The Cowboys are getting set to welcome the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night time for a primetime recreation. Dallas is an amazing favourite within the recreation, with DraftKings Sportsbook pegging them as 11-point favorites. Earlier than we get to the sport, we requested 5 questions of the nice people at Stampede Blue in regards to the Colts. Test it out.
Running a blog The Boys: Let’s begin with the massive story. How did you are feeling in regards to the firing of Frank Reich, and the way did you are feeling in regards to the hiring of Jeff Saturday? And the way has Saturday completed up to now?
Stampede Blue: If anybody can discover me one other NFL head coach who began seven completely different quarterbacks in 5 seasons and completed their fifth 12 months with a profitable share higher than Reich’s (.547) I’ll take again the whole lot optimistic I’ve ever mentioned about him. Since nobody can do this, I’ll stand behind saying Frank Reich is an efficient soccer coach. I don’t assume he deserved to be fired. I’m undecided what it achieved. Many Colts followers wish to say that he had “misplaced the workforce” and that he “couldn’t inspire them”. They usually say that prefer it means something. Each participant requested about Reich’s firing talked about how a lot they cared about Reich and about how responsible they felt as a result of their play led to him being fired. He hadn’t misplaced the workforce. The workforce is unhealthy and it’s unhealthy in a method that may’t be out coached, it will possibly’t be out schemed, it will possibly’t be out recreation deliberate, the Colts have constructed a horrible offensive line and it has ruined any probability they in any other case may need needed to win video games this season. You could possibly resurrect Tom Landry, rent him to teach the Colts and they might nonetheless suck.
How has Jeff Saturday been? Nicely beneath Jeff Saturday the Colts have turned over play calling to 30 12 months outdated Park Fraizer. And it’s not Fraizer’s fault however he wasn’t prepared for this. The play calling has been objectively unhealthy. Saturday’s clock administration on the finish of the Steelers recreation was horrible, too. However for those who ask Colts followers, quite a lot of them are prone to inform you he actually has the blokes fired as much as play… no matter meaning.
BTB: Ought to the Colts nonetheless be beginning Matt Ryan or ought to they already be taking a look at a future with out him?
SB: In the event that they’re truly making an attempt to win video games, he ought to be the starter. In the event that they wish to maintain the locker room engaged, Matt Ryan’s the man. In the event that they’re making an attempt to enhance their draft inventory and utterly blow up the roster this off season, they should begin Sam Ehlinger- and I say that as a giant fan of Ehlinger. Sam is a particular particular person. However at this level in his profession he has extra intangibles than tangibles. In his two begins his footwork was a large number and his efficiency towards the Patriots was amongst the worst the Colts have seen for fairly a while on the place. Don’t get me fallacious, Matt Ryan isn’t nice at this level in his profession however he simply provides the Colts one of the best probability to win.
So far as the way forward for the place is worried for the Colts, who is aware of what they’ll do? They will’t maintain kicking the can down the street perpetually on a quarterback however they’re not going to lose sufficient video games to choose within the prime two picks. You possibly can’t maintain placing it off however you hate to see the workforce you watch on Sunday draft a quarterback they’re not utterly bought on simply to do it, both. Just lately Jim Irsay has been the one making selections in regards to the quarterback place, going over the heads of his basic supervisor and now former head coach. At this level I’ve no motive to imagine he gained’t do it once more subsequent April.
BTB: Are struggles on the offensive line the issue for Jonathan Taylor, who is just not dominating this 12 months like he did final 12 months?
SB: This offensive line is horrible and the story of the Colts 2022 offensive line begins with Matt Pryor. Pryor was given a $5.5 million contract within the offseason and was penciled in to begin at left sort out. It appears like hyperbole after I say this, I guarantee you it’s not; Matt Pryor is the worst beginning offensive lineman I’ve ever had the displeasure of watching. I- fairly literally- might play at a stage just like Matt Pryor this season. Granted I’d be damage, very, very damage, however for the sequence I used to be on the sphere the outcomes would have been the identical. The Colts ultimately moved him to proper sort out, displacing veteran Braden Smith (the Colts solely constant offensive lineman this season). After one horrible recreation at proper sort out, future, former offensive line coach Chris Strausser determined that he ought to transfer his superb proper sort out again to sort out and transfer Matt Pryor to proper guard. After two unhealthy video games at proper guard, the Colts lastly realized that the one place left to maneuver Matt Pryor was to the bench. So for these of you conserving monitor at house, the Colts paid a profession backup to be their beginning LT, solely to have him suck at LT, RT and RG earlier than in the end benching him for a former seventh spherical decide named Will Fries. Fries has struggled however he’s younger and athletic and is best than Pryor however a beneath common proper guard would nonetheless be an enormous improve over Will Fries.
