The Indianapolis Colts did a much better job protecting the quarterback in Week 6 but there’s still something hindering the offense.
Throughout the first five weeks, the biggest problem for the Indianapolis Colts was the offensive line. The line was unable to keep Matt Ryan on his feet and as a result, the offense was abysmal and Indy was struggling to win games because the team wasn’t putting up points. However, that all changed in Week 6 when Indianapolis beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-27.
Not only did the Colts score a season-high 34 points but they didn’t allow any sacks. There were still some concerns with the line on film but the Week 6 game was a step in the right direction. If the offensive line can keep playing like that, this offense and team can be promising. Let’s assume the line can keep up this performance. Does that mean all of Indy’s offensive problems are fixed? Not quite.
The offensive line wasn’t the only thing plaguing this offense in the first six weeks. Slow starts have also been problematic for the Colts offensively. Even against the Jaguars on Sunday, the offense struggled out of the gate. Until Indy can start fast offensively, the team will continue to be challenged in games.
Colts have to start fast offensively
Indianapolis enters Week 7 as the second-worst first-quarter scoring team in the NFL, averaging 1.7 points a game in the first quarter. Indy averages 6.5 points in the first half which is ranked 29th in the league. It’s evident that the team had a bad offense but even more evident that they were especially terrible to start the game.
In the second half, the Colts average 10.2 points a game, 18th in the NFL. That’s bolstered by a 12th-ranked fourth-quarter offense where Indianapolis puts up seven points a game. Watching any Indy game and it’s clear that the offense is much better late in the game. It’s like the play-calling and the players finally decide to wake up once they’re facing a deficit and time is running out.
Although Matt Ryan has been elite in late-game situations, and Frank Reich is etched in NFL history for quarterbacking the Buffalo Bills in the greatest comeback ever, winning games from behind isn’t a sustainable method. The Colts must find a way to start games fast offensively or they will find themselves in many situations where they run out of time for their comeback attempts.
In years past, starting games fast was a strength for the Frank Reich-led Colts. In the two seasons prior to this one, Indianapolis led all teams with opening drive touchdowns with 15. That was one more than explosive teams like Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. On the complete opposite end of the scale is the 2022 Colts who have zero opening drive scores this season.
Frank Reich needs to dig into his old scripts and recreate the magic that made Indy’s offense dangerous at the beginning of games. It’s great to have an offense that can climb itself out of deficits late in games but it’s even better to have an offense that never allows deficits to occur.