Frank Reich Hot Seat Meter: 55% (Getting hot in here)
I challenge you to mention one good decision, or one sign of proper game-management or preparation for the Colts on Sunday. There literally was not a single thing I can point out as a positive from this game, and the fact that Reich said in the post-game conference that they were “not good enough” is not correct at all, as that term implies that there is at least something good, which there was not.
Entire game preparation
From the get-go, the Colts just looked outcoached, outplayed, and outhusled by the Jaguars. Keep in mind this is not the Chiefs or the Bills we were going up against, but the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are fresh off a loss against the Washington Commanders, and have just one winning season over the past 14 years. Sure, the Colts were missing MPJ, Shaquille Leonard, and Alec Pierce, but that is still no excuse for them to go out and play the way they did. Every single thing was horrible to watch (except for the punting and Jonathan Taylor). Matt Ryan looked terrible, the wide receivers and tight ends could not make a single play against the Jaguars’ secondary, the offensive line allowed pressure even when going 5-on-3, the defensive line pressured Lawrence on just 3 of his 30 passing attempts, the linebackers could not make plays, and the secondary allowed just too many easy completions. Overall, just a terrible performance, and one that definitely starts warming Frank’s seat.
Giving JT just 9 touches, especially not giving JT the ball inside the opponet’s 5-yard line on 1st down.
How can you justify giving your MVP caliber running back just 9 carries throughout the game when your top two passing weapons were out with injuries? Just inexcusable stuff from Frank Reich. Sure, the Jaguars crowded the box every single play and the Colts’ receivers were just not making the plays (are you happy with the group now Ballard?), but just single-digit carries is absurd. There was one sequence were it was even more infuriating: after a flag on first down, the Colts had 1st and goal on the Jags’ 4-yard line, what did the offense do? Incomplete pass to Mo Allie-Cox, sack allowed by the Colts. offensive pass interference on Parris Campbell, short pass to Nyheim Hines, and then an incompletion to Mike Strachan... just terrible all around. And just to mention the number, the Colts are now 2-7 in the red-zone, a great job by the so called “offensive mastermind” in Frank Reich.
Not adjusting the pass defense to take away the short quick passing attack
This has been a repeating issue for the Colts’ defense, as the short quick passing game continues to kill them. The Jaguars took advantage of the lack of adjustments the Colts made on the defensive side of the ball, and just continued dinking and dunking driving down the field. Lawrence finished the game with an 83.3% completion rate, and the Colts’ pass-rush did not get even close to putting him under pressure. A terrible showing by the pass defense, and the matchup against the Chiefs looms large on the horizon.
Pass protection schemes
What is up with the offensive line? A week after playing terribly against the Texans, they go out and allow Matt Ryan to get massacred to the tune of 5 sacks and 11 quarterback hits, while opening up very little running room for Jonathan Taylor. There were several times where the Jaguars ran simple stunts and got a free clear shot at Ryan. This is the highest paid offensive line in the NFL, and the talent is very clearly there, but either because of the players, or because of the coaches, this unit is just not performing.
Not kicking at least one field goal late in the game
This is perhaps the most picky complain this week, but I would have liked the Colts to kick some field goals late in the 4th quarter, as the game was already lost. Instead of continuing exposing Matt Ryan, just taking the points and being done with out seemed like the proper choice. You get a decent chance to assess your new kicker, you avoid getting shutout, and you take some pressure off your new quarterback on what was a very bad day for him.