Auditing the Colts Team Needs
The Colts traveled to the dreaded Foxborough to take on the Patriots in week eight and left utterly embarrassed by a score of 26-3. This loss would go down as head coach Frank Reich’s last with the organization, as he would receive the news that he was fired Monday morning. With change seemingly being on the horizon, countless questions are scattered across this roster, which brings us to this week's edition of “Auditing the Colts’ Team Needs”. To check out the previous installment, 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.
- Quarterback (Last Week: 1)
- Right Guard (Last Week: 2)
- Center (Last Week: 3)
- Left Tackle (Last Week: 4)
- Edge Rusher (Last Week: 5)
- Cornerback (Last Week 7)
- Punter/Kicker (Last Week: 6)
- Right Tackle (Last Week: 8)
- Tight End (Last Week: 11)
- Wide Reciever (Last Week: 10)
- Linebacker (Last Week: 9)
- Safety (Last Week: 12)
- Left Guard (Last Week: 14)
- Running Back (Last Week: 13)
- Interior Defensive Line (Last Week: 15)
This used to be a group among the best in the league, or, as some might say, they were in the "upper quartile of the top quartile". The 2022 Colts have seen regression across the board, but none as significant as this offensive line group. According to ESPN, the Colts are currently tied for the 5th-lowest run block win rate at 70% and tied for the 3rd-lowest pass block win rate at 50%. To add insult to injury, this is the highest-paid offensive line in the NFL.
The overall construction of this roster had obvious holes entering the season, as first-time starters would fill two starting positions at LT and RG. As the season has gone on, both have been revolving doors as the team has tried anything and everything to attempt to get this group on the right track. Pairing those struggles with the highly-paid LG, C, and RT all playing below their cap hit, and the Colts' offensive line has been an utter disaster. The failure up front this season has had ginormous ripple effects on the team’s performance, morale, and, for some, it has even led to them losing their jobs. First, it was Matt Ryan being benched, then offensive coordinator Marcus Brady was relieved of his duties, and most recently, the firing of head coach Frank Reich.
The team now will turn to newly-appointed interim head coach and former Colts Pro-Bowl center Jeff Saturday. Can Saturday get the former staples of this offensive line Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, and Braden Smith back to playing to the high-caliber level Colts fans are accustomed to seeing? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain, it will not be an easy task.