Colts’ offense has had promising flashes
Indy’s rookies Alec Pierce and Jelani Woods have certainly shown flashes for the offense thus far. Woods is primarily a red zone threat, whereas Pierce has proved WR2 status by handling the main receiving target role (8 catches and 81 yards) on a night where his position mate and bona fide WR1, Michael Pittman Jr., was being shadowed all night by one of, if not, the best cover corner(s) in the game, Patrick Surtain Jr.
This isn’t to say rookie left tackle Bernard Raimann hasn’t shown flashes, it’s just difficult remaining positive after a rather lackluster, starting debut last Thursday night. Raimann allowed five pressures and was called for four penalties, three of which came on back-to-back-to-back drives, on all third downs. To play devil’s advocate and fan bias aside, two of Raimann’s four penalties were questionable after further review. That’s not to excuse the five pressures allowed, but for a guy who was a receiver/tight end his entire football career until his sophomore year at CMU, the growing pains are expected.
Another positive for the Colts’ offense is actually its defense. Thus far, the Indianapolis defense has yet to allow a single point in fourth-quarter play. Per Will Brinson and CBSSportsHQ on Twitter, the Colts are the first team since 1995 to achieve this feat, and the only teams to ever achieve this through a season’s first six weeks were the 1934 Lions & Bears. Needless to say, the defense has certainly held up their end of the bargain, allowing the struggling Colts offense ample opportunities to come back from a deficit, each and every week.
The Colts’ turnover differential still remains one of the worst in the league at (-6), however, the defense has slowly but surely begun to return to their 2021 form, where they were second in the league in takeaways. The offensive turnovers have remained consistent in the sense they are averaging just over two giveaways per game (2.2), but if they can be more protective of the football while causing more takeaways, or even short fields, the tides will begin to turn.
The offense can’t keep playing this bad
In order for improvement, continuity and identity from the offensive line need to be revived as soon as possible. Once the offensive line issues are resolved, even to a league-average level, this offense can then begin to provide a semblance of competency. This doesn’t completely excuse Matt Ryan of his faults either, as he currently leads the league in most fumbles by four (11) and is tied with reigning Super Bowl Champion Matthew Stafford for most interceptions (7) thrown.
Turnovers absolutely need to be limited, but if the line can figure itself out, even so slightly, those turnovers will naturally come to a halt. It almost hurts trying to make sense of the fact that this team has won as many games as they’ve lost, with an offense that has been such a disappointment.
As far as what will determine an improvement moving forward, the offense simply has nowhere to go from here but up. From where it stands, the Colts’ offense is through and through the worst offense in the entire NFL. They have been the standard for what an abysmal offense consists of and even moving into 31st place for best offensive DVOA is technically an improvement. As wild as it may sound, Indy’s offense continuing to play this bad is almost unsustainable.
If they can even improve in just one area (i.e., line play, limiting turnovers/short fields, more efficiency) then the sky is the limit. They already have a .500 record through the hardest stretch of a season for a Reich-led team, who’s to say a hypothetical Colts offense that ranks 23rd in offensive DVOA isn’t a playoff team?