Let’s not kid ourselves.
The Colts have been brutal in season openers over the years. Don’t even remind me about the Jacksonville game last year.
In what could have been the game that eventually won them the AFC South, Philip Rivers was bad, T.Y. Hilton had butterfingers, and the Colts didn’t have it.
You don’t want to be saying that again, and again, and again.
So let’s put a new spin on the early season luck for the Blue and White. In order to do that though, you need to take down Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf, Jamal Adams, and the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1. How can that come into fruition?
I’ll tell you.
1) Carson Wentz Can’t Just Be “Good Enough”
We’ve heard a lot from Frank Reich over Training Camp and beyond that he would feel comfortable enough if Wentz got a week of practice ahead of the Seattle game.
As Kevin Bowen and I discussed on The Fan Morning Show, we don’t want good enough. We want dominance. We want success. We want WINS.
Wentz was awful last year. Now, he’s got a capable offensive line with Eric Fisher supposedly on the come up where you may not need Julién Davenport for as long as you thought.
Last year, Rivers threw for a top-1o ranked 4169 yards. Along with that came 24 TD’s and 11 picks. Can Wentz hover around 4500 with 29 touchdowns and 12 or so interceptions? If so, the Colts got a shot.
2) Don’t Let it Become a Shootout
In all honesty, I have this game going over the 49.5 points laid out by Vegas.
This game is going to be high scoring with big time plays one after another. It’s Week 1. Look at what we just saw with Tampa Bay against Dallas.
Even though this is what I think will happen, Reich must prepare and see this game in the opposite way.
If this gets to a point where Xavier Rhodes can’t play, and Rock Ya-Sin is getting burned by Metcalf play after play, that’s bad news.
Let’s say Adams has a great day against Wentz in the defensive backfield. You want to rely on a shaky cornerback core for Indianapolis to save the day? No shot.
3) Kwity Paye’s First Big Exam
Paye has looked tremendous all pre-season long. There’s no denying that.
But the rookie first-round pick out of Michigan has had a ton of quizzes along the way against average or very low-tier left tackles.
Will Holden? Pass.
Sam Tevi? Lol.
Yeah, hasn’t been great. But now, he gets his first big exam. It’s mid-term season.
The opponent? Four-time Pro Bowler Duane Brown. Brown just restructured the final year of his contract and had been “holding-in” at Seahawks camp not participating in practice. He was in team meeting and walkthroughs, but did not get 11 vs 11 reps.
Can Paye use that to his advantage? Let’s see what the big guy can do.
4) Feed JT
This should be the easiest point.
Don’t even mess around. Give Jonathan Taylor the ball and let him do his thing.
Will 1275 rush yards this year be in play? Maybe. But if that’s going to be the case, JT needs the ball. And if your team mantra is “Run The Damn Ball”, you run the damn ball.
At times the Colts got away from the run last year. Taylor missed a game due to COVID. He was benched twice.
No more. It’s JT SZN.