Last Updated on September 16, 2023 by Ed Nason
Thanks to Ed Nason for this update on the first game of the 2023 football season. Stay tuned for weekly recaps!
So close yet so far away. That was the Indianapolis Colts’ situation last week’s game as they lost their home opener Sunday 21 to 31 against last year’s division leaders the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It was easy to see the Colts just need a running game to take the pressure off Rookie QB Anthony Richardson as numbers just do not lie. The time of possession was not that one sided as the Colts had the ball just over 26 minutes to the Jaguars 33:37 minutes.
The Colts 1st round pick & Rookie Quarterback (QB) Anthony Richardson started his 1st NFL regular season game and looked surprisingly well. Despite being sacked 4 times Richardson ended the day being 24 of 37 with 223 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Jaguars’ QB 3rd year pro Trevor Lawrence had a respectable 32 attempts & completing 24 of them for 241 yards, 2 touchdowns & 1 interception.
The Colts had 65 yards rushing in the game, but Anthony Richardson had 40 of them leaving the running game a nonfactor with just 25 yards coming from the Running backs and only averaging 1.5 yards a carry. These numbers will not only get your quarterback injured but the chances of winning a game are next to nothing. Let’s hope the Colts Running back position gets fixed soon as it looks like Jonathan Taylor played his last game as an Indianapolis Colt.
Redzone numbers are another good indicator as the Colts had 3 Red zone attempts and only converted on 1. A good running game will always tip the redzone numbers in your favor as being able to close out a game by running the ball is one of the key factors of building a championship team.
Converting 3rd downs is another as the Colts were only 2 for 12 on 3rd down conversions. Obviously, that will not win games and Colts Head Coach Shane Steichen addressed this after the game. “Got to be better on third down. It wasn’t good enough. Again, it starts with myself and then fourth downs there – we’ve got to be better.”
The Colts’ defense is pointing in the right direction. Personally, I believe the shining star of the defense is 2018 7th round Linebacker Zaire Franklin. Franklin really shined last season when Pro bowl Linebacker Shaquille Leonard missed most of the year with injuries. Franklin finished 2022 season on top as he became the Colts single season record holder in tackles & finished 4th in the NFL with 167 tackles for the year. Franklin continued dominating as he is currently 2nd in the NFL with 17 after just one game.
The Colts now are focused on another division opponent as they travel to Houston Sunday to take on the Texans at NRG stadium. The Texans are also coming off a loss as the Ravens beat the Texans 25 to 9 last Sunday. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff and will be televised by Fox. If you would rather listen to the game, it is broadcast on 93.5 & 107.5 the fan.
The Colts lead the series 31-10-1 with the Colts losing the last matchup 32 to 31 at Lucas Oil Stadium week 18. The Texans also have a new Head coach, DeMeco Ryans. The Texans have come full circle as Ryans was drafted in the 2nd round by the Texans in the 2006 NFL draft. But finished his NFL career at Philadelphia Eagles as the Texans traded him in 2012.
Let’s hope the Colts get the running game fixed for Anthony Richardson’s sake as we do not want Richardson to end up like Andrew Luck. As most of you remember, Luck was beat up so much, he only lasted seven seasons. As always, Go Colts!
SOURCE: Guest column from Ed Nason