AFC Exec Sounds off on Colts: ‘An Abject Disaster’

Indianapolis Colts

Getty An AFC scouting director was highly critical of how the Indianapolis Colts after two games in the 2022 season.

One of the biggest surprises to begin the 2022 NFL season has been how poorly the Indianapolis Colts have played.

They avoided an 0-2 start thanks to a tie in Week 1, but against teams that held Top 3 picks in the draft this past spring, the Colts have been outscored by 24 points. Outside of the fourth quarter in the season opener, Indianapolis owns a minus-41 point differential.

The Colts have been inept on offense and largely lifeless on defense. Special teams hasn’t been good either. Former kicker Rodrigo Blankenship missed an overtime field goal that would have won the game in Week 1.

But interestingly, one AFC scouting director isn’t as shocked about Indianapolis’ play through 2 weeks as most would expect.

“They’re one of the most underperforming teams of the past few years,” the AFC scouting director told Heavy senior NFL reporter Matt Lombardo. “Are you really surprised?”

Colts “An Abject Disaster”

While speaking with Lombardo, the AFC scouting director continued to be highly critical of the Colts, particularly of the organization’s roster building and coaching staff.

“I guess 20 years of Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck made the organization forget how to build around ‘non’ franchise quarterbacks,” the scouting director told Lombardo. “It’s an abject disaster.”

The Colts have rolled through quarterbacks since Luck’s surprise retirement in 2019. The signal caller turnstile for Indianapolis actual dates back to when Luck began the 2017 season with a shoulder injury. The Colts haven’t had the same quarterback start back-to-back Week 1s since Luck in 2015 and 2016.

But after the 24-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 18, it’s clear that Indianapolis’ issues are more than just a lack of continuity behind center.

The scouting director carried on, calling it “a real shame” that the Colts are wasting the talent of their best players — Jonathan Taylor, Quenton Nelson, DeForest Buckner and Shaquille Leonard.

Colts Missing Matt Eberflus

The scouting director pointed to one other interesting tidbit about the Colts’ struggles.

“Losing their defensive coordinator is really showing up for them so far,” said the scouting director.

Matt Eberflus served as Indianapolis’ defensive coordinator from 2018-21. During his 4-year tenure, the Colts finished in the Top 10 in points allowed three times.

But Eberflus left to become the head coach of the Chicago Bears this season. To replace him, the Colts hired Gus Bradley.

The former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator deploys a Cover-3 scheme that features very little blitzing. The Colts didn’t blitz all that often under Eberflus either, but with Bradley as defensive coordinator of the Las Vegas Raiders last season, the Raiders were dead last in blitz percentage.

To begin the 2022 season, the Colts aren’t getting much pressure on the pocket with only 4 rushers. Through 2 weeks, Indianapolis is ranked 23rd in pressures per drop back at 14.1%.

Interestingly, Bradley seemed to realize during the second half of the first two games that the opposing quarterback was too comfortable. He appeared to call more blitzes in the second half of each game.

In made a difference in Week 1, with Kwity Paye recording 2 sacks in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans. But it didn’t help versus Jacksonville.

Bradley will try to generate more pressure on the quarterback during the Colts’ home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3.

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