The Indianapolis Colts are focused on getting better during early downs offensively—at least if you ask veteran starting quarterback Matt Ryan (via The Athletic’s Zak Keefer):
Something Colts are focusing on at practice this week, per Matt Ryan: switching things up on first- and second-down. It's a *huge* problem right now. "We haven't been good enough," the QB said.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) October 12, 2022
Nearly half the Colts' 3rd downs this season (33/69) have been 3rd-and-7 or longer.
The Colts seem to consistently be facing 3rd and longs situationally, which isn’t ideal for an offense that has struggled in pass protection up front and specifically in allowing Ryan enough time to throw further downfield to actually move the sticks.
In these far too often re-occurring offensive sequences, the Colts become solely one-dimensional on third downs, and the opposing defense knows it, which allows pass rushers to simply tee off on an already reeling Indy offensive line.
It continues to put the Colts ‘behind the 8-ball’ so to speak when it comes to sustaining scoring drives and ultimately putting up enough points to win football games.
While there’s a narrative that the Colts are simply running it too much on first and second down, it appears as though they’re not all that much better passing the football either:
~~Week 5 statistics thread starts here~~— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) October 11, 2022
The worst passing offense on early downs is the...Rams? pic.twitter.com/5jsqHFzitM
The clear underlying issue is that the Colts have been pretty poor at either run or pass blocking all together, which of course can largely be attributed to their inability to block on early downs as well regarding either option.
In my opinion, it’s less of a run versus pass issue and more of: “Let’s simply block better.”