Colts’ power rankings roundup Week 8: Steady after a tough loss

The Indianapolis Colts (3-4) are nearly halfway through the regular season coming off a closer 39-38 loss to the Cleveland Browns (4-2) at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts enter Week 8 with the knowledge that the NFL made two crucial mistakes on penalties that shouldn’t have been called, leading to a loss late in the fourth quarter. However, there’s nothing they can do about that now.

There wasn’t much movement in the power rankings for Indy after the tough loss. Most analysts have them sitting in the low 20s with a few in the high teens.

Each week, we’ll round up where the Colts sit in the power rankings according to several outlets. Next to their ranking, the number in parentheses indicates the change from the previous week. A positive number means they’re moving up the power rankings.

Here’s where the Colts stand in the Week 8 power rankings:


Author: Nate Davis
Rank: 22 (+4)
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Author’s Take: “Reasons for optimism after hanging 38 points on Cleveland’s top-ranked defense with RB Jonathan Taylor posting 120 yards from scrimmage – his first time over the century mark since December 4.”

Touchdown Wire

Author: Jarrett Bailey
Rank: 19 (–)
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Author’s Take: “The Colts are like a fun fling with a cute biker girl. Are they going to break our hearts? Probably but who cares? Let’s just run red lights and smoke a pack of Camels while blaring Breaking Benjamin.”

Bleacher Report

Author: NFL Staff
Rank: 22 (+2)
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Author’s Take: “In Week 7, the Indianapolis Colts piled up over 450 yards of offense against a Cleveland defense that had barely been allowing 200 yards of offense a contest. They outgained the Browns by 150 yards.

But Indy wound up losing the game, and the reason why was simple: Four Gardner Minshew turnovers.

Minshew, who will likely be the Colts’ starting quarterback the rest of the way after rookie Anthony Richardson elected to undergo season-ending surgery, conceded after the game that it’s hard to win in the NFL when you give the ball away.

“There was a lot of good, I feel, on the offensive side and then once again just really turnovers,” he said. “I think we need to do a better job of taking care of the ball and playing complementary football.”

Colts head coach Shane Steichen echoed those sentiments.

“It all comes down to winning the turnover battle,” he said. “We’re 3-0 when we win the turnover battle. When we don’t, obviously, we’ve lost four. We’ve got to be better taking care of the football.”

With three straight coming up against teams with losing records ahead of the bye week, the Colts have time to turn things around.

However, between the turnovers and 76 points allowed the past two weeks, they are scuffling.”


Author: Stephen Holder
Rank: 22 (–)
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Author’s Take: “Young riser: WR Josh Downs

Third-round pick Downs , 22, has been consistently impressive this season, ranking third among rookie receivers in receptions (33) and receiving yards (401). He’s also showing his elusiveness as he now is fourth among rookies in yards after the catch (184). Notably, more than half of Downs’ production — 209 yards on 10 receptions — has come on third downs, where he is showing himself to be particularly dependable. Only four receivers in the NFL — not just rookies — have more yardage on third downs.”

Sporting News

Author: Vinnie Iyer
Rank: 21 (+1)
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Author’s Take: “Gardner Minshew has been a game replacement for Anthony Richardson and making a ton of fun plays as a passer and runner. But the Colts’ defense keeps showing too many key holes every week, keeping them from contending.”

Pro Football Network

Author: Dalton Miller
Rank: 18 (-1)
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Author’s Take: “The Colts battled a poor defensive performance to the very end, but it would have been nice to see them not have to face the zebras. Two very questionable calls at the end of their game against Cleveland may have been the difference between a win and a loss.

Shane Steichen can do everything for the Colts offense except take the snap and throw the ball himself. The Colts’ offensive architecture is sublime. The run game is pristine, and getting a healthy Jonathan Taylor could pay dividends for them as the season goes on if Gardner Minshew II can avoid turnovers.”

Author: Eric Edholm
Rank: 21 (–)
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Author’s Take: “It’s likely going to be Gardner Minshew the rest of the way, and boy, is he a roller coaster. Shane Steichen knew this going in, as he saw how volatile Minshew can be in a starting role during their time together with the Eagles. There was a lot of good in the loss to the Browns — two passing touchdowns and two rushing scores — but still too much bad. His four turnovers led to 17 Cleveland points, including a strip-sack TD. This comes on the heels of a four-turnover performance in Week 6 at Jacksonville. It might be time to recalibrate exactly what a successful season might end up looking like for Indianapolis, considering both the 2-1 start and Anthony Richardson’s season-ending injury. The Colts should have won this game, but the margin for error shrinks with every turnover Minshew dishes out.”

Yahoo Sports

Author: Frank Schwab
Rank: 20 (–)
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Author’s Take: “You didn’t expect to see Gardner Minshew and Lamar Jackson linked today, but here it is: Minshew joined Jackson as the only QBs in the NFL this season to have two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a game, according to Fox 59/CBS 4’s Mike Chappell. Minshew is the first Colts QB to ever pull off that feat. Minshew has some really good games, like Sunday. What’s holding him back is the bad ones, which are too plentiful.”

CBS Sports

Author: Pete Prisco
Rank: 22 (-4)
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Author’s Take: “Gardner Minshew did some good things against the Browns. But he also did a lot of bad things. That’s just what happens when he plays quarterback.”

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire