Jim Irsay did not mince his words Wednesday when he characterized the end of the Colts season. Irsay, whose family has owned the team since 1972, before the team was even in Indianapolis, tweeted a statement on Wednesday expressing his disappointment with the team’s performance this season.
In the statement, Irsay said the team “ended our season in the worst possible way”, referring to the team’s 26-11 loss to Jacksonville, a game where they were heavily favored against a team that , despite winning, still holds the No.1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Colts’ struggles in Jacksonville against the Jaguars are nothing new. In fact, the Colts haven’t won in Duval County since Dec. 13, 2015 and are 0-7 in that span. For context, they have a record of victories against all the other teams in the same period.
Back-to-back losses to end the regular season and not reach the playoffs prompted Irsay to meet head coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard on Monday. They seem to be on the same wavelength before the offseason.
But despite the long post detailing the Colts’ downfall, what did Irsay really say?
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First, he softened the blow of not making the playoffs by reminding people that the team came out of a 0-3 hole to start the season. It supposedly deserves a pat on the back.
Then he promised to “do whatever it takes to put us in a position to win next year and for years to come.”
Will Irsay be able to keep this promise? The Colts will have cap flexibility of around $ 46 million, but will have 28 players, many of whom were key contributors to this year’s squad, with contracts expiring. Thus, they do not have as much leeway as one might think.
Carson Wentz consumes $ 28 million in capitalization next season; However, Chief Coach Frank Reich was reluctant to commit to the QB moving forward.
“We have to be better at the passing game,” said Reich. “It was definitely below our standards, and there are a number of reasons for that. We have to make this our own as coaches and players. “
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Reich has known Wentz well from when the two were in Philadelphia together when Wentz was the quarterback and Reich was the offensive coordinator. Wentz posted good numbers on the surface, completing 62.4% of his passes for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
But, he averaged just 209 yards per game and the team ranked 19th in yards per attempt and 26th in total yards, despite having the league’s best rusher in Jonathan Taylor.
To rub salt into the wound, Indy also sent his first-round pick to Philadelphia to acquire Wentz, which was a conditional second-round pick. But since Wentz has played 75% of the squad’s snaps this season, it has become a first round. This means that the Colts’ first choice does not arrive until the second round, 47th overall.
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Irsay and the Colts team have proven resilient, however, and the Colts owner has taken some time to think it over and is ready to act.
“Clearly we didn’t have the right people,” Irsay said. “We weren’t able to play at the level that we were certainly able to play.”