Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay has begged the NFL to showcase his team at home on primetime. The Colts got that opportunity last Monday night against the re-building Pittsburgh Steelers. Indianapolis continues to be unimpressive on the offensive side of the football, losing by the final score of 24-17. They move to 4-7-1 on the season and the Jeff Saturday era begins to lose its luster as he moves to 1-2 during his interim tenure. The time for a Colts tank is quickly approaching.
Matt Ryan is Done
Matt Ryan continues to disappoint as starting NFL QB. Another mediocre performance from him going 22/34 for 199 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. He also had a miscommunication fumble with Johnathon Taylor on the goal line which could have completely changed the trajectory of the game. You can argue who was at fault for it but it happened in the red zone and was unacceptable.
Also, for those keeping track, it was Matt Ryan’s 13th fumble of the season. It pulled all the momentum from the game after rookie Dallis Flowers returned the kickoff 86 yards to get them in the red zone. The offense under Matt Ryan looks archaic and predictable as it was under Frank Reich and they have zero vertical passing game. He has thrown a deep vertical ball on only 4% percent of his snaps this season. We have seen backup Sam Ehlinger in a couple starts this season, it might be time to get a second look before the season ends.
The strength of this Colts team this season has been the defense. They have not been as dominant as they were last season under now Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus but they are very respectable this season. What made them so strong last year? It was their ability to create turnovers. And this season that has been minimal and they created zero on Monday night.
They allowed rookie Kenny Pickett to control the game and they allowed 24 points to a bottom 5 offense in the league. The wideouts created too much separation on the secondary and they let the 2nd string RB (Benny Snell) have a decent day on the ground in the second half after the exit of Najee Harris due to injury.
Jeff Saturday Growing Pains
This is the first week that we really saw some growing pains with Interim Coach Jeff Saturday. Specifically in the time management department on that final drive for Indianapolis. On that final drive, where Indianapolis needed a game tying score to head to overtime, they only got off 2 plays in one minute of game clock.
The drive finished on an unsuccessful 4th and 3 throw to end the game. Saturday is not the only NFL coach that has these issues but it really stuck out considering he had all three timeouts in his pocket. With Saturday"s inexperience as a coach, a Colts tank seems more justifiable.
Is It Best for a Colts Tank?
When most NFL teams appear to be eliminated from the playoffs they quietly start to look to the future with roster and game-day decisions. Indianapolis has already fired their head coach and offensive coordinator that started the season with them in Frank Reich and Marcus Brady, respectively. Jeff Saturday has zero intention of intentionally tanking. It’s not in his nature or thought process.
However, it needs to be. The Colts fan base has been clamoring for some type of hope with a young QB to lead us back to relevancy. This team doesn’t just need a QB to solve all their problems. They also need help at pass rush and at some depth (and competition) at the offensive line. They will also look at depth in the secondary and wide receivers as well. The quickest way to get there is with a Colts tank.
The Colts should look at drafting a QB in the NFL Draft. Some great prospects will most likely be available this season. These include CJ Stroud from Ohio State, Bryce Young from Alabama, and Will Levis from Kentucky. The Colts are currently 4-7-1 and if the season ended today, they would be drafting at number 14 with multiple teams in front of them with QB needs. Those teams include Houston, Carolina, and Detroit.
In past articles, it has been discussed that the Colts are hovering around in "football purgatory" and will need to decide where they want to go. Well, that time is now, this team needs some direction. Either quietly tank the season to improve draft capital or find another solution in free agency with someone like Jimmy Garoppolo. But the Colts have seen how that "band aid" approach works with them likely to miss the playoffs for the sixth time in eight seasons.
Let us know your thoughts on a Colts tank in the comments below!
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