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To Sustain Long-Term Success This Season, Colts Must Fix Poor Offensive Line Play

The Colts have surrendered 6 sacks and over 20 quarterback hits over in their first two games of the season.

Seattle Seahawks v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

It’s no secret the Colts’ offensive line play has been nothing short of awful to start the 2021 season.

The loss to the Rams is one that’s going to sting for some time, not just because of blown opportunities, but because their quarterback, who had been playing about as well as the Colts could’ve asked for given the circumstances, is in jeopardy of missing some time with two sprained ankles.

Indianapolis knows they had opportunities. Take the team’s first drive, for example. They were unable to punch it in from 1 yard out, and it all stems from poor execution and offensive line play.

“It’s unacceptable,” Nelson said. “We ran the ball three out of the four times. You’ve got four downs to get one yard, and we weren’t successful, and it’s unacceptable. We need to be better in that situation.”

Poor offensive line play has led to Wentz’s status for Sunday’s being unclear in a game against division rival Tennessee.

There are no excuses, though, and both Ryan Kelly and Quenton Nelson, two of the team’s Pro Bowl offensive linemen, emphasized that during their Week 2, post-game press conferences.

“After Week 1, we got Carson hit too many times that week [and] today,” Kelly said.

When the Colts traded for Wentz, the expectation was that he’d be getting far better protection than what he did during his final season with the Eagles.

So far, Indianapolis’ offensive line hasn’t provided that, as they’ve allowed Wentz to be sacked 6 times and hit over 20 times.

“We need to be better up front,” Nelson said. “He’s a great player and if we give him more time, he can play even better than he already is.”

Kelly also acknowledged the kind of punishment Wentz has taken during these first two weeks.

“There’s no hide in this league,” Kelly said. “We gotta stop it. There have been too many shots on him.”

Indianapolis’ competition doesn’t get any easier moving forward. The team knows this, and next Sunday, the Tennessee Titans, who are coming off a comeback win against the Seattle Seahawks, await them.

“Going into next week, we’re going to fix a lot of things and get back to playing Indianapolis Colts football,” Nelson said.

Put simply, the Colts have invested far too many resources along the offensive line to be playing as poorly as they have been. Whatever Indy needs to do to get things right, they better do it quickly, or these next few matchups could get ugly.