Colts’ offensive foundation is laid out perfectly for quarterback of the future
The Colts’ offense has a lot of potential and it’s setting up their next quarterback for success.
At this point in the season it’s understandable if the Indianapolis Colts‘ offense has frustrated you to no end. The unit has largely been inconsistent and doesn’t possess any otherworldly playmakers. Watching Philip Rivers throw the ball more than 30 times per game is not what Indy fans have signed up for.
However, what’s clear is that head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni have put a system in place to help the Colts’ next quarterback of the future succeed. The foundation that’s being laid in 2020 — though painful at times — is proof of that.
The ball distribution has slowly started evolving, but it took centerstage on Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans. Assuming the Colts can bring in a No. 1 receiver during the offseason, this team is going to be dangerous once it finds out who will be calling the shots in 2021 and beyond.
Eight different receivers caught passes in this game and 10 were targeted. They all accounted for 29 receptions for 308 yards and a touchdown, with Michael Pittman Jr. leading the way with seven catches for 101 yards in a breakout performance. With so many players missing time due to injuries and logging inconsistent playing time, that’s wildly impressive.
And while the backfield is far from sorting out its issues, it’s nice to see at least one guy stepping up each and every week. On Thursday night, it was Nyheim Hines logging 70 yards on 12 carries. Against the Lions, it was Jordan Wilkins going for 89 yards on 20 carries. At home facing the Bengals, Jonathan Taylor took 12 touches for 60 yards.
Against the Titans, Indy finished with 133 yards on 29 attempts. We’ll take that 4.59 average yards per carry all day.
Once the running game comes into focus, the next Colts quarterback after Rivers’ quick pitstop will have that to lean on and build off the passing game. The coaching staff has found a way to make contributors out of so many guys we hadn’t expected, especially through the air. Nyheim Hines is lethal is a pass catcher. We’ve seen different guys ranging from Zach Pascal to Marcus Johnson to Trey Burton to Mo Alie-Cox step up and play a prominent role. And that’s not to mention the declining TY Hilton and Jack Doyle.
Nonetheless, the manner in which Indy has allowed itself to work with that many options on a weekly basis without a go-to guy or bonafide star further shows what this system is capable of. Go get that receiver, and the next QB who’s calling the shots is going to be in a great position to take this team to the next level.