Designed runs for Anthony Richardson
Anthony Richardson becomes the 2nd QB ever with 3+ rushing TDs in their first 2 career games pic.twitter.com/uQ9cW3AovM— Pro Football Reference (@pfref) September 17, 2023
I mean just look at it, it’s beautiful, so well executed, and Michael Pittman Jr. said in his interview that this play has been “ Shane Steichen’s baby all week long.” How good it must feel to think and practice a play all week long and then gameday comes and the play is run and executed to perfection, resulting in a touchdown. AR5 needs to do a better job at protecting himself, but the designed runs for him are an invaluable asset to the offense right now, and Steichen knows how to use his legs to perfection.
Adaptability for Gardner Minshew
Despite losing their starting quarterback on the first quarter of the game, the Colts’ offense did not skip a beat, and continued pouring it on the Texans, scoring two consecutive touchdown drives with backup Gardner Minshew at the helm. Minshew is probably the exact opposite of Anthony Richardson, so it speaks wonders of Steichen’s adaptability and gameplanning that the offense managed to adapt so fast and still function. It also helps that Steichen already coached Minshew in the past.
Engineered pressure on C.J. Stroud
Stroud is going to be an amazing NFL quarterback. The accuracy and touch he showed throwing anywhere on the field impressed me, and he already built a nice connection with Nico Collins and Tank Dell. Having said that, like every rookie quarterback, he has some very exploitable flaws, and Stroud’s is that he gets easily rattled in the pocket. Gus Bradley clearly ran the defense trying to exploit that flaw and making Stroud as uncomfortable as he could in the pocket, either with stunts or delayed blitzes. Stroud’s numbers look much better than they actually were because of the final three drives that the Colts were playing prevent defense, but if you take away those drives (which I know is not fair but just play along) Stroud finished the game 18/28 for 148 passing yards and a touchdown.
Pass protection and quick throws
Steichen clearly analized what went wrong last year, and he quickly realized that the quarterback needed to get the ball out faster. Through the first two weeks, which I know is a small sample size, the Colts’ quarterbacks have averaged 2.45 seconds to throw the ball, while last year with Ryan it was at 2.95. This has clearly helped the offensive line out in pass protection, and area where they struggled a lot last season and was one of the main reasons the team crumbled as it did.
What is there to criticize about the Colts’ gameplan versus the Texans? If I get really nitpicky I could say that I did not like the prevent defense called in the 4th quarter, but overall I am really happy with the way the game went, and have no concerns with Steichen and his coaching staff at the moment.