Another new QB, familiar foe: Colts open against Texans

Andrew Luck’s retirement in August 2019 continues to have ripple effects on the Indianapolis Colts.When they open the 2022 season Sunday in Houston with an AFC South matchup against the Texans, Matt Ryan will be their fifth different starter in as many years. He follows Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz.The first three seasons without Luck have basically been the same for Indianapolis. The Colts won all three years, but not enough to make the playoffs in 2019 or 2021. Their postseason in 2020 ended in the wild-card round at Buffalo.The Colts collapsed down the stretch last season.Needing just one win in their last two games, they lost in Week 17 to Las Vegas on a last-second field goal. Then they were embarrassed at hapless Jacksonville, losing 26-11 in a game that really wasn’t that close.That ended Wentz’s year in the horseshoe helmet and brought on Ryan, who knows a little something about disappointment at the end. His 14 years with Atlanta included many highlights and a league Most Valuable Player award in 2016, the same year the Falcons famously gassed a 28-3 lead in losing the Super Bowl to New England.Ryan has brought a tremendous sense of urgency to a team that has sometimes played without it in situations where it’s most required, according to those around the team every day.”You can just feel it,” said coach Frank Reich of Ryan’s daily intensity. “He’s had that same sense of urgency every day, every week through training camp. Now it’s here, it’s nothing new. That’s the way it should be.”Ryan also inherits one of the best running backs in football, Jonathan Taylor, and one of the top offensive lines. Taylor won the NFL rushing title last year with 1,811 yards and should threaten to do the same this year with guys like Quenton Nelson blocking for him.