Sunday, October 2, 2022

The Colts captain calls out his teammates after the Week 2 debacle

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The Indianapolis Colts, running back Nyheim Hines, called for a “soul search” after the blowout loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2.

In so many words, DeForest Buckner called for the same thing, but in a more forceful way. It sounded like Buckner challenged his teammates after the 24-point loss when speaking to the media.

“I say top to bottom, everyone needs to look at themselves in the mirror and find out,” Buckner said according to WISH-TV sports presenter Charlie Clifford.

Buckner went on, stopping short of calling Indianapolis’ eighth straight road loss to the Jaguars humiliating.

“S*** was embarrassing,” he said corresponding The Athletics James Boyd. “We got our ass full.”

It was the opposite of a great day for the Indianapolis offensive and defensive lines in Jacksonville. The Indianapolis Colts allowed 5 sacks, 5.0 tackles for loss and 11 quarterback hits.

It seemed like quarterback Matt Ryan was rushed and pressured on much of his dropbacks, and when he had time, Jaguars defenders repeatedly hit balls at the line of scrimmage. One of those batted balls at the line resulted in an interception by Ryan.

On defense, the Colts held the Jaguars to 2.6 yards per carry. But run defense was worse than those stats suggest.

Part of what allowed Indianapolis to close a 17-point deficit in Week 1 was the defense, which forced the Houston Texans to three-and-offs more than once in the fourth quarter. The Colts also recovered from a fumble to fuel the opening-day comeback.

When the Colts were 17 down against Jacksonville in Week 2, they allowed the Jaguars to control the ball for about 12.5 minutes in the third quarter. On their second possession of the second half, the Jaguars drove a 12-play drive for 92 yards in 7 minutes and 42 seconds that ended in a touchdown. Of those 92 yards, 23 came down.

Aside from Jacksonville having the majority hold, the Colts couldn’t put any pressure on Trevor Lawrence. The sophomore quarterback was comfortable all day and threw just 5 incompletions. Lawrence finished 25 of 30 for 235 yards with 2 touchdowns, no interceptions and zero sacks.

Indianapolis recorded 2 quarterback hits against Jacksonville’s 11.

Heading into the 2022 season, the Colts’ roster consisted of 3 returning Pro Bowlers on both offense and defense. It also included a new four-time Pro Bowl quarterback and former Defensive Player of the Year winner.

There’s no shortage of talent in Indianapolis. It’s that talent that head coach Frank Reich kept relatively quiet in his post-match press conference after the 24-0 defeat in Week 2.

“I think I’ve been around long enough to know that as pathetic as it was today, where that is and where we need to be, the distance isn’t that far,” Reich said during his post-game press conference. “It’s not that far because we have the boys, the players and the coaches for it.”

Reich also said “it wasn’t a good performance” from the Jacksonville team, but interestingly, Hines had a slightly different take.

“I don’t think that’s the case for us [about] Effort. It’s about execution,” Hines said.

Whether it’s effort, execution, a combination of the two, or something else, Buckner urges his teammates to help him with it, sooner rather than later. The Colts host the Kansas City Chiefs at their home game on September 25th.

Reich also said “it wasn’t a good performance” from the Jacksonville team, but interestingly, Hines had a slightly different take.

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