Jacksonville, Florida – Sometimes, everything comes full circle.
Two hundred and fifty-two days since the Indianapolis Colts lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in stunning fashion, eliminating them from 2021 after the season, the Colts are back where they started.
Sunday’s 24-0 loss to Jaguar dropped the Colts to 0-1-1. But most importantly, it put everyone in the organization under the microscope. The results so far in 2022 seem to indicate that the team hasn’t progressed much, if at all, since that infamous defeat in January.
There are many questions at the moment. And if the ponies don’t give substantive answers in a hurry, this season could turn out to be a referendum on everyone involved.
“Everything is evaluated, from top to bottom,” admitted Frank Reich, the coach. “The coaches and players. I am evaluated. Everyone is evaluated.”
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That seems fitting, as coaches, players and front office decisions all played a part in Sunday’s loss.
From a coaching standpoint, there was a lot to question. For example, did the Colts make any attempt to make defensive adjustments while the Jaguars walked up and down the field with quick, short throws from the quarterback Trevor Lawrence? The Jaguars completed 25 of 30 attempts, neutralizing the Colts’ pass rush with quick three-step drops and one-reading throws. Indianapolis is in its first season under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
“Very frustrating from the point of view of rushing to pass,” defensive end Kuwaiti Bay He said. “We’re trying to get back there, but they let it. [the ball] he goes. We have to make a better plan in advance, maybe get more movement, raise our hands, try to do everything we can to get involved, because they were getting the ball super fast.”
In response to a question if the problems are related to the schematic or to the matching, the angle appeared Kenny Moore II He said, “It’s chart upon chart. It’s a great question though. Why is the guy so open-minded?”
Offensively, he outplayed his former boss, Jaguar coach Doug Pederson, with whom he won the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017. With Pederson, Lawrence showed greater poise and made wiser decisions than he did last season. under Urban Meyer. Meanwhile, Reich’s offense has not proven consistent this season despite moving from the former quarterback Carson Wentz For current beginners Matt Ryan.
From the player’s point of view, the failures are increasing. Take, for example, the heavily promoted offensive line that couldn’t create a running lane for one of the most dangerous appearances in the NFL – Jonathan Taylor – and repeatedly collapsed against the formidable Jacksonville defensive front.
The Colts have invested more money in their offensive line than any other team, including handing over the guard Quinton Nelson A record-breaking deal two weeks ago that includes $60 million in guarantees. For that, the Colts earned a team effort that allowed pressure to hold 40% of Ryan’s 35 dips on Sunday, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. This is the highest rate allowed by any team so far in the second week.
A defense that produced 33 tips in 2021, the second-most in the NFL, only made one through two games (including none on Sunday). Up to two major off-season additions, Buck’s Corner Stefon Gilmore and defensive end Yannick NjakweIt wasn’t enough to turn the tide.
The role of the front office should not be ignored in the current situation. Colts general manager Chris Ballard – despite frequent questioning throughout the holiday period – has resisted the urge to make big promotions for the team’s young and uncertain group of pass-watchers.
Two weeks later, that decision took center stage when he was the #1 receiver Michael Bateman Jr.. He missed the match with a four-way injury, and the remaining receivers and tight ends proved unable to overcome his absence. Receivers who played Jacksonville – second round pick Alec Pierce He also missed the match due to a concussion – he struggled to separate and pick up the contested shots.
The decision to publish a journeyman Matt Prior In the left intervention it was not much better. Pryor had his hands full all day against sharp impulses Josh Allen And the Travon Walker, the #1 overall pick in this year’s draft. Constant pressure was allowed, including Allen’s palpation.
All this comes less than a week after the ponies broke up with Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship After his missed kick in Houston in the first week.
The January loss of Jacksonville prompted owner Jim Irsai to promptly call a meeting with Reich and Ballard to demand improvement. Ballard later described it as an “A-chew”.
On Sunday, Irsai was turned away when reporters called him, refusing to comment. But rest assured, he’s watching. Whatever happens during the remainder of the season will likely dictate what will happen to the parties involved when it is over.