The Colts were a QB away four years ago, not now.
To answer the OPs point, I think teams ARE going to rethink “a QB away”…but in the other direction. Teams are going to start going after veterans more, because of the success of Brady and Stafford. We already saw Denver do it, and I don’t think one spectacular misfire is going to undo the effect of two SB wins.
Per PFR, the Bucs have 23 dropped passes this season. The Chiefs have 26, the Bills have 28, and the Dolphins have 29.
Brady has been pressured on 11.6% of dropbacks. The Bills are at 16.3%, the Bengals at 18.1%, the Eagles at 20%, the Chiefs at 21.1%, Dolphins at 23.8%.
I don't know, I'm not an NFL coach, but the actual MVP candidates seem to figure it out.
By no metric is this offense living up to it's potential and that's what matters.
We have a Top 5 OL, the best TE group in the NFL, the GOAT at Kicker, and Lamar Jackson. Passable or better talents at all other spots. We've produced more with a lot less at HB & WR during both Flacco & Lamar's era.
There's no reason our rushing production outside of Lamar's contributions should be this bad. We have ZERO easy or reliable offense on a team with the most dynamic QB in NFL history and a good offensive line- that's inexcusable from any angle.
Lamar is no doubt battling some regression, but he's still a better passer now than he was as a Rookie- and that offense was more consistent. 20 or more points every week. Even scored 17 against the Chargers in what was a near total collapse of the offense during the playoffs.
With one of the most injured teams in NFL history(21') we scored only 20 points or less in 8 games. This year we've already hit 5 games of 20 points or less, with five more games to go.
There's no sugar coating any of this. In the running game, Lamar's presence should be opening up clear running lanes that elevate the production of even pedestrian HBs. And in the passing game, his presence should be occupying extra attention from LBs- creating tons of exploitable space for all of our slot weapons to attack(Andrews, Likely, Oliver, Duvernay). That's how this offense has thrived since the beginning of the Lamar era, and that's how it should be working to this day.
...from dominating the AFC-South, yes. That gets them a few upsets away from the Super Bowl. I do agree their window of opportunity is closing much faster than Denver's is. They don't need Air Coryell, though; they just require a viable passing threat to prevent opponents from vaporlocking on Jonathan Taylor all game.
The Denver O-Line will begin 2023 no worse than average, with everyone returning healthy. Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy might not be elite--especially given recent quarterbacking--but they should be a decent tandem once there is a better hurler under center.
Granted, much of this is self-defining. A top 16 QB raises the level of receiver play and protection (e.g. with quicker release times and crisper execution) while freeing up stud RBs to run wild.