AFC Notes: Colts, Patriots, Titans


  • According to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones, the Colts have some internal frustrations over the lack of speed at wide receiver that’s hurting their offense. 
  • Colts GM Chris Ballard has built a tall and big receiving corps — Indianapolis has the highest average height of any team in the league — but there’s not much speed right now. 
  • Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post writes one longtime NFL evaluator who he talks to regularly thinks the Colts’ bet on QB Matt Ryan is doomed to fail, asserting Indianapolis’ offensive line isn’t good enough to cover up for Ryan’s declining skill set.
  • The evaluator doesn’t think the Colts 0-1-1 start and Ryan’s early struggles are just a learning curve in a new offense and in a new organization after his whole career in Atlanta before this point: “I’m not buying that. That’s not what I see. They got [Philip] Rivers at least a year too late. I think they did it again with Ryan. If this was a top-five line, maybe. But I don’t see this working.”
  • The Colts got a huge upset win over the Chiefs on Sunday, so that could help to spark the team to get back on track. 


Patriots QB Mac Jones hasn’t exactly picked up where he left off after a terrific first season. New England got its first win of the season last week against the Steelers but Jones had a relatively pedestrian day, throwing one interception and having another one dropped. However, he still has a ton of support from people in the building, which veteran S Devin McCourty made sure to spell out when asked if Jones was in a sophomore slump. 

“I would say, first and foremost, there’s not many people who watch football who understand how to play quarterback. No matter what,” McCourty said via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “He would be crazy if he built his career off what people write and say about him, because for one, there’s not many who have played the position at a high level and can do that consistently. You come out, you play as a rookie, you have success, it sucks to say but everyone is waiting to write bad things about you. That’s just how everything works.

“I think he knows, in this building, every guy in that locker room believes in him. Everybody in that locker room sees him as not just as our quarterback, but a captain of this team, a leader of this team.”


  • Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post writes other league executives think Titans RB Derrick Henry is beginning to decline, as his production in his past few games since coming back from a foot injury has been inefficient. 
  • The source added Tennessee’s play-action game is suffering because of it and that’s contributing to the Titans’ struggles: “They can’t run him 30 times a game anymore.”

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