Auditing the Colts Team Needs
The disappointing 2022 season continued as the Colts fell to the Titans 24-17 after digging another 1st half hole. This brings the team to 1-2-1 on the year and now 0-2-1 in the AFC South, and now traveling to Denver to play the Broncos on Thursday Night Football. Bringing us to week three of "Auditing the Colts' Team Needs." To check out last week's piece, click HERE.
Each week I will be ranking the team's needs via positional groups. From 1, the largest need, down through the team's most established and proven position groups. I will also highlight two that stood out from the past game and discuss where the positions stand, good or bad.
The present and future are being considered when making these rankings. Each week the play of the position groups can result in a move up or down on the team needs list.
- Right Guard (Last week: 1)
- Quarterback (Last Week: 3)
- Punter/Kicker (Last Week: 4)
- Wide Receiver (Last Week: 2)
- Left Tackle (Last Week: 5)
- Center (Last Week: 9)
- Tight End (Last Week: 6)
- Right Tackle (Last Week: 7)
- Edge Rusher (Last Week: 8)
- Cornerbacks (Last Week: 10)
- Linebacker (Last Week: 11)
- Safety (Last Week 12)
- Interior Defensive Line (Last Week: 13)
- Left Guards (Last Week: 14)
- Running Backs (Last Week: 15)
This past week we saw the Colts make a change at RG from Danny Pinter to Will Fries. And we saw a much steadier play from the position and less crucial mistakes. That change was a move in the right direction for the unit, but the offensive line's play is still holding back this offense. The next change that needs to occur is at left tackle. On Sunday, the weakest link was Matt Pryor from the opening whistle to his sack that forced a field goal attempt late in the 4th that would ultimately be missed. The ideal switch would be for rookie Bernhard Raimann to be healthy enough to throw in to start at the position. Until that is the case, I believe it is in the Colts’ best interest to turn to veteran tackle Dennis Kelly.
Kelly is a better fit for the position and should be more than serviceable until the team believes Raimann is ready to be given the reigns. The move to Kelly would give the team a more consistent level of play at the position, similar to the impact we saw with Fries starting Sunday. And after seeing Pryor be pulled in pass protection, I believe the team can not wait for another second to make this move and hopefully give this offense and Matt Ryan time to make the needed plays to turn this season around.
We saw the season debut of Shaquille Leonard on Sunday cut short after a hit from teammate Zaire Franklin would end 53's day before the 1st half came to an end. Before being injured, we did see some rust from Leonard in coverage, but he was able to make his presence felt in the run game. Next to Leonard on the field during most of his snaps was not the expected Bobby Okereke but Zaire Franklin. While this was a shock to many, Sunday's outing was Franklin's best of the season. When Franklin isn't asked to have a heavy presence in coverage and can focus on the ball carrier, he has shown to be a real asset to this team.
When fully healthy, the Colts have a linebacker room led by Leonard, Okereke, Franklin, and Speed, who all have and can make large impactful plays for the team. The depth of this room has made it easier for the team to play it safe and give Leonard as much time as he needs to be back to his ordinary self. This upcoming game will be no different, as the concussion suffered in Sunday's game will keep Leonard off the field Thursday.