Sure, there was that lone upset win against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3. But outside of that, there hasn’t been much to be excited about. They tied the Houston Texans in Week 1, got blown out by the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2, and lost at home to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
The Colts are now 1-2-1, good (or bad) enough for third place in the AFC South, which many projected them to win this year, and 12th overall in the conference.
As for Ryan, it’s not as if the 2016 NFL MVP has played completely horrible football in his first four games in a new uniform. But it’s not as if he’s played great, either. Thus far, Ryan has completed 66.2% of his passes (above his 65.5% career average) for 1,125 yards (4th in the NFL) with five touchdowns and five interceptions.
But Ryan is having a big problem hanging onto the football and is on pace to shatter an NFL record that nobody wants to own.
Matt Ryan is on pace to shatter the NFL single-season fumbles record
A season ago, the Colts were one of the best teams in the NFL as it pertains to turnover margin, tying for the league lead. But through four games in 2022, they’re one of the worst with a minus-six margin.
And Ryan is a big part of the problem.
As mentioned, the four-time Pro Bowler has thrown five interceptions, his most recent in Sunday’s loss to the Titans. He’s on pace to throw 21 for the year, which would break his personal worst of 17, set in 2013.
But he’s also lost three fumbles, the latest also on Sunday, which led to a Tennessee touchdown. The most he’s lost in a season is five. It was one of two fumbles on the afternoon for Ryan, bringing his season total to nine, just three shy of his personal worst of 12.
With 13 games remaining, the 15-year veteran is on pace for 38 fumbles, which would shatter the NFL single-season record of 23. Kerry Collins set the mark with the Giants in 2001, and it was matched by Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper the following season.
Ryan is certainly aware of the problem, saying after the loss that it’s been an “uncharacteristic four-game stretch” and that he needs to “protect it better” and something “I’ve got to clean up and get better at.”
The Colts and their fans need to hope those words turn into reality, or this season could slip away faster than a football out of Matt Ryan’s hands.
And he’ll need to figure things out quickly as up next for Indy is a Thursday night date in Denver with the Broncos.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference