Part of the reason that the Indianapolis Colts traded for Carson Wentz was the notion that their superior offensive infrastructure could help him settle down and return to the form that almost helped him win an MVP. A big chunk of that confidence came from the fact that Indy had one of the better offensive lines in the league.
Quenton Nelson is without question the best guard in the league, Braden Smith was signed to a long-term extension and has been a top-three right tackle, and center Ryan Kelly is a Pro Bowler. At the very least, Eric Fisher figured to be average when he returned from injury, and you could do a lot worse than Mark Glowinski at right guard.
However, as proven by Harold Landry and the Tennessee Titans, all of that hype doesn’t necessarily mean Indy will be keeping Wentz’s jersey as pristinely white as it was at the start of the game. Wentz was running for his life against the Titans, and his line is to blame.
Landry generated 12 pressures by himself against the Colts, meaning that he got after Wentz on 37.5% of his snaps in Week 3. That total gave him the third-best pressure rate in a single game since Next Gen Stats has been tracking these numbers. Landry was almost historically dominant against Indianapolis.
Eric Fisher and the Indianapolis Colts need to step up.
Fisher was responsible for a good chunk of the pressure, though the lack of Smith (and eventually Nelson) in this game was evident based on how often a suspect Tennessee defense was manage to get into the backfield. Under pressure, some of the bad habits Wentz picked up in Philadelphia have popped up once again.
The Colts came into the season with plenty of questions, including the secondary depth, skill at wide receiver and along the defensive line, and, of course, Wentz’s ability to bounce back. If any part of this team figured to be a strength, it had to be either the Jonathan Taylor-led backfield or the offensive line. To this point, neither are playing as well as they did last year.
Despite the bad injury luck, part of the blame lies with the players and coaches, as giving up that many pressures from a SINGLE player is unacceptable, regardless of the circumstnces. GM Chris Ballard isn’t above reproach either — he created the lack of depth due to his inability to address the position in the draft or free agency.
The line not performing as well as the defensive struggles are two of the main reasons that Indianapolis is in this 0-3 hole. If Wentz ends up running like a chicken with his head cut off all season long, not only will the year end up being a disaster, but the offseason will certainly be nothing to look forward to if the Colts lose their first-round pick to the Eagles.