For all that has been invested into the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line, you would think they are at the very least ranked statistically top-10 in the NFL.
Interestingly, that is not the case. According to Pro Football Focus, in their final offensive line rankings of 2021, the Colts were outside of the top-10. The grouping of Eric Fisher, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinski, and Braden Smith were positioned at #12 in the NFL.
Mix in the crew of Matt Pryor, Chris Reed, Danny Pinter, and others sliding into replacing the starters who were either injured, out with COVID, or sidelined due to other reasons, the offensive line became a game of musical chairs last year.
At one point during Training Camp last August, the inability to stay healthy got so ridiculous on the offensive line that only the backup’s backups were available to practice for a couple days.
The offensive line’s end of year performance also left us with a pretty sour taste in our mouths in Jacksonville.
PFF also pointed out that the Colts 0-line ranked 30th in the league in pass blocking efficiency.
Of course, it’s a different story from a run blocking perspective. Jonathan Taylor doesn’t lead the league in rushing without the aggressiveness that the big guys in front of him showed. You have to give credit where it’s due.
In the grand scheme of things though, it wasn’t good enough. Now with Fisher and Glowinski out of town, Nelson’s health still in question, and Smith fighting a year of inconsistency, why should be have positive thoughts about the Colts up front heading into this season?
The offensive line will hopefully be addressed during the NFL Draft. But look at what else the Colts have to fix and bandage up. The list goes on and on for Chris Ballard. Wide receiver, tight end, cornerback, safety, defensive line (knowing him, probably), and others still have holes to fill.
What should really scare you is Pryor supposedly getting a chance at left tackle to begin the year. Look, give every guy an opportunity. But Pryor is nothing more than a stop-gap measure, a utility guy.
The New York Yankees don’t start a guy that can play seven positions in their lineup for Game 7 of the World Series. You load up the starters with the best of the best. That’s not Pryor.
And even more so, with Matt Ryan in town, the Colts will be forced to get back to the way of thinking from 2020. Philip Rivers couldn’t move in the pocket. Ryan isn’t as much of a statue. But if there was any positive to Carson Wentz, it was his elusiveness to continue plays after the pocket breaks down. The big guys up front are going to have to treat Ryan like Rivers.
If things fall apart, you’re at risk of sacks.
Until the O-line is addressed, there’s no reason to believe that things will change. Everyone around Indy will be in for a ‘Groundhog Day’ experience, reliving losses like the playoffs in Buffalo, at home against Vegas, and the end of the year purge in Jacksonville.