The Indianapolis Colts fell to the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night 20-3 and are now 4-10-1 on the season. Under interim head coach Jeff Saturday, the Colts are now 1-5 and have lost five straight games. With just four wins on the season, these next two games for Indy will determine what pick they will have in this year’s draft.
NICK FOLES HAS ATROCIOUS PERFORMANCE IN DEBUT AS STARTING QB
The change at quarterback didn’t matter. Despite benching Matt Ryan and turning to another veteran in Nick Foles, Indy’s offense had another atrocious performance against the Chargers Monday night. Foles completed just 16 of his 27 passes for 143 yards with zero touchdowns and three interceptions.
Foles was sacked seven total times on the night, the second-most the Colts’ offensive line has surrendered all season. In total, Indy’s offensive line have given up 56 sacks through 15 games this season, a number the unit last gave up in 2017 when Jacoby Brissett was the starter. Indy’s offense also went 0-for-10 on third down conversions, which is the second time the offense has failed to convert on third down this season (0-for-14 against New England).
As a unit, Indy’s offense mustered just 173 total yards and averaged 3.5 yards per play. Some may point to Foles’ lack of reps with the offense as one of the reasons for his awful performance. While partially true, Indy’s offense has been awful for almost the entire 2022 season, and another sudden change at signal-caller wasn’t going to magically fix the same issues we’ve seen most of the season.
Although it’s been just one game, perhaps it’s already time to bench Foles and turn to Sam Ehlinger for the remaining two games of the season. At this point, it can’t hurt, especially if Indy wants to get a bit longer of an evaluation on Ehlinger’s potential moving forward.
COLTS’ DEFENSE (AGAIN) DOES WHAT IT CAN TO KEEP THE OFFENSE AFLOAT
Yet again, Indy’s defense did everything it could to help keep the offense afloat on Monday. The Chargers only managed to average 4.7 yards per play and converted on just 44 percent of their third-down attempts. Indy’s pass rush sacked quarterback Justin Herbert four times and recorded a forced fumble. Rookie safety Rodney Thomas III also recorded his third interception of the season.
Both running backs Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley averaged just 3.7 yards per attempt on the ground as Los Angeles rushed for a total of 101 yards on the night. In total, Indy’s defense also allowed just 20 points and held Herbert to a respectable 235 passing yards with no touchdowns and an interception.
Even the Colts’ defense has been far from perfect this season; they’ve often done their part in keeping the team in games this season. In fact, one could argue that the Colts may not even have four wins if not for late-game heroics from their defense. One of the main storylines of the 2022 season for Indy will be the offense’s inability to play complementary football while asking the defense to do far too much week in and week out..
COLTS CONTINUE TO CLIMB IN DRAFT ORDER WITH TWO GAMES TO GO
For those fans keeping track at home, the Colts currently have the fifth overall selection in the upcoming draft. With two games to go against the New York Giants and Houston Texans, Indy could potentially be picking higher, depending on the result of the final two games.
With such a high draft pick, the Colts could find themselves in a prime position to select one of the top quarterbacks in April’s draft. While Indy certainly has more questions to answer outside of the quarterback position, the route of going with different veteran each season over the last four years hasn’t produced positive results long-term.
It’s been a long season for both the players and fans, and with just two games to go, many fans are now just concerned with where the Colts will be selecting in the draft and whether or not they plan to select a young quarterback to groom to be the long-term starter for the franchise.