With a struggling offense, the Indianapolis Colts need to design more plays that lean on the explosive strength of receiver Alec Pierce.
There hasn’t been much to celebrate about this season for the Indianapolis Colts but there have been some good things overshadowed by all of the losing. One of the few promising things about this season is Indy’s rookie class. Alec Pierce and Jelani Woods have become weapons, Bernhard Raimann is coming along as a tackle, and defensive backs Nick Cross and Rodney Thomas II both have had moments of promise.
When the Colts selected Alec Pierce with their first pick of the draft, everyone immediately highlighted his big play ability. At Cincinnati, Pierce specialized in going up over defenders for grown man snags. Everyone hoped that his go-up-and-get-it ability would translate to the NFL and that he’d make Indy’s offense more explosive. Fortunately, the skill set did translate for Pierce but the Indianapolis offense is still dull.
About once a game, the Colts throw a deep pass to Pierce and he’s often able to get some separation with his speed or jumping ability and haul in the pass. That’s why through 12 games, Pierce has 32 receptions for 510 yards and two touchdowns and has emerged as Indy’s No. 2 receiver. He is currently responsible for all of Indy’s receptions over 40 yards. However, he could probably be even more productive if the Colts utilized his skillset even more.
Colts should throw more deep balls to Alec Pierce
Currently, Pierce’s average depth of target(ADOT) is 12.5 yards. That is the highest for Indianapolis but a look around the NFL shows that number could be even higher. DeVante Parker of the New England Patriots has an ADOT of 16 yards. Gabriel Davis of the Buffalo Bills has an ADOT of 15.7 yards. Pierce’s 12.5 yards ranks 27th in the NFL. With what he’s shown, that number should be higher.
It seems like whenever the Colts do decide to throw jump balls to Pierce, he comes down with them. Considering the success rate, we should be seeing way more than one or two a game. With Indy’s offense struggling the way it is, why not get Pierce downfield more and give him the opportunity to make plays for this team? As Michael Pittman Jr. expressed earlier in the season, the wide receivers can make tough catches they just need the chance.
It’s time for the Colts to let Alec Pierce become a real jump-ball specialist in the NFL.