The Indianapolis Colts are onto Week 2 after a disappointing 31-21 loss at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars, making it a decade since the Colts won a Week 1 game. There were some positives in the loss to build on such as the play of quarterback Anthony Richardson and the defensive effort we saw.
While scoreboard didn’t reflect how close the game was, there was definitely some room for improvement in all three phases. This article will break down what players/positions need to be more involved this week to help secure a crucial division road win in this early season.
3. Wide receiver Alec Pierce must be a factor for Colts
We thought the preseason was going to be a precursor of what was to come for the connection between Richardson and Alec Pierce. They seemed to be on the same page with each other and he seemed to be the go-to-guy on the deep ball in camp. However, on Sunday, Alec Pierce had only three targets and hauled in just one catch for five yards and was a non-factor.
Pierce will most likely be lined up against Texans DB Steven Nelson, which will give him a favorable matchup as star DB Derek Stingley Jr. should be lined up against Michael Pittman Jr. The game plan should be to get some deep shots against Nelson and try to get Pierce involved on the perimeter. The Texans injury report shows both starting safeties as questionable so they might be thin in the secondary. Richardson likes to throw the deep ball and Pierce was drafted to be our deep threat and jump ball receiver.
2. RB Deon Jackson/Running back committee has to be better
The weakest performance we have seen from the Colts running backs maybe ever. While I am not trying to pick on Deon Jackson, he was the starter last week and had a horrible outing. He finished with 14 yards on 13 carries and had two lost fumbles. He was a non-factor in the passing game, as well, with only 14 yards on five catches. The Colts leading rusher on Sunday was Anthony Richardson with 40 yards on the ground.
The running back room will look much different this week as the Colts have placed rookie Evan Hull on IR with a knee injury and it appears that Zack Moss will make his return to the field from a broken arm suffered in camp. Colts developmental back Jake Funk has been promoted to the active roster and expect him to see time this week as well. Jackson will need a better outing this week if the Colts want to help Richardson maximize his potential this week.
1. Colts need more from EDGE Dayo Odeyingbo
Everyone knows the importance of a strong pass rush and especially trying to establish that early to set the tone for not only the game but the remainder of the season. Kwity Paye got off to a great start this season on the edge. Paye accounted for four total tackles and one sack. Samson Ebukam is still learning the scheme and Tyquan Lewis is being brought back slow from his latest knee injury.
Dayo Odeyingbo has shown flashes in his career but having a strong start to his season will be paramount for him and the defense this season. He did not get off to a great start with no tackles or pressures, only contributing one deflected pass in the opener. While he doesn’t get the same playing time as his counterparts, his contributions were minimal. Being able to get Texans rookie QB CJ Stroud out of rhythm and off plan early will help keep his confidence low and an easier victory in Week 2.