Now, at left sort out the Colts are beginning Bernhard Raimann, a 3rd spherical rookie out of Central Michigan. Beginning Raimann is the suitable factor to do contemplating the circumstances however that is solely Raimann’s third season enjoying offensive line and he’s doing it towards, you understand, NFL edge rushers. To not point out that lifetime good-but-not-great middle Ryan Kelly appears to have aged 10 years within the final 10 months- issues haven’t regarded nice up entrance. Even Quenton Nelson hasn’t been himself this season. Although I believe Q was coping with an undisclosed harm as he has progressively performed higher and higher every week and appears to be getting again to the participant he was earlier than this season.
So yeah, the offensive line has fallen, virtually utterly, aside. With that mentioned, proper now, Jonathan Taylor appears nearly as good as ever. His imaginative and prescient, his quickness and his uncanny skill to make defenders miss is on full show, it’s simply that final season he was making the primary defender miss 4 yards down the sphere. This season he’s beating unblocked defenders at or behind the road of scrimmage, typically. Taylor has had quite a lot of superb three yard runs this season.
BTB: Speak in regards to the Colts protection and the place they’re robust, and the place they’re susceptible.
SB: This may be one of the best Indianapolis Colts protection I’ve ever seen. That’s not hyperbole, I imply it. From prime to backside, each stage of this protection is nice. Followers of each the Chiefs and Eagles have had slight panics after watching their groups offense wrestle towards this Colts protection however most everybody has. You see the report, you see the Colts fireplace their coach and substitute him with Jeff Saturday and your first thought is “oh that is a simple win” however the issue is basic supervisor Chris Ballard is a very good scout, he’s confirmed to be unhealthy at constructing a workforce, however he invested quite a lot of sources on the defensive facet of the ball and the gamers he’s introduced in have virtually all been actually good.
The weakest hyperlink up to now has been CB Brandon Facyson, however even he was stable towards the Eagles and Steelers the previous couple of weeks. Exterior of final week’s recreation towards the Steelers, it appeared like a lot of the touchdowns which were scored towards this protection appear to have come when the Colts offense turns the ball over and the opponent has a brief discipline and on the finish of video games when the Colts offense wants the protection to bail them out as soon as once more however the protection is completely exhausted from spending a lot of the day on the sphere.
I do marvel how lengthy the protection goes to play at a excessive stage. We might have began to see some cracks final week towards the Steelers which was their worst outing of the season. I can’t think about the way it should really feel to be part of such a very good unit solely to have the offense allow you to down in such an apparent method. I gained’t be shocked if a few of these defenders begin to take a look at mentally and start excited about being wholesome for 2023. So something might occur, with it being in Primetime, I do assume the Colts protection will present up and play effectively.
BTB: On the time of scripting this, the Cowboys are 11-point favorites. Is that an applicable unfold? Would you are taking the Colts to cowl that or not on Sunday night time?
SB: All issues thought of, that’s a good unfold. The Colts matchup so poorly with the Cowboys, I’m a little bit shocked it’s no more. Then again the Colts protection has stored quite a lot of good offenses from placing up large numbers and stored a horrible Colts offense in video games they shouldn’t be in. The Indy protection is what makes predicting their video games so onerous to do. Going into week 11 towards the Eagles for those who had instructed me the Colts would have restricted them to 17 factors I’d have referred to as you loopy, however it occurred. This Colts workforce is unpredictable. That mentioned, if I needed to make a prediction I’m calling this one 24-13 for the Cowboys. If yow will discover a prop wager for the overall variety of occasions Matt Ryan is sacked, I don’t care what the quantity is- I’ll take the over.