Frank Reich: Colts’ pass protection was ‘not up to our standards’

By Kevin Hickey

The Indianapolis Colts (0-1) dropped their eighth consecutive season-opening matchup in 28-16 loss against the Seattle Seahawks (1-0) and while the blame can be spread around, the offensive line could be viewed as the main culprit.

Even though quarterback Carson Wentz looked solid in his debut for the Colts, he was running for his life throughout the Week 1 game. The offensive line couldn’t find any consistency in pass protection, especially with their tackles on the edge.

After reviewing the film from the opener, head coach Frank Reich admitted the pass protection failed to live up to snuff.

“Overall, the protection aspect was probably not up to our standards, as you mentioned last night. It was a little bit of, like I said, more to it than just the offensive line play,” Reich told reporters Monday. “We need to be better. We need to be better as coaches, we need to be better as players in that area. We have very high standards there.”

The numbers from the game will vary depending on the site used. Pro Football Focus credited the Colts offensive line with allowing 16 total pressures, 12 of which came from Julién Davenport and Braden Smith.

It was a rough night for the unit, to say the least. What made matters worse were the plays in which the sacks occurred. Davenport was beaten twice on third down for a sack to kill a drive while Smith was bull-rushed into the ground on a fourth-down attempt near the red zone for a sack.

Having that kind of performance against any caliber of pass rush is going to doom an offense that lives and dies with its offensive line.

The Colts will have no cake-walk in Week 2 when the Los Angeles Rams come to town led by the best defensive player in the league, Aaron Donald.

“I mean I think it’s going to be a great week not only for Quenton (Nelson) but for the whole o-line,” Reich said. “You go up against a player like Aaron Donald – I know he’s a one-man show, but really that whole defense is an excellent defense.”

The Colts offensive line will have another tough challenge ahead of them, but correcting the issues they saw in the opener should be the top priority on that side of the ball.

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