INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
Do not fret, we found a couple of positives from the Colts getting handled by the Seahawks, 28-16, inside of Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
What was the good and bad from the Colts (0-1) losing yet another season opener?
-Mike Strachan: You could have made a ton of money in Vegas picking Mike Strachan as the Colt with the first reception of the season. It wasn’t a headline-filled debut for Strachan, but on an afternoon with few bright spots, he was one of them. Strachan only had 2 grabs, but both came on important third-down conversions, and were not the most straightforward catches either. Let’s not forget that Strachan came into Sunday having not played a real football game in nearly two years. Yet, there he was getting a 3rd-and-4 target on the game’s opening drive and then converting another big 3rd-and-12 as the Colts tried to get back into the game in the second half. The Colts need to find more playmaking from the wide receiver position and Strachan should be a candidate to help there after a nice confidence boost from his NFL debut.
-Carson Wentz Settling In: A 252-yard day with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions is a Colts debut for Carson Wentz that I think a lot of Colts fans would have taken entering Sunday. With a middling run game and an offensive line breaking down often, Wentz did his part in trying to help the offense sustain some drives. For Wentz being benched last season, Sunday’s performance by him should definitely calm those in the camp wondering if this QB was broken for good. What really shows you how far Wentz fell as a QB is the fact that his 102.0 quarterback rating on Sunday (which is an above average number in the NFL) was his highest since December 2019. It wasn’t an All-Pro day from Wentz, but given the lack of support around him and the ample missed time from camp, he looked better than I thought he would.
-Play of the Offensive Line: It was astonishing to see the likes of Ryan Kelly and Braden Smith get blown up like they did at various points on Sunday. Sure, we knew Julie’n Davenport would have his problems, especially when the staff ineptly decided to leave him routinely on an island on third downs. Davenport gave up two sacks, both on third-downs, in 1-on-1 situations. After the game, both Frank Reich and Carson Wentz were adamant that the Colts had some communication issues that contributed to the poor trench play. Still, the Colts got owned way too often up front for their biggest strength to look like such a weakness.
-Defensive Standard: We all know Russell Wilson is a great, great player—future first-ballot Hall of Famer. But the standard of the Colts defense should not be for Wilson to have one of the greatest games of his near decade-long career. Wilson’s 152.3 passer rating on Sunday was the 2nd best of his 145-game career. Again, that is not the standard of this Indy defense wanting to go from ‘good to great.’ We can’t overlook what the defense did in Sunday’s first half, allowing an inexcusable 69-yard touchdown on a 2nd-and-20 with less than a minute to go until halftime.
-Short Yardage Execution: Bring back Jacoby Brissett! Seriously, the Colts had two major 4th-and-short snafus on Sunday that halted potential scoring drives. Blame goes all around for these issues, including the play-calling, execution in the trenches and on Wentz. When you are an offense that still needs to prove it can create big plays through the air, 14-play long drives aren’t going to lead to 7 points until you become flawless in short-yardage. That wasn’t there on Sunday.
-Week 1 Readiness: From Jim Irsay, to Chris Ballard, to Frank Reich, the continued struggles this franchise has to begin seasons starts right at the top. For Irsay, it spans over a decade, with the Colts now having lost 12 of their last 13 season openers. For Ballard and Reich it’s a refusal to play many, if any, frontline guys in the preseason, and following the same physicality script of past camps, despite not even having any offense vs. defense sessions back in the spring. For the umpteenth time, the Colts are again behind the 8-ball to start a season.