Colts kicked off the 2021 season with a 28-16 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks at Lucas Oil Stadium. Here are five things we’ve learned from the first week, from Carson Wentz’s debut to Niheim Hines’ motivation. JJ Stankebits
1. Carson Wentz played well.
First of all: Head coach Frank Reich saw “a lot of good things” from Carson Wentz on his Colts debut.
“I thought he threw the ball exactly. I thought the post-snap decision was very good,” Reich said. “I thought it was his huddle command. I wasn’t there, but I was confused once or twice with an eight-ball lag. Instead, there was turmoil and he did a great job. . Unsnap. Some of them. I thought he was calm and seemed to be in control. There were some things we talked about that needed to be cleaned up before snapping. But there were many positive things. “
Reich also pointed out that Wentz wasn’t throwing intercepts-he was named the league’s best 15 times last year at the Philadelphia Eagles-and was also positive.
Wentz completed 25 of the 38 passes in 251 yards with two touchdowns and a 102.0 passer rating. That passer rating was his best since the 16th week of the 2019 season.
And Wentz finished the match on Sunday without protracted worries about his leg, which had surgery six weeks ago on Monday.
“I feel good,” Wentz said.
2. Further consideration …
Reich said in the aftermath of Sunday’s defeat, he needed to look at a tape of the game before he could determine how Colts’ attack line played.
So what was Reich’s attack line rating after looking at the tape?
“The overall protection aspect probably didn’t meet our standards,” Reich said. “It’s a bit like what I said last night. It’s not just aggressive line play. We need to be better. We need to be better as coaches and as players in the field. We need to be better. We have very high standards there. “
According to Pro Football Focus, Wentz put pressure on 20 of the 44 dropbacks. He was fired three times and scrambled three more times when he was under pressure.
“First and foremost, we are a pocket protection team,” said Ryan Kelly of the Center on Sunday. “If he scrambles many times, it’s not the safest in the pocket. It’s in us. We go back and see it as a whole attack, and everyone they I’m sure he has something that can be better. “
Again, the Seahawks need to be given some credit-Reich pointed out one play in which Julian Davenport on the left tackle was defeated where he should have helped him with a chip, but Sea Hawks calls and it helps.
But, as Reich said, Colts’ pass protection did not meet their standards in the first week. Player of the year. Donald has recorded 471/2 sack and 93 quarterback hits in 49 games since the start of the 2018 season.
“It starts with Aaron Donald,” Reich said. “My experience is like these guys and these players bring something to you-hey, I need to step up here. I have to face the opportunity. Hmm, I have to face the challenge. I’m hoping for a great week of practice. “
3. Two injury updates on O-Line.
Braden Smith on the right tackle suffered a leg injury on Sunday, not the same leg injury that Wentz and Quentunson dealt with during the training camp.
“We monitor it and confirm its importance as we progress,” Reich said.
Reich, who had a limited number of participants in last week’s practice, didn’t have the latest information about Eric Fisher on the left tackle who didn’t play against the Seahawks.
“I’ve been encouraged since last week,” Reich said. “I think it’s the only update, but he’s still fresh in everything, so I’ll take it every day.”
4. Defense that motivates frustration
Reich’s mantra for his team on Monday was that “frustration should stimulate our focus” when Colts was reconvened at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
For defenses that allowed 28 points and did not meet that criterion in the first week, the message was received even before the player entered the building.
“Many people were just hungry,” said Safety Julian Blackmon. “We know we made a mistake. Everyone was already watching the movie before we came today, so we all have to improve what we do as a defense. I knew that. A good team is coming this Sunday, so I have to get ready. “
The Rams scored 34 points on the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football, and quarterback Matthew Stafford connected with two deep touchdowns to ignite the LA attack. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were a challenge. Sure, Sean McVay’s Rams will.
And that’s one of Reich’s beliefs that his team’s defenses will increase thanks to drawing fuel from Sunday’s frustration.
“I love our defense,” Reich said. “I’m just hungry. I’m hungry. That’s another thing we were talking about today, I came here hungry and humble. We ate a little humble pie, so we alone Let’s come here hungry and humbly because one person needs that humility. Includes a coach, saying it wasn’t enough, I can be better, I can be better, what’s better Can, how can I be a better teammate, what can I do to make this team better Promote growth and promote the right things, and we I think we’ve got the right kind of defense personnel who think that way. “
5. Naiheim Hines sets goals
It was a bit bittersweet weekend for Naiheim Hines, who signed the contract extension on Saturday but was left to deal with the defeat of Sunday’s season opener.
“I signed the deal on Saturday. I wish I could actually celebrate a little if I got better results on Sunday,” Hines said. “It was really a dream come true and a blessing from the Lord. I am honored and humble, but obviously not so happy about how Sunday went.”
Hines spent a productive first week, averaging 5.5 yards per touch with 15 touches. He shows off his physicality (a focus for those who want to abandon the lazy perception that he’s just a “gadget guy”), in addition to his agility and agility in both run and pass games. bottom.
The Colts coach saw Hines playing with increased confidence and speed during the training camp. It was taken over at the beginning of Sunday’s regular season. But now that Hines has earned employment security, his goal is to make sure that Colts’ investment in him is more than good.
“Thanks to Frank and Chris (Ballard) for always believing in me after I started my career here,” Hines said. “It means the world to me and I plan to give Colts my best football year and earn all the pennies of it.”
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