3rd and Short conversion to Jack Doyle
This was literally the only play call I liked from Reich on Sunday. Down 11 and facing 3rd and 2 on Indy’s 48-yard line, Reich called a creative pass concept that left Doyle wide open for the first down on a drive that would result in a Carson Wentz’ touchdown pass to Zach Pascal. This play was vintage Frank Reich, creating confusion in the secondary and leaving the primary read wide open for an easy completion.
Where to start on this one? After yet another consistent drive to kick off the game, the Colts faced a 1st and goal on the one-yard line. When your team has the highest-paid center in the league, the best interior offensive lineman, two weapons over 6’4’’, a more than capable power back, and a mobile quarterback, you expect touchdowns and nothing less from that situation. Sure, the Rams have Aaron Donald on the inside, and he can single-handedly stuff a running play, but there are so many options to get that yard and score. On this situation, Reich called 3 consecutive inside runs, all 3 being stuffed, and then went for it on 4th down. That was the correct call in my opinion, but the play was just uninspiring, resulting in a sack and a turnover on downs. The Rams took over from their own nine-yard line and put together an easy quick drive to score, killing all the momentum the Colts had.
A few drives later, after an interception by Khari Willis, the Colts had another first and goal situation, only this time from the ten-yard line. After a quick pass to MPJ gained 7, Jonathan Taylor was once again stuffed, and facing third down, Reich called a quick shovel pass to Jack Doyle that was blown up by Aaron Donald, resulting in an interception. Two first and goals in the first half resulted in ZERO points scored. Simply inexcusable.
The trend continues from last week against the Seahawks. One drive, the Colts defense looks dominant and assertive, and the next one it just falls apart, allowing easy completions and failing to make any stops. Stafford seemed unstoppable at times, and McVay certainly won the chess match against Matt Eberflus. Cooper Kupp torched the Colts, with Kenny Moore II looking like the worst slot cornerback in the league to begin the season.
Leaving Davenport on an island several times throughout the game
Sure, no team in the NFL has a solid backup tackle, but Davenport is easily the worst there is. Through 2 games he has allowed 13 pressures and has been manhandled by every edge rusher he faced. Knowing the limitations of having such a terrible tackle, and knowing that Carson Wentz took a beating last game, why not leave an extra tight end or running back to give him a hand? The offensive line has been really bad, but some of the blame can be put on Reich for being so stubborn and refusing to give Davenport a hand, even when he was matched up against Aaron Donald.
Remember last season where the Colts running game seemed to look like an orchestrated unit moving seamlessly, generating holes at will and JT taking full advantage of them? Well, that is history by now. The Colts offensive line has not been bad on zone-blocking concepts but has been horrendous when running between gaps. Some of this will probably be sorted out once Smith returns, and Fisher is healthy enough to last an entire game, but with so much being invested in the offensive line, it is a shame how much the Colts struggle to run the ball against teams with above-average run defenses.
So far Reich has been terrible to start the season, not earning the extension he was given this summer at all. His defense is falling apart at key times and looks completely lost at other times. He has no answers to the offense's obvious shortcomings, and his situational play-calling is at an all-time worst. If the Colts are to turn this young season around, then Reich needs to get going as soon as possible, as another loss would seriously damage the Colts’ chances of making the playoffs.