(Image Credit: Jeffrey Becker/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
Well week 16 has already been a bad week for the Indianapolis Colts. Not only is RB Jonathan Taylor out for the season, but with the Jags beating the Jets on Thursday night they have officially been eliminated from the playoffs. Plus the Colts seemingly gave up with their loss against the Los Angeles Chargers 20-3. You know not only has week 16 been bad, but the entire 2022 season has been an absolute disaster for the team who a year ago was one game away from the playoffs. There are many reasons why the Colts didn't make the playoffs, but I will give three main reasons.
1. The Matt Ryan Saga was a flop
When 28-3 happened for the Atlanta Falcons, not only was it a non recovery for no only the organization, but for Matt Ryan. I have been a big fan of Matt Ryan and that man should have a superbowl ring right now, but I blame Dan Quinn who in hindsight should have been fired after that game. When watching Ryan play this season, it is clear that he is done. His arm strength is gone and cooked. It is Cam Newton level of cooked where he just can’t throw the football well or consistently anymore. When you are benched for Sam Elingher and Nick Foles, your time is done in the NFL. One thing is for sure, his tenure here was a complete flop. The QB position is the most important and it is clear that Ryan is not the guy. The worst part is that it will be very tough to get out of his contract due to how big his dead cap is. They will probably have to either do an Osweiler Effect or eat his salary for the 2023 NFL Season.
2. The Massive Regression of the Offensive Line
For many years the offensive line was their biggest strength. It is just a shame that they were too late investing in the o-line earlier, because if they did Andrew Luck would probably still be playing in the NFL today. The o-line has clearly had massive levels of regression and it showed in the big 3 with Quinten Nelson, Braden Smith, and Ryan Kelly. They all have not played that well and it affected the run game and did not help the poor QB play at all. The Colts definitely need to get help on the offensive line as it is important to succeed in the NFL.
3. The Dysfunctional Handling of the Coaching
Yeah this is an obvious one here. With all the dysfunction this team had this season, it was inevitable that the season was over. I all started with the Colts making the stunning move to fire Offensive Coordinator Marcus Brady.
Why was this sunning you ask? Well, not even a week passed and Head Coach Frank Reich was fired and now they had no experienced offensive play caller on that team.
With Reich gone and no offensive play caller, the question is who will be the interim coach. JohnFox and Gus Bradley have experience with their head coaching roles with the previous team. The Colts decided not to promote them but to hire Jeff Saturday. A former player with no head coaching experience and only had 1 season as the head coach of a high school team. Want to know something funny… Look at the tweet below.
Yep, he did not have a good record coaching in High School. Is anyone shocked that Saturday has not worked out at all as the head coach? To me no, but I tried giving him a chance and when you blow a 33 point lead, It is not a good look at all. Also, I don’t want to hear that they beat the Raiders with Saturday as a coach, that team is so poorly coached with Josh McDaniels (Should have kept Bisaccia Raiders).
The only coach that they handled pretty well is Parks Frazier who they promoted as the interim offensive coordinator.
I actually liked the move and even wrote an article on it called “Why the Colts Promoting Parks Frazier as Interim Offensive Coordinator is a Brilliant Move” He has not been the greatest offensive coordinator, but he has done a solid job with the tools that he has to work with. The point is that the dysfunction of the coaching for the Colts was too much for them to handle. It clearly was a big reason why this team did not make the playoffs.
On The Bright Side - The Colts organization has realized that things needed to change
It is a year too late, but it is clear that the Colts organization looked themselves in the mirror and realized that they needed to change. They were never going to win a Superbowl with Frank Reich as the coach and with their way they have handled the quarterback position. Something had to change long term and they already took those steps. Now the question is which QB will the Colts draft in the 2023 NFL Draft. To me that is the only option fixing the QB position, because they tried for the quick fix on Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, and Carson Wentz and that has obviously not worked. They have to try to draft and develop a quarterback this year and this is yet another QB rich draft where 4 QB’s could go in the 1st Round. I do trust Chris Ballard to make the right move, but this offseason could make or break his opportunity of having a job in 2024 as the GM of this team.