Indianapolis Colts’ coach Shane Steichen is a smart man. Colts’ quarterback Anthony Richardson is a confident man. Steichen was very smart to build the confidence of Richardson in week one by providing him with short passing attempts. If Richardson’s confidence continues to grow, the rest of the league will be put on notice.
The big knock on Richardson coming out of college was his completion percentage; more specifically, his poor percentage on short routes. Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars did a lot to quell those doubts. The rookie completed 65% of his pass attempts which was just a tick above the self-proclaimed “ball placement specialist” C.J. Stroud.
Richardson’s pass distribution chart tells the story of hits and misses. It also shows that things were keep close to the vest. The green is great, but where was the deep ball? The combine highlighted Richardson’s ability to air it out, and his college completion percentage showed he was more comfortable with the long ball than the short to intermediate routes.
Nothing in the above went beyond twenty yards. Nothing. Not one deep shot. Was it because it was Richardson’s first game? Maybe it was due to the fact that Richardson was the only running threat on the field that garnered even the slightest bit of respect.
Whatever the case may be, here’s hoping the Colts allow Richardson to flaunt his stuff this Sunday in Houston. The offense was anemic on third and fourth down against the Jaguars, the running game never got going, and the offense scored fourteen points. If Zack Moss is able to return, that will certainly be a boost, but the offense may need to take a few shots.
If the Ghost still suited up for the team, I would say it is a guarantee we would see some deep attempts in Houston. Those days are gone, however, so the Colts need someone else to step up to help Richardson fulfill his potential. Perhaps Alec Pierce will stop ghosting the quarterback and show up as that threat. Maybe the rookie, Josh Downs, will be the new ghost who will haunt the Texans for a decade.
Either way, I expect a few more shots in this game. This has the making of a game the Colts can certainly win, but they need to be more aggressive. Don’t do anything stupid if it isn’t there, but let Richardson take his shot. If that happens, it will be scary time for the rest of the league.