The Indianapolis Colts was a team that seemed to have all the pieces put together and ended up falling short on their season goals, finishing the season at 9-8. During the offseason, the Colts picked up former Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, their fifth quarterback in five seasons. This change from Carson Wentz should be a complimentary pick-up as a veteran like Ryan in the backfield has more experience and can get rid of the ball, as long as having enough protection from the offensive line, more safely than just throwing into tight coverage and forcing an interception. Ryan will have the number one receiver in Michael Pittman Jr., who finished the season with just over a thousand yards (1,085), averaging about 13 yards per game.
Alec Pierce was one of the Colts’ draft picks, going at pick 21 in the second round from Cincinnati. He should be a surprising factor on this team this season as he lines up on the opposite side of WR 1 in Pittman. Both wide receivers are 6’3+ and fast, making it hard for opposing defenses to lock up; at least one of the two are bound to be open for either a first down or a touchdown. If Pierce can have a great connection with Ryan and free up defenders from Pittman, it could be a new dynamic duo in Indy.
As we all know, the Colts became a run-first offense with the mid-season explosion from running back Jonathan Taylor. If the entire offense can sync in with each other, that could be dangerous as the forceful backfield, and explosive receivers can space out a defense, especially a younger defense.
The AFC South is not the most challenging division to play in, but there is nothing easy in the national football league. Although the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars are a part of this division along with the Tennessee Titans, no one should sleep on a team. The Titans give the Colts a run for their money as they have won the last three matchups against the Colts, per Colts Wire. Maybe now, with a veteran quarterback and two tall, fast wide receivers, along with the running game, the Colts would have a better chance offensively to keep up with the Titans.
Getting back to the rookie receiver, Pierce, I believe with the proper guidance from the coaching staff, wisdom from the receiving core, and knowledge from Matt Ryan, he should be able to emerge and become a tremendous WR2 standout for the Colts. That way, Pittman does not necessarily have to be double-teamed all game long. It is exactly what they need. With the help of OTAs, training camp, and the pre-season games, that should be enough for Alec Pierce to get his feet wet in the NFL.
The first regular season game will be against the Texans and then week two in Jacksonville, so it may not be the first game, the first home opener for the rookie. Week three will be a different story, first game at home, and he may have more jitters, but at least by then, Pierce will have had two games of regular season professional football. Still, he gets to go in against the division rivals, which will be the perfect start to get that type of experience and feeling for those games.