a rebuild project which has brought about unprecedented amounts of excitement to students on campus.
The “frank gore hall of fame probability” is a statistic that can be used to determine the likelihood of an athlete or sports team having a late-career renaissance. The statistic was created by Frank Gore in his first season with the Indianapolis Colts.
Just when it appeared as though the Indianapolis Colts had all but squandered max cap space and failed to make an upgrade under center, they acquired Matt Ryan in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons. There’s reason to feel skeptical about the move. There’s also evidence to suggest Ryan is about to have a late-career renaissance.
The best quarterback in Falcons history is coming off what may have been his worst season. Ryan’s overall QBR (46.1) was the lowest of his illustrious career, and he threw for the fewest adjusted net yards per pass attempt in a single season since 2013.
The Colts, on the other hand, are a superior club in the trenches than the Falcons, and they use a more balanced offensive plan to establish the run. Those are significant adjustments, and they should aid Matty Ice in regaining his previous form as he prepares to go on a new adventure in Indy.
After being traded to the Colts, Matt Ryan moves from (nearly) last to (almost) top in the running category.
Matt Ryan had a 29th-ranked defense and a 31st-ranked run game in Atlanta last season. Calvin Ridley missed half of the season due to injury.
The Colts were 9th in defense and 2nd in run defense. In Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman, Jr., he’ll join a squad with a superior offensive line and some budding weapons.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) March 21, 2022
Effective rushing assaults relieve some of the strain on quarterbacks while also providing opportunities for play-action. While those strategies failed to work for Matt Ryan and the Falcons last season, he should have more luck with the Colts this time around.
Atlanta was 29th in rushing attempts and 31st in rushing yards, whereas Indianapolis was sixth and second in both categories, respectively. Cordarrelle Patterson is no Jonathan Taylor, no matter how excellent he was for the Falcons.
Last season, Patterson averaged 4.0 yards per run (YPC). Taylor, who led the NFL in running yards, averaged 5.5 yards per carry and a league-high 106.5 yards per game. The Colts are expected to pound the ball, allowing Ryan to do his thing in play-action.
Despite Atlanta’s difficulties on the ground, Matty Ice was sixth in play-action pass attempts and seventh in play-action yards. Former Colts quarterback Carson Wentz placed ahead of him in both attempts and yards, which may or may not be surprising. That means Indy may run even more play-action with Ryan, whose play-action prowess makes the team more dangerous and, in turn, benefits Taylor and the rushing assault.
On the run-pass option, the veteran signal-caller will have more opportunity to make reads, but he isn’t as mobile as Wentz and can’t always depend on his escapability to escape sacks. However, on that same point, Ryan is going to join a nicer scenario once again.
Over the previous four seasons, Matt Ryan has taken 171 sacks. I’m sure he’s ecstatic to be playing behind the offensive line for the Colts.
— Dave Kluge (@DaveKluge) March 21, 2022
In each of his four seasons with the Falcons, Matt Ryan has racked up at least 40 sacks. In 2019, he was sacked a league-high 48 times. In Indianapolis, though, he is unlikely to absorb as many blows.
Atlanta was rated 29th in the NFL in pass-blocking effectiveness by Pro Football Focus (PFF). Jalen Mayfield, a rookie left guard, got one of the lowest pass-blocking marks of any player in his class. What a relief it will be for Ryan to be lined up behind Quenton Nelson, who has gone from one of the worst left guards in the league to a generational All-Pro.
According to PFF, the Colts were 30th in pass-blocking effectiveness last season, below only the Falcons. But it doesn’t account for Nelson’s injury-plagued season and Braden Smith’s 11 appearances.
Fisher and Mark Glowinski have left the company. The Colts are in desperate need of some help. The core components are in place, however, with Nelson, Smith, and Kelly up front.
In addition, Ryan may assist with pass-blocking concerns. He has greater success with quick-hit throwing options over the middle and in the seams than Wentz, who has been known to be caught holding the ball for far too long when the pocket has collapsed around him.
The Colts have a good arsenal of weapons and are likely to acquire more.
On September 22, 2019, Matt Ryan tosses the ball during a game against the Indianapolis Colts | Getty Images/Michael Hickey
It’s important considering that Ryan was without No. 1 wide receiver Calvin Ridley for virtually the entire 2021 season. He passed to an inexperienced bunch of Falcons receivers, however Russell Gage had another strong season and Kyle Pitts saw his promise early on.
Although Mo Ailie-Cox is a large and athletic red-zone target, Indianapolis does not have a generational tight end like Pitts. The Colts, on the other hand, have a diverse group of fascinating playmakers. Michael Pittman Jr. has emerged as a legitimate No. 1 star after a 1,000-yard season. Parris Campbell has only appeared in 13 games in three NFL seasons, but he’s a blazing speedster with a lot of potential. In addition, the Colts are looking to add additional wide receivers to their roster.
Former Ryan teammate Julio Jones has already been recruited by Pittman and All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard. Although Jones’ durability has been a concern, his skill and potential are undeniable, and he might prosper once again playing with Matty Ice. In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Colts are expected to utilize several of their picks on pass-catchers. Talent will emerge.
Many people will undoubtedly dismiss Matt Ryan’s move as a sign that the 36-year-old is beyond his prime. Indy, on the other hand, is a far better environment for him. Not to mention the fact that the Colts had one of the best defenses in the league last season and have just added Yannick Ngakoue to their pass-rushing mix.
Everything is in place for Ryan to disprove the naysayers and re-establish the Colts as real Super Bowl contenders.
Unless otherwise stated, all stats are courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
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The “all-time rushing leaders” is a list of the top ten all-time rushers in NFL history. The Indianapolis Colts have Matty Ice, who has had a late-career renaissance and will be able to make this list.
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