Colts defense already looks disastrous after Week 1 loss to Jaguars

Jaguars WR Laviska Shenault Jr. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Jaguars WR Laviska Shenault Jr. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

The Colts’ defense put forth a disastrous performance in their Week 1 loss against Jacksonville on Sunday.

So much for the Indianapolis Colts starting the season off on the right foot against one of the consensus worst teams in the NFL, right?

A game in which Indy was favored by more than a touchdown ended in utter embarrassment, as the evidently tanking Jaguars pulled off a shocking 27-20 upset. While Philip Rivers did throw a costly interception in the fourth quarter, 20 points should have been enough to pull out a win against a significantly inferior Jacksonville side.

For as steady as the offense was aside from the two turnovers, the Colts defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed, allowing fearless gunslinger Gardner Minshew to complete 19 of his 20 pass attempts (!) for 173 yards and three touchdowns.

As talented as the second-year QB is, conceding a 95% completion percentage and three scores while failing to force a turnover is simply inexcusable for Indianapolis defense, which received a handful of upgrades from general manager Chris Ballard this offseason.

We hate to deliver an alarmist’s reaction after just one loss, but this had all the makings of an easy win for the Colts. If this unit couldn’t even come close to stymieing an average Jaguars offense, what should we expect from them when they face some of the better teams in the NFL?

If we learned anything today, it’s that Indianapolis will need to outscore opponents in order to churn out victories if the defense doesn’t figure something out. What’s so concerning about the loss is that the Colts won the time of possession battle by close to a six-minute margin. That’s pretty impressive when you consider how ineffective the running game was.

The fact that Rivers dropped back to pass 46 times doesn’t bode well for Indianapolis moving forward. Given the three-time Pro Bowler’s tendency to be reckless with the pigskin, it’s not entirely surprising that he tossed two awful interceptions.

It’s not like Minshew was exploiting a singular matchup all afternoon either, as no Jaguars wideout tallied more than 47 receiving yards. Much like the eye test did, that stat proves they were finding holes in the Colts’ secondary with hardly any resistance.

To make matters worse, Indy fears that running back Marlon Mack, who was removed from the game in the first half, suffered a torn Achilles, which would obviously end his season.

There are hardly any positive takeaways to be had following this upset loss, but there’s no denying that the Colts defense is already looking to be a massive issue for head coach Frank Reich and defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.

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