Jim Irsay Receives Criticism for Colts’ Failure in Jacksonville

Jim Irsay

Getty Owner Jim Irsay is facing some criticism following the 24-0 loss for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2.

In the first 24 hours during the aftermath of the Indianapolis Colts’ embarrassing 24-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2, members of the media have placed head coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballad on the hot seat. Other writers have called for quarterback Matt Ryan to be benched.

With those high-ranking members of the Colts organization facing scrutiny, it’s unsurprising to see Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay receiving criticism as well.

On Kevin & Query, which airs on 93.5 The Fan in Indianapolis, radio host Kevin Bowen placed plenty of blame for the current status of the Colts on Reich and Ballard. But he also argued it’s Irsay’s fault for trying to sell what may end up being rotten eggs to the Indianapolis fan base.

“This is an owner on down [issue]. Jim Irsay has treated Chris Ballard and Frank Reich that they are the greatest pairing of a GM and head coach that the NFL has ever seen,” Bowen said the morning after the blowout loss in Jacksonville. “He gave them contract extensions that were not warranted whatsoever to start last season. And from the owner extending this leash and acting like they have these decorated resumes that deserve statues next to Peyton Manning outside of Lucas Oil Stadium, he’s created this perception that everything is fine and well within his organization.

“And yet, these performances to end last season with everything on the line to go to the postseason, and now to start this year, with two of your, on paper, easier games you’ll have all season long. To have those types of performances is a disgrace.”

Everything Not Fine in Indianapolis

Bowen also repeatedly referred to the debacle in Jacksonville as “not a one-off” but rather a trend. It’s hard to disagree after the Colts have gone 0-3-1 in their last 4 games since beating the Arizona Cardinals on Christmas Day.

Three of those 4 games were against teams that owned a Top 3 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Two of the defeats were double-digit losses at Jacksonville.

Bowen’s co-host, Jake Query, pointed to the team’s unanswered offseason question marks as the most perturbing thing about the Colts’ latest loss to the Jaguars. Coming into the season, fans and members of the media questioned whether Indianapolis added enough depth at wide receiver and had a viable replacement at left tackle for Eric Fisher.

The Colts answered both of those concerns with a resounding no in Week 2. Left tackle Matt Pryor struggled mightily, as Indianapolis allowed Jacksonville to record 5 sacks and 11 quarterback hits.

Without Michael Pittman Jr. at receiver, the Colts wideouts combined for 8 catches and 126 yards versus the Jaguars. Pittman had 9 receptions and 121 receiving yards on his own in Week 1.

After 2 weeks, it certainly appears as though Ballard did not do enough to shore up left tackle and wide receiver. And Reich hasn’t done enough to maximize what the Colts do have on their roster. Ballard hyped running back Nyheim Hines weapon to be used in the team’s passing game this season, yet, in a game without Pittman, Hines only played 15 snaps.

Colts Must Fix Problems Quickly

Nothing Irsay can say now will be able to convince the Colts faithful that everything is fine inside the organization. Not while the team is on a 4-game winless streak and has been outscored this season, 44-3, excluding the fourth quarter in Week 1.

But as Reich said after the loss on September 18, the Colts will have to get “off the mat” and respond — sooner rather than later. The Colts will host the Kansas City Chiefs in their home opener during Week 3.

Indianapolis will get an injury update on Pittman later in the week. But Reich can hardly just hope that his top receiver returning will answer all of Indianapolis’ offensive concerns from Week 2.

Reich must develop a better game plan to ignite the Colts offense. It might not be a bad idea for Ballard to scour the free agent market for wide receivers either.

If what Irsay has been selling the fan base is true, then Reich and Ballard have the means to fix these problems. But don’t count Bowen among the believers that it will happen.

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