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PFF picks Indianapolis Colts’ X-Factor for 2024 season

Pro Football Focus picked its X-Factor for each NFL team for the upcoming 2024 season. Not surprisingly, for the Indianapolis Colts, that player was quarterback Anthony Richardson.

Here is what PFF had to say about Richardson and why they chose him:

“Richardson started right out of the gate for the Colts despite being considered an extremely raw prospect. He was lost for the season after Week 5 due to a shoulder injury after posting a 56.5 passing grade on just 107 snaps, and despite having been a prolific runner in college, he recorded only a 45.3 PFF rushing grade on 18 attempts. If Richardson can have a breakout year as both a passer and a runner, the Colts will have one of the most dynamic offenses in football.”

The ceiling for this Colts offense, and therefore the entire team, is going to be determined by how well Richardson plays this season.

In the small sample size that we saw of Richardson last season, as expected, we saw the ups and downs that come with being a rookie starting quarterback, but you could also see his growth taking place in that short timeframe, along with the big play ability he possesses.

However, in the grand scheme of the NFL, he is still a very inexperienced player with only 98 career dropbacks. Odds are there will still be growing pains this season. To what degree is the big unknown.

With that said, it’s not as if Richardson has to do this on his own either. The Colts return all five starters from an offensive line unit that ranked top 10 in yards per rush and pressure rate last season. Around Richardson at the skill positions are Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman, Adonai Mitchell, and Josh Downs.

On top of that, this will be Shane Steichen’s second season at the helm. The value of having that continuity in scheme is already being showcased on the practice field during OTAs in Richardson’s comfortability. And as has been the case at each stop for Steichen, he’s shown that he can get the most out of the quarterback position.

“I really believe Anthony Richardson can take a big leap this year for a number of reasons,” said Mina Kimes on ESPN’s NFL Live. “One, Shane Steichen confirmed last season what we all believed when he was hired from Philadelphia: he is a brilliant play-caller. Remarkably quarterback-friendly offense for Gardner Minshew despite some up-and-down play from the quarterback.”

This Colts team is still largely unproven, but the pieces of the puzzle are there for this to be a successful season for Richardson and the offense as a whole. With that said, while potential is great, it doesn’t mean much if it’s not recognized and that is what this 2024 season is all about.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire