They don’t have enough offensive weapons, and they . Jersey from linchao's blog

This season was a blast to be a Colts fan , taking us on a ride down the stretch that most could not have expected. In many ways, good coaching and game planning alleviated the need to have top talent in many areas, and allowed the Colts to succeed despite some holes in the roster. With the offseason at hand, it is time for the team to begin the postmortem of this season, looking deeply at all the places they failed or performed below expectations. The front office will then set to work identifying ways to improve on their areas of need both in free agency and the draft. With the right additions, this team could be really good in the coming season.Here are the top team needs for the 2019 season: Wide ReceiverPhoto by Tim Warner/Getty ImagesThe Colts got the opportunity to see first-hand how big an impact an elite group of skill position players can make an offense in their road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. While they have a top receiving threat in T.Y. Hilton, they really have very little behind him both in terms of talent, and also in general in terms of bodies under contract. Ryan Grant and Dontrelle Inman will be unrestricted free agents this offseason, and I would expect to see Grant walk after a disappointing season. With Deon Cain set to return from an ACL tear, there is hope that he could step into a role as the number 2 wide receiver to T.Y. Hilton, but it would be foolish to assume that he can. While he looked incredible during training camp, he didn’t see real game action outside of his brief preseason play before injury, and he’ll be coming back from a significant injury which will likely hamper him to some degree. The Colts will be likely to address the receiver position both in free agency and the draft. It would also make sense for them to attempt to re-sign Dontrelle Inman, who really came on late in the season as a reliable weapon. If they manage to hit on a pickup and have Cain be as good as he looked to start the offseason last year, all the better.Defensive LinePhoto by Bob Levey/Getty ImagesWhile the Colts had a stout front seven against the run, they’ll be losing a couple key players and will need to look at replacements. Both Margus Hunt and Al Woods will be free agents this offseason, and with both men at 32 years old, it is tough to see Chris Ballard re-signing them. If there is one thing you can count on, it is that Ballard will continue to invest in the defensive and offensive lines, as he has repeatedly talked about the importance of winning in the trenches. There is always speculation about getting someone like DeMarcus Lawrence through free agency, but in a league where pass rush is at a premium, it is tough to see Dallas letting him go. Much of the rest of the free agent class of defensive linemen are on the back end of their career, meaning that Ballard will likely look to the draft to replenish talent while possibly signing another Denico Autry , a role player who is a good fit for the Colts’ scheme. Additionally, Jihad Ward, who played 6 games for the Colts before heading to IR, is a free agent and it would not be surprising to see the Colts re-sign him.We should expect both the edge rusher and interior defensive linemen to be a major draft priority for the Colts this offseason.SafetyPhoto by David Eulitt/Getty ImagesMalik Hooker, George Odum, and Ahmad Thomas are the Colts’ only safeties who will be under contract to start the 2019 season at present. That means there are going to be some tough decisions ahead for them. Clayton Geathers and Matthias Farley are strong locker room leaders and are still relatively young, both are 27, but neither is a standout safety. There are some intriguing prospects on the market in free agency at the safety position, including Eric Reid, Kenny Vaccaro, and most notably, Landon Collins. It is my opinion that if Landon Collins actually hits free agency, the Colts should do whatever they can to bring him in. Pairing Collins and Hooker in the Colts safety room would make it one of the nastiest safety tandems in the NFL. Were I Chris Ballard, I would then go ahead and re-sign Geathers and Farley to be an incredibly talented backup duo. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a player picked up in the middle rounds of the draft to fill a safety position either.CornerbackPhoto by Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesAt the beginning of the 2018 season, many might have put this position at the very top of the list as the Colts’ most prominent need. While it is still definitely a position in need of significant upgrade, the breakout season for Kenny Moore and an incredible back half of the season for Pierre Desir has alleviated the pressure to upgrade immediately at corner. Additionally, Quincy Wilson came on as the season progressed, and showed that there might yet be hope for him as a starter in this defense. Having said all that, there is certainly a need to add blue chip talent to this cornerback group. Pierre Desir will be a free agent, and while they’d like to retain him, at 28, they need to be considering adding new young players who can grow and develop in this system. There isn’t really an all-star cornerback who will be a big draw in free agency, so I’d look for them to re-sign Desir and invest in a player through the draft to fill out this room in the long term. Tight EndPhoto by Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesSeeing the tight end group listed here might be a bit of a surprise. Jack Doyle will likely return healthy , and Eric Ebron had a career year. Mo-Alie Cox really came on as a blocker toward the end of the season and is still a very raw prospect as well. The position looks like a relative strength for the team. However, Jack Doyle will be entering a contract year, and will be 29 to start the season. He very well could be re-signed and play for several more years, but the Colts would be wise to be looking for his long-term replacement. Eric Ebron proved that while he is a deadly red zone weapon, he simply will never be a dominant tight end in the way that someone like Travis Kelce or Rob Gronkowski are able to be. Getting Doyle back to pair with Eric Ebron will make this group a dynamic one, but given Frank Reich’s tendency to use lots of heavy packages and multiple tight ends, it would be almost surprising not to see the team draft one. ConclusionThe good news for the Colts is that their areas of need line up really well with strengths of this year’s draft class. That is GM Chris Ballard’s preferred means of roster replenishment, and it seems as though the talent is going to be there for him to pull from. In fact, according to The Draft Network, interior defensive line, edge defender, and wide receiver are the deepest positions in this draft. That is great news for the Colts, and if they can have another draft class like the one they had in 2018, we can expect another really fun year.Colts vs Texans: Breaking down the drive that doomed the Colts The Colts lost a close one at home to the Houston Texans yesterday and yet again, the offense was to blame. While the defense certainly can’t be let off the hook for allowing so many points on the board for the Texans, they were often facing adverse circumstances, and the Texans were the recipients of good field position for much of the game. However, it was ultimately the offense which doomed this game. As many will point out, rightly, you don’t win or lose a game on one play, or usually even a series. But there are certainly impactful series late in games that can steal a win for the team, even if you didn’t play like you deserved one earlier in the game. This was just such a game. The Colts looked abysmal on offense early in this game, giving up a touchdown due to a botched snap , letting the Texans defense dominate the line of scrimmage and get a lot of hits on Andrew Luck. The receivers were inconsistent, not getting separation, and dropping passes when they did. And penalties. 10 of them for 85-yards by game-end.Still, with all that bad, the Colts found themselves in overtime, driving with a chance to win the football game. So let’s take a look at that drive and what caused it to fail.The drive started on a positive note, with a pass to Ryan Grant for a quick first down. Getting that first down right out of the gate is big, because this offensive thrives on a rhythm and flow and when you are keeping the defense in first downs, it forces them to face a lot more possibilities as far as what kind of plays you can call. Hindsight is 20/20, but if Grant spins outside after his catch instead of inside, he has a chance to break a big gain here. Otherwise, hard to be mad about a 12-yard gain to start your drive. The next play is another good one, with Luck hitting Eric Ebron on the left sideline for a 9-yard gain. Despite the quick strike bringing up 2nd and short, it also saw Ebron leave the game hurt. That would prove significant in the very next play. Foresight not factored in, the Colts had gotten another very good gain and had time to spare. Here is where we see the drive begin to fall apart. Injuries had already taken their toll, with T.Y. Hilton missing with hamstring and chest injuries. Now the loss of Eric Ebron chipped away yet another offensive weapon. Reich dialed up a run for rookie Nyheim Hines, who was having a solid game receiving, though he had not been very effective running the ball. Hines easily gets the first down, but Mo-Alie Cox is flagged for holding. This one was not a good look. It is tough to blame Cox on this play, as he gets matched up with Jadeveon Clowney one-on-one. There probably isn’t a tight end in the NFL who is winning that matchup, but the Colts put their recently-brought-up-from-the-practice-squad tight end up against him. If Eric Ebron is in the game, maybe this doesn’t happen. I’m not saying that he blocks Clowney any better, but his presence in the game demands some respect for him Youth Ryan Kelly Jersey , and he opens up plays that might have caused the Colts to run a different look. Hard to know, but just another way injuries are taking their toll on this team.Regardless, just like that the Colts see their momentum stall. 2nd and short was suddenly 2nd and 11, without any real weapons to go to. It was at this point that Quenton Nelson decided it was time to have his worst play in a Colts uniform. This is hyperbole on my part, because I haven’t watched every snap of Nelson’s in depth, but based on Brett Mock’s great breakdowns, I feel pretty confident it is at least in the top 2. The Texans use Clowney’s insane athleticism to stunt inside and although Nelson passes off his man effectively, he is in no way prepared for Clowney. His feet look like they’re in concrete blocks and he cannot get them under him as Clowney seems to pretty effortlessly shove him aside and run free to Luck for a huge sack. This is a killer. On a drive where the Colts absolutely have to have points to get a win, two consecutive plays have them moving the wrong direction. There are no plays designed to work well on 3rd and 21, so at this point the Colts are in a tough spot. Most teams would go to their playmaker on the field and try to get them free in space to hopefully pick up the yards. With T.Y. Hilton, Eric Ebron, Jack Doyle, and Marlon Mack all hurt either before the game or during the course of it, the list of “playmakers” was pretty woefully thin. The play they dialed up got the ball to Mo-Alie Cox on a short pass, and he was somehow able to make a man miss and take it for 17 yards, getting the Colts in a 4th and 4 at their own 43-yard line. If he hadn’t held and started this offensive slide in the first place, Cox nearly redeemed himself (Again, not all on him, Clowney is a beast).That brings us to the team’s most controversial set of downs. The Colts head to the line in a clear attempt to draw the Texans offsides. It wasn’t inherently a bad call, because they had bitten on Luck’s hard count several times earlier in the game. However, it was a pretty obvious ruse, and one that didn’t pay off. The Texans didn’t bite, and the Colts burned a timeout. The problem here is that the Colts planned to go for it. Punting the ball here was settling for a tie or a loss. There was almost no chance of getting a win once they kicked the ball away Womens Rigoberto Sanchez Jersey , especially given the time remaining. They were planning to go for it no matter what. However, by calling a timeout instead of coming to the line to run a play, they wasted the element of surprise. The Texans were clearly not going to jump offsides. That meant that the Colts were not likely to get immediate penetration into the backfield because the defensive line were going to play tentatively at least until the ball was snapped. Fear of jumping offsides was working in their favor. Once they called the timeout and then came back to the line with their offensive personnel, there was no question that they would be going for it. This was a major mistake on the part of Frank Reich. It is easy to forget at times, that he is still a rookie head coach. This is the second instance in two weeks where that has shown up in his game management. Last week it was a missed challenge, this week in his timeout call. Let me be clear on my own opinion, I loved that the Colts went for it. But the timeout was a big mistake.So with the game on the line, the Colts drew up a short pass to Chester Rogers. He runs a short comeback and finds himself beyond the line to gain, but an incredible play by J.J. Watt gets a hand on the pass. It is almost imperceptible unless watching the play in slow motion (which I did several times). The ball is clearly touched and changes its trajectory, falling short of Rogers and ending the Colts’ hopes for a win. As I said before, I liked this call. The Colts didn’t want a tie. They aren’t a contender this season. They don’t have enough offensive weapons, and they have too much youth and inexperience at every level, including coaching, to expect to compete for a championship. Even if they make the playoffs this season, they aren’t likely to go far. However, they have a very young roster that is being developed into the core of what this Colts team will be going forward. We have suffered since 2012 under the direction of a coach who was the master of the participation trophy. Frank Reich and Chris Ballard have come here to build a team for whom winning is the only acceptable outcome, where there are no lollipops and Capri Suns given out “just for playing.” They aren’t interested in playing for a tie. Teams that build a culture that accepts ties might win a lot of games, but they don’t win many rings. I understand that a tie in the division matches up better than a loss. However, there are some times where the long term effect on a team’s toughness and mentality is more important than the strategy inside the season. In my opinion, this was one of those times. Unfortunately for the Colts, they came up short.

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