Entire Indianapolis Colts organization should expect scrutiny after ugly loss to Jacksonville Jaguars – Indianapolis Colts Blog

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Sometimes things come full circle.

Two hundred and fifty-two days since the Indianapolis Colts lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in stunning fashion, knocking them out of the 2021 playoffs, the Colts are back where they started.

Sunday’s 24-0 loss to the Jaguars dropped the Colts to 0-1-1. But more importantly, it put everyone in the organization under a microscope. The results so far in 2022 seem to suggest the team hasn’t improved much, if at all, since that infamous loss in January.

There are a lot of questions right now. And if the Colts don’t produce substantial answers in a hurry, this season could turn into a referendum on everyone involved.

“Everything is evaluated, top to bottom,” admitted coach Frank Reich. “Coaches, players. I’m rated. Everyone is rated.

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That seems fitting, as coaches, players and front office decisions all played a role in Sunday’s loss.

From a coaching perspective, there was a lot to question. For example, did the Colts attempt defensive adjustments as the Jaguars effortlessly roamed the field with quick, short throws from quarterback Trevor Lawrence? The Jaguars completed 25 of 30 attempts, neutralizing the Colts’ pass rush with quick three-step drops and one-read throws. Indianapolis is in its first season under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

“Very frustrating from a passing rush perspective,” defensive end Kwity Paye said. “We try to get back there, but they just let [the ball] go. We need to create a better plan up front, maybe have a bit more movement, raise our hands, try to do everything we can to get involved because they were getting the ball out very quickly.

When asked if the issues were pattern or game related, cornerback Kenny Moore II said, “It’s a pattern upon a pattern. It’s a great question though. Why is the guy so open? »

Offensively, Reich was foiled by his former boss, Jaguars coach Doug Pederson, with whom he won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017. With Pederson, Lawrence shows greater composure and wiser decision-making than he did as a rookie last season. under Urban Meyer. Meanwhile, Reich’s offense hasn’t established consistency this season despite moving from former quarterback Carson Wentz to current starter Matt Ryan.

From the player’s point of view, failures accumulate. Take, for example, the much-vaunted offensive line that couldn’t create a clearing path for one of the NFL’s deadliest running backs – Jonathan Taylor – and repeatedly crumbled against the formidable Jacksonville defensive front.

The Colts have invested more money in their offensive line than any other team, including handing guard Quenton Nelson a record-breaking contract two weeks ago that includes $60 million in guarantees. For that, the Colts got a team effort that pressured 40% of Ryan’s 35 waivers on Sunday, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. This is the highest rate allowed by a team so far in Week 2.

A defense that has produced 33 takeaways in 2021, second in the NFL, has only managed one in two games (including none on Sunday). Even two major offseason additions, cornerback Stephon Gilmore and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, weren’t enough to turn the tide.

The role of the front office should not be overlooked in the current state of affairs. Colts general manager Chris Ballard — despite repeated questioning throughout the offseason — resisted the urge to make meaningful improvements to the team’s young and unproven wide receiver corps.

Two weeks later, that decision took center stage when No. 1 receiver Michael Pittman Jr. missed the game with a quadruple injury, and the other receivers and tight ends proved unable to overcome. his absence. Receivers who played against Jacksonville — second-round pick Alec Pierce also missed the game with a concussion — struggled to separate and make contested catches.

The decision to deploy journeyman Matt Pryor at left tackle didn’t go much better. Pryor had his hands full all day against top rushers Josh Allen and Travon Walker, the first overall pick in this year’s draft. He allowed constant pressure, including a sack-fumble from Allen.

This all comes less than a week after the Colts parted ways with kicker Rodrigo Blankenship after his missed game-winning kick in Houston in Week 1. The lack of more aggressive action to improve the kicking situation is on also in the front office.

The January loss to Jacksonville prompted owner Jim Irsay to immediately call a meeting with Reich and Ballard to demand improvements. Ballard later described it as a “chewing a–“.

On Sunday, Irsay was taken away when approached by reporters, declining to comment. But rest assured, he is watching. And whatever happens for the rest of the season will likely dictate what happens to the parties involved at the end.

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