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What We Learned: Colts vs. Commanders

What did we learn from the Indianapolis Colts’ 17-16 loss to the Washington Commanders?

NFL: Washington Commanders at Indianapolis Colts Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts are 3-4-1 through eight weeks after falling to the Washington Commanders 17-16 Sunday, and as each game passes, so too do their playoff hopes.

Here’s what stood out most from the Colts’ loss to the Washington Commanders Sunday.

  • Colts’ offense continues to struggle and can’t get out of its own way

Despite a quarterback change midseason, the Colts’ offense scored just 16 points Sunday against Washington. Indy’s offense has been one of the NFL’s worst this season from an efficiency standpoint, scoring 30 points or more only once through eight games (Week 6 vs. Jacksonville). The offense’s biggest issue? Turnovers.

Far too many times this season has the Colts’ offense squandered promising drives by turning the football over inside their opponent's territory. The same was true Sunday, as both quarterback Sam Ehlinger and running back Jonathan Taylor fumbled inside Commanders’ territory.

Ultimately, Indianapolis’ offense can’t get out of its own way, and they’re not scoring nearly enough points to have sustainable success. Eight weeks in, and it almost feels like the Colts’ offense is simply what we’ve seen on a weekly basis. A change at quarterback wasn’t going to mask the deficiencies that have continued to hinder this offense all season long.

  • Despite the loss, Colts’ defense continues to do their part

Indianapolis’ defense continues to play fairly well, and the unit did so for the most part Sunday against Washington. The Colts’ defense surrendered just 17 points to Taylor Heinicke and Co. They haven’t been perfect, but the defense has certainly done its part for much of the season.

Currently, the Colts’ defense ranks inside the top ten in several major statistical categories. Indy’s defense is tied with the New York Giants for eighth-best in the NFL in points allowed per game (19.6), ninth in total yards allowed per game with 319.7, and seventh in passing yards allowed per game with 215.8, according to

Despite the overall encouraging numbers, Indianapolis’ defense did surrender an 89-yard game-winning drive that ultimately cost the Colts a victory. That’s unlike what we’ve seen from the defense this season. When the Colts needed one of their stars to make a play on defense, they ultimately came up short.