3 Week 1 scenarios that would be a nightmare for the Colts

Aug 27, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws a pass to warm up before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 27, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws a pass to warm up before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 3

Every season, disaster can strike at any moment. Let’s look at three Week 1 nightmare scenarios for the Indianapolis Colts.

The Indianapolis Colts have been a victim in Week 1 on numerous occasions. Victims of losing the first game of the season, losing a player to injury out the gate, etc. This year the Colts are primed and ready to change all that.

Their defense has high hopes under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and the new additions like Yannick Ngagkoue and Stephon Gilmore. Their offense has renewed energy under Matt Ryan and the rookies they drafted like Alec Pierce and Jelani Woods. However, all of this can change in an instant.

A poor outing in Week 1 or an injury to a key player could really derail this team. For a team that has Super Bowl aspirations, a nightmare scenario in Week 1 would not only set them back this season but force the team to think about the future a lot sooner. Let’s take a look at three nightmare scenarios that could happen against the Houston Texans in Week 1.

1. Colts offense struggles

I want to make note that I reference the offense and not the defense in this first nightmare scenario. Although it would be bad if the defense doesn’t perform well there are a few contributing factors that we have to consider.

One, there is a new defensive coordinator in Gus Bradley who brings in new schemes and positions that some holdover players are not accustomed to playing with or as. Two, there were several new additions to the defense through the draft or free agency. Out of 25 defensive players listed on the unofficial depth chart for Week 1, 12 are new to the team this year. That is over half of our defensive roster. Three, Shaquille Leonard may or may not play in Week 1. This will have a huge impact on the defense either way.

So back to the offense. In my opinion, it will be a bigger nightmare scenario if the offense struggles in their first outing. The first reason is the pressure that has been put on this side of the ball to succeed. This offseason, bringing in Ryan and Nick Foles at quarterback signaled that this team is looking to win. So many pieces on the offensive side of the ball are under pressure to perform well that it will be terrible if they don’t live up to the hype.

Another reason is that the receiving core has to get figured out. So far the Indianapolis front office is confident in the, rather unproven, group they have. After spending their first pick in the 2022 NFL draft on Pierce, there are high hopes that he along with a healthy Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman Jr. can create a fierce trio to contend with. If Piere and Campbell weren’t shaky enough, after them are Michael Strahan, Ashton Dulin, and Dezmon Patmon who have had flashes but nothing consistent. It is crucial that we get the passing game figured out as the running game will only get us so far as head coach Frank Reich has already alluded to.

Finally, if our offense struggles in the opener, it may signal that more time is needed for them to develop chemistry. While that is important the Colts are almost out of time for that to happen. If they can’t get in sync after a full offseason and three preseason games then it will take at least three weeks in the regular season to get there, which is about what it took last year with Carson Wentz. Looking at our schedule we face all three of our AFC South rivals in the first four weeks of the season. After Houston, we travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars. Then we host the Kansas City Chiefs before facing the Tennessee Titans at home.

Even if we beat the Texans and our offense struggles I would still consider this a nightmare scenario. Maybe not the worst but definitely something to monitor. Jacksonville goes back and forth with the Texans but if we struggle offensively against the Texans there is a good chance we lose to the Jaguars knowing our history.

Then if we still aren’t in sync on offense, our defense will have to contain Patrick Mahomes because we can’t keep pace with scoring. Then comes the Titans, who we all know is our toughest opponent in the AFC South. Therefore, Indy’s offense has to get going to start the season, otherwise, we are looking at a long road ahead.