The Indianapolis Colts lost another game, dropping their overall record to 4-6-1 on the season. This is also the first loss under interim head coach Jeff Saturday, meaning they are no longer undefeated under his leadership.
The team’s downfall has been because of the same reasons all season long. Their inability to score touchdowns and the shoddy play of the offensive line were once again big themes on Sunday.
The halftime trailing streak just continues
Last week in Saturday’s debut, the Colts broke their 11-game streak of entering halftime being behind. This week facing Philadelphia, the Colts made it two weeks in a row of going into the half with the lead. This time there is no caveat of playing a “bad” Las Vegas team. Philadelphia was the last unbeaten team and has its sights set on a deep playoff run.
Defensive consistency remains a strength
The Colts’ defense has been the strength of this team all season long. This week they were tasked with going against one of the best offenses in the league. All week long, they heard about how Philadelphia was going to be extra motivated after coming off their first loss of the season. And that Philadelphia would destroy the Colts.
Well, the game started, and the Colts’ defense did what it’s been doing all season. Playing solid defense and not giving up big plays, which were key factors coming into the game.
The defense shut down Philadelphia’s number wide receiver. A.J. Brown was held to five catches for 60 scoreless yards and one fumble. Meanwhile, their running backs were held to under 60 rushing yards. The Colts even forced Philadelphia to fumble the ball twice. Subsequently, winning the turnover battle two to one.
Indianapolis Colts’ offensive woes lead to more disappointment
All season long, the biggest problems for the Colts have been the poor play of their offensive line and not being able to score touchdowns. Coming into this game, they ranked 29th at 28.9% of their drives ending in scores. They have 15 total touchdowns on the season, 10 via the pass and five via the run.
Again, prior to this game, there are 10 NFL teams who have 15 PASSING touchdowns or more. The Colts were able to find some success this week, yet unfortunately, they still weren’t able to score more than one touchdown. After reaching paydirt on their opening drive, the first time they’ve done this since Christmas of 2021, the offense settled for field goals. And in the NFL, it’s all about touchdowns.
The other problem that cost the Colts a victory was their young linemen showing their inexperience. Bernhard Rainmann committed two penalties and was consistently beaten on speed and bull rushes. He needs to learn to anchor better and quicker. Then of course there was a crushing penalty committed by right guard Will Fries late in the game as well.
Now, both of these players will continue to get better with more experience. And in Raimann’s case, he’s still a really good run blocker. His pass blocking is the area that needs the most work, and as the team’s starting left tackle, he’s going to get a lot of attention.
Related: 2022 NFL offense rankings
Field goal kicking is still an area of concern
Earlier in the season, the Colts released Rodrigo Blankenship because he was missing field goals. Subsequently, they held tryouts for a new kicker, and Chase McLaughlin won the job. In his first game, he went two for two on field goal tries. Then the following week, he missed his first kick.
After that miss, McLaughlin went four consecutive games without a miss. Going a perfect 10/10. Unfortunately, he’s now gone three consecutive games missing at least one field goal. He’s a career 77.9% on field goals.
And looking at it a little bit closer, he’s 40/55 (72%) on kicks of 30 yards or longer. And on kicks of 40 yards or more, McLaughlin’s 29/43 (67%). Getting a better field goal kicker will be on the offseason to-do list for the team. It cost the Colts a win this week.
The Colts travel east next week to take on Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football. This will be the Colts’ second game on national TV. Hopefully, the end result is much better than their last nationally televised game.