The Indianapolis Colts took one on the chin in Week 2. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say — even with several games still to be played in the second week of the season — the Colts looked like the worst team in the league during Week 2.
The Jacksonville Jaguars dominated the Colts in every facet on September 18 and shut out Indianapolis, 24-0. The Jaguars outgained the Colts 331-218. Quarterback Matt Ryan threw 3 interceptions and took 5 sacks.
Without wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., Ryan had limited options in the passing game. As a result, the Colts averaged only 4.7 yards per pass.
The Colts did drive the ball into the red zone twice, but by that time, it was already 24-0. Indianapolis ended both of those possesses with failed fourth-down conversions.
Even Colts head coach Frank Reich called the performance “pathetic.”
For the second straight season, the Colts will return home from a trip to Jacksonville with major questions to answer. Indianapolis made quarterback Carson Wentz the team’s scapegoat after losing to the Jaguars and missing the playoffs in Week 18 last year.
But clearly, the issues with the Colts run much deeper than Wentz or even Ryan.
Preseason Concerns Becoming Major Problems
Colts general manager Chris Ballard and head coach Frank Reich did their best to instill a confidence around the team that the organization had the right pieces at wide receiver and left tackle going into the season. But some of the media and fans remained skeptical, and their doubts have come to fruition.
Left tackle Matt Pryor has struggled in the first 2 weeks of the season. He’s not proven to be a suitable replacement for former No. 1 pick Eric Fisher.
At wide receiver, the Colts have no depth behind Pittman, who didn’t dress on September 18 because of a quad injury. Indianapolis’ leading receiver versus the Jaguars was Ashton Dulin, who is supposed to be Indianapolis’ special teams ace.
The Colts’ next leading receiver in Week 2 was Dezmon Patmon, who had just 2 catches for 24 yards.
There’s a reason why the wide receiver market exploded during this past offseason. It’s the same reason why 6 wide receivers were selected in the first 18 picks of the 2022 NFL Draft. Talented wide receivers are essential for any good NFL roster.
Teams cannot expect to win with an assortment of no-named receivers in today’s league. The Colts weren’t even competitive with the group of receivers they had versus the Jaguars.
Parris Campbell, who is in a contract season and was supposed to emerge as Indianapolis’ No. 2 passing weapon if healthy, was invisible in Week 2. He received only 2 targets and caught neither of them.
With these preseason question marks becoming major issues just 2 weeks into the season, Colts fans on Twitter ripped into Ballard and Reich for not doing a better job of addressing these concerns during the offseason.
Reaction to Indianapolis’ Shutout Loss to Jaguars
The Indianapolis brass (Ballard and Reich), Pryor, and the Colts receivers will shoulder most of the criticism for this loss, but in a 24-point defeat, there’s always plenty of blame for everyone.
Indianapolis’ failure up front was a collective effort on the offensive line. Ryan was under too much pressure, and Jonathan Taylor couldn’t find running room early.
On defense, nickel cornerback Kenny Moore II struggled again in Week 2. Multiple NFL insiders argued during the offseason that he was the best slot cornerback in the NFL.
But he’s not playing like it to begin 2022.
Several other of Indianapolis’ stars aren’t playing like stars either.