Auditing the Colts' Team Needs
The Colts fell at Jacksonville 24-0 and now sit at 0-1-1. As the team hits what feels like an all-time low during the Ballard-Reich era, now is the time to audit the roster. 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.
- Wide Receiver
- Tight End
- Edge Rusher
- Right Guard
- Left Tackle
- Right Tackle
- Interior Defensive Line
- Left Guards
- Running Backs
There has been a lot of discussion about the lack of production coming out of the receiver room after Michael Pittman Jr. (for a good reason), but the tight end group as a whole has been even worse. The departure of Jack Doyle, who many in and out of the locker room called “ol’ reliable,” has left a massive hole still waiting to be filled. Through two games, only two TEs have recorded a catch; Mo Alie-Cox and Kylen Granson. The two have combined for eight catches, 14 targets, 73 yards, and 0 touchdowns. On Sunday, the duo could only combine for three catches and ended up with 23 yards and a missed opportunity in the red zone as Cox couldn't get his 2nd foot down for a potential touchdown.
Additionally, rookie Jelani Woods hasn't appeared ready for NFL action as his snaps are still heavily limited. He is primarily used in blocking situations as he’s yet to receive his first target. For the team's passing game to elevate, the tight end room has to step up and be the security blanket for Matt Ryan on 3rd downs and in the red zone.
One of the largest disappointments so far for the Colts this season has come from the pass rush department, or lack thereof. Indianapolis hasn't seen a consistent pass rush presence since Robert Mathis retired. This season seemed poised to be the year the pass rush returned to Indianapolis, but so far, you would assume no moves were made through two games.
The team has three total sacks on the season, two of which came from 2nd-year edge rusher Kwity Paye on a single possession. Newcomer Yannick Ngakoue has been very quiet to begin the 2022 campaign. The Colts traded ascending CB Rock Ya-Sin, a former 2nd round pick, to the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason for Ngakoue. Ngakoue had the fortune of reuniting with his former DC Gus Bradley but hasn't been able to pick up where the duo left off in Las Vegas. If this team is going to bounce back from their awful start to the year, the pass rush must cause offenses havoc and begin to help out their secondary by causing constant pressure.