The Indianapolis Colts have been a relatively underwhelming unit offensively and this stat makes their struggles even more embarrassing.
This past season, the Indianapolis Colts had an abysmal year offensively. Since Indianapolis had been rotating through quarterbacks since 2018, the offense has never really been great but 2022 was an especially bad season. The Colts allowed 60 sacks, the second-most in the NFL, and only averaged 311.6 yards and 17 points per game, 27th and 30th in the league respectively. Indy also rotated through three different quarterbacks in 2022 and two head coaches. It was bad all around.
What really made things worse is that Indy’s offense wasn’t expected to be that bad. Sometimes, teams know when entering a season that the odds are stacked against them and it will probably be a struggle for 17 games. That wasn’t the case with the Colts. Indy entered the year with arguably the best running back in football, and had just made a trade for Matt Ryan, who started the season with high expectations. Indianapolis’ offense was supposed to be productive.
As initially stated, the offense was far from that. The fact that Indy wasn’t meeting expectations made it worse, but what made the entire situation disastrous was that Indianapolis’ offense was expensive. In fact, the Colts have had the most expensive offense over the last four seasons and don’t have anything to show for it.
Colts have been an expensive disappointment offensively
Highlighted by Warren Sharp, Indy’s offense over the last four seasons has cost $409 million, the most in the NFL. Despite that level of spending, Indianapolis hasn’t been considered a top offense. In 2019, the Colts were 25th in yards per game and 16th in points per game. In 2020, they were ranked 10th and ninth in those same categories. 16th and ninth in 2021 and 27th and 30th in 2022. So despite all of the money committed, the Colts have been a middle-of-the-pack to bad offense over the last four seasons.
The bulk of the money has been tied up in quarterbacks and the offensive line. Unfortunately, those also are the two biggest problem areas for Indy’s offense right now. The Colts have cycled through several expensive veteran quarterbacks in the last few years but haven’t found a long-term solution. Luckily, Indy will likely be drafting a first-round quarterback this year and that should help the team have continuity at QB and also allow Indy to benefit from a quarterback on a rookie contract.
The offensive line, on the other hand, isn’t as easy of a fix. Much has been made about how the Colts had the most expensive line in football despite the fact that they didn’t play like it in 2022. The unfortunate truth about that line is that it being expensive makes it hard to add new pieces to help improve. The Colts may be able to draft some linemen to help, but with three major contracts on the line, Indy will have to gamble on some guys having bounce-back seasons.
With many of Indy’s skill players on rookie contracts or low-level veteran deals, and a rookie quarterback, the offensive line will be the only expensive part of the offense next season. They will have to step up and show why they’re being paid so much. If the line can do that, the Colts will have a productive offense.