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With Jack Doyle retiring this past offseason, the Colts’ tight end room is poised to be led by 28-year-old Mo Alie-Cox. The Colts recently rewarded their four-year tenured tight end with a three-year 17.55-million-dollar contract. Alie-Cox now has the opportunity to have his best season in the NFL with a new quarterback who has previously been enamored with his tight ends. This article will explain why Matt Ryan and Mo Alie-Cox have the chance to become one of the elite Quarterback-Tight End duos in the NFL.

In his first four years with the Colts, Mo Alie-Cox amounted to 936 yards and eight touchdowns, 710 yards, and six of those touchdowns coming in the last two seasons. Alie-Cox has always played in the shadows of Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron, never allowing him to reach his full potential.

When called upon, Alie-Cox, the former VCU collegiate basketball player, has lived up to the task and performed in some big moment situations. Last year Carson Wentz went to his big tight end on multiple critical third-down situations, allowing the Colts to advance the ball, while Rivers also took a liking to Alie-Cox. While he only had five drops in his career and has made a couple of spectacular plays. In week eight in 2018, Andrew Luck threw it up to the endzone, and Alie-Cox made a remarkable one-handed catch, getting featured on every highlight reel around the NFL. This play exemplified his elite ball skills, also identifying how he had translated some of his basketball skills into his football career.

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On the other hand, the Colts finally secured their QB of the (near) future, trading for a former all-pro in Matt Ryan. Matty Ice has always done well and created bonds with his tight ends, including a five-year stint with Tony Gonzalez in Ryan’s early days in Atlanta. Don’t get me wrong, no one here is comparing Mo Alie-Cox to Tony Gonzalez, but the two have similar body types, and both can excel when carrying the ball. Gonzalez was named to the Pro Bowl in four of his five seasons in Atlanta, and following the 2012 season, he was named an All-Pro. In addition, Ryan made his first two Pro Bowls in 2010 and 2012. In recent years, Ryan has produced four straight top 10 tight-end fantasy seasons with two years of Austin Hooper and a year each of Hayden Hurst and Kyle Pitts. Pitts is an elite talent, but as the NFL has seen recently, Hooper and Hurst are nothing special. This season, Alie-Cox has the chance to be a top tight end option in fantasy and become a top overall tight end in the NFL with his blocking ability.

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Assuming the Colts do not add another free agent tight end in free agency or spend their second-round pick on one, the job is secure for MAC, with Kyle Granson the assumed backup. There are many ways Alie-Cox can be effective with Ryan, including in the play-action and especially in the end zone. Ryan has always been great on the play-action, which could terrorize offenses this upcoming season with many weapons active in the passing game on the Colts. In 2016, the Falcons had the highest yards per attempt on play-action throws with Ryan under the helm. Alie-Cox should be heavily utilized in Indianapolis on play-action, while the defense will most likely focus on star running backs Jonathan Taylor and Nyhiem Hines. MAC can do severe damage on opposing defenses, always being a big target who can run effectively and, more importantly, always leap forward and gain extra yards before being tackled with his big frame. Colts fans have always been begging for Alie-Cox to get on the field more; this will finally be his chance. Indy’s new offense with Ryan will give MAC many opportunities to gain his trust and make a handful of important plays, coming into his fifth season as a pro.

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Mo Alie-Cox has that “go up and get it mentality,” which will be crucial for Ryan, as although the Colts have a strong offensive line, Ryan will be 37 years old next season and cannot afford to be taking big shots every play. If Ryan begins to trust him, MAC can exponentially help in the passing game. It will not surprise me and other Colts fans if Ryan and Alie-Cox combine for over 500 yards and at least six or seven touchdowns in 2022-2023, given MAC’s specific skill set and Ryan’s previous history with tight ends.

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The Colts still need to provide Ryan with some more weapons but do not be surprised if Alie-Cox becomes a household name this season and relieves some stress for other Colts’ superstars on the offensive end.

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