Let’s start with the silver lining… the Colts played the Rams down to the wire and the Rams may very well end up representing the NFC in the Super Bowl next year.
The bad news is that while Carson Wentz had another game that was good or slightly better than that, he had a catastrophic red-zone interception that was compounded by a nasty leg injury that could put him back on the sidelines for a while. He may well be good enough to lead the Colts to a playoff berth but he needs to get healthy and get some help from Frank Reich and the offensive line to make that happen.
What is arguably the most frustrating part of this Colts team two weeks in is that the defense was supposed to be the sure-fire strength. Yet, the Rams easily drove the field for much of the game. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp is good, really good. But he caught nine passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. No team hoping for the defense to be its identity can be so blatantly abused by a player like that.
The Colts entered the season with the expectation that the linebacker pairing of Darius Leonard and Bobby Okereke could be one of the best units in the NFL. Okereke had fewer tackles than corners T.J. Carrie and Kenny Moore, and safety Khari Willis.
The offensive line, lauded as one of the best in the NFL, allowed three sacks for a second straight week. The running backs averaged less than 3.5 yards per carry.
It’s encouraging to think about what Carson Wentz might be able to do with a consistently clean pocket and a group of offensive weapons who are capable of getting open. In this one, he had three receivers with multiple receptions and the second leading receiver in the game was veteran tight end Jack Doyle. This group needs more time practicing together and now they’re unlikely to get it.
Second-year receiver Michael Pittman Jr. had 123 receiving yards on eight receptions. Good for him and a good sign for the development of a receiving weapon. Mike Strachan didn’t catch a pass – pity. Parris Campbell missed yet another game, shocking. Zach Pascal is the most reliable offensive receiving weapon on the team — or maybe Jack Doyle — scary? No matter the case, it’s not a ringing endorsement of where the offense stands.
Jonathan Taylor must be more involved in the offensive game plan. Run the damn ball must show up again. Wearing down opponents can happen but not when you’re back combine for 21 carries.
The Colts do have enough talent on both sides of the ball to be competitive. They need to get and stay healthy in order to unlock their potential. Neither seems likely at this point.