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What Quarter Pole Changes Must Colts Make?

After the first quarter of the 2017 season, the 1-3 Colts face some much-needed changes on both sides of the ball.

Jonathan Perry | Getty Images


INDIANAPOLIS – The hope is diminishing.

Sitting at 1-3 after the first quarter of the 2017, the Colts have playoff hope via the AFC South and even a couple of postseason teams from last year.

No AFC South team has a record of better than 2-2 through the first four weeks.

In 2016, two eventual playoff teams started the year 1-3, before going on a postseason run.

But for the Colts to continue to have hope as we get later into the fall, some changes are needed on each side of the ball.

 

Offense

It’s hard to grade an offense that has played the first quarter of the season with pretty much a third-string QB and a third-string center.

With Ryan Kelly now back in Week Five, the second-year center will try to aid a struggling offensive line.

Along with a few other areas, offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski has said the Colts “need to play better up front.”

“The turnovers are the first thing that comes to mind,” Chud says of necessary improvement going forward. “We need to improve in the run game. It’s been inconsistent. There’s been different issues throughout the season. There’s been some negative plays early in the season. There’s been some ID issues.”

The Colts have seven giveaways through the first month of the season. Only four teams in the league have more.

In the run game department, the Colts are averaging 2.99 yards per carry, the 31st best mark in the NFL.

Outside of those two, seeing T.Y. Hilton impact the game post-halftime has to occur more consistently.

And the Colts need for their other skill players, specifically Donte Moncrief and Jack Doyle, to help out Jacoby Brissett.

 

Defense

Using the eye test, the Colts defense looks better in 2017.

But the numbers would indicate otherwise.

Like the offense, the defense is ranked 31st in total yards through the first four weeks of the season.

Big plays given up continue to mar the Indy defense. The Colts have given up 26 passing plays of at least 20 yards, and five runs of at least 15 yards.

“We really have to clean up the big plays,” defensive coordinator Ted Monachino says. “We’ve got to figure out ways to set a sound umbrella around the offense. A 16-yard gain, we will even live with some of those but it’s the 40-yard gains that lead to points and we’ve got to eliminate those.”

The unit has seen an uptick in taking the ball away this year.

Six interceptions after four weeks is rather amazing, considering the Colts had just eight picks all last season.

When opposing offenses have gone up-tempo against the Colts this year, the defense has struggled much more than when things are run at a more normal pace.

 

Will the changes be made as the schedule gets tougher moving forward?

 

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