The Colts’ longest offensive play of Week 1 was a 24-yard completion, with Carson Wentz firing a strike to Parris Campbell – who absorbed a hit from Seattle Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs – to pick up 24 yards. That was the Colts’ only play to gain more than 20 yards in their 28-16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, which was the product of a couple of things.
First: The Seahawks’ defense set out to take away the Colts’ downfield passing attack.
“They’re kind of counting on you to sustain that drive and finish in the end zone,” offensive coordinator Marcus Brady said. “We weren’t able to do that at times. Part of it is their defensive scheme but for us, we just gotta find different ways to eventually take some shots down the field and we’ll continue to look for those. But at the same time we gotta take what the defense gives us, and there were some opportunities to maybe get some more explosive plays that we just gotta clean up amongst the coaches and the players.”
The other part is that, in the absence of opportunities for those shot plays, the Colts weren’t able to turn screens to Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines into bigger gains. That disappointed coach Frank Reich, as he explained on Monday.
“All of our screens were very productive, but if you wanted to talk about having more chunk plays – we came out of that game saying, we lacked getting chunk plays,” Reich said. “Whatever the six screens – two of those screens needed to be 20-plus plays and there was opportunity for them to be 20-plus plays. We didn’t get that done in the screen game.”
The challenge to generate explosive plays won’t recede in Week 2 against a Los Angeles Rams team that allowed the third-fewest plays of 25 or more yards (25) during the 2020 season. The Chicago Bears generated only one play of 25 or more yards in Week 1 against the Rams; that came on the second play of the game, when running back David Montgomery ripped off a 41-yard rush.
Still, while the chunk plays weren’t there against the Seahawks, the Colts came away pleased with Wentz’s decision-making — in that he didn’t force deep shots against looks from the Seahawks’ defense designed to take them away.
“I thought his post-snap decisions were excellent,” Brady said. “He did a great job making the right decision, throwing it to where he wanted it to be, his eyes were in the right place. Overall I thought he did very well.”