clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Steichen’s Best/Worst Decisions: Week 1 vs. Jaguars

Reviewing the Colts’ coaching staff most important decisions made during the game

Jacksonville Jaguars v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

New year and new head coach to criticize! This is a space where we judge the decisions made by Colts’ head-coach Shane Steichen during and before the game, and as always we try to judge the decisions not solely on the result, but also on whether the reasoning behind it seems adequate or not. For example, if the Colts go for it on 4th and 1 and Ryan Kelly fumbles the snap resulting in a failed conversion, one cannot place the blame for that on Steichen. Also, as clarification, this is judging Steichen and the entire coaching staff, so Gus Bradley and Bubba Ventrone are included too.

Best Decisions

Easing Anthony Richardson in

I did not mind the overly conservative play-calling at times, to avoid throwing too much too soon to Anthony Richardson. I really liked how Steichen seemed to fully grasp the situation and the fact that, no matter how mature he is, this is a 21-year old quarterback with just 13 college starts. Steichen allowed AR to get in a rythm with quick, easy throws, and also called some run plays for him. There were not that many deep passing concepts called, but I assume that is because the Jags play a defensive scheme that takes those away and the lack of a running game allowed Jacksonville not to crowd the box. Confidence is really important for rookie quarterbacks, and I liked that Steichen is allowing Richardson to build his before complicating things for him.

Defensive Gameplan

Trevor Lawrence semed really uncomfortable on Sunday, as the Colts not only managed to pressure him but also never gave him any open deep throws to exploit. Lawrence’s two biggest passing plays were perfect throws, as the defense led by Gus Bradley forced him to be in order to beat them. Once again the defense suffered from a sub-par offensive performance, so do not let the 31 points allowed fool you, this was once again a solid unit, and I particularly liked the defensive line rotation.

Worst Decisions

Overly aggressive on 4th downs

There were two particular instances where I did not like the calls to go for it. The first one was on 4th and 1 in the Jaguars’ 16-yard line with the game tied at seven early in the second quarter. Steichen called a quarterback sneak, something that might have worked wonders with the Eagles’ interior offensive line and Jalen Hurts, but it was not the case yesterday. The second one was the next drive, after the defense forced a quick three and out, the Colts got the ball back in the Jags’ 48-yard line. On 4th and 4 at the Jags’ 42, instead of kicking the field goal (the highest paid kicker in free agency should be able to make a 59-yarder in a dome) the Colts went for it and once again failed to convert. The Jaguars scored on the ensuing drive taking advantage of a tired defense.

Not signing a veteran running back (more on Ballard than Steichen)

Deon Jackson and the rest of the Colts’ running backs really helped a certain running back’s case yesterday. Jackson got just 14 yards on 13 carries and lost two fumbles, in what was one of the worst performances from a running back I have seen in my life. Considering just how bad Jackson was, one has to wonder what is the final score of the game if the Colts had Kareem Hunt or Leonard Fournette back there next to Richardson. Hindsight is always 20/20, but if the team will continue relying on Jackson, Hull, and Funk for the next three games before Taylor can play again, then the running game will be almost non-existent.