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Never Again: Colts Must Quickly Sever Ties With Decision Maker

After historically losing to the Vikings, one thing is clear: the Colts need a clean slate, one that should start at the top.

Colts Press Conference

After historically losing to the Vikings, one thing is clear: the Colts have no one to blame but themselves. They need a clean slate, one that should start at the top.

The Colts Are Still Far Away

After losing to the Jaguars last season, Jim Irsay stood in front of his plane, saying he needed people in the building who were “all chips in.” The Colts made a handful of moves in the offseason to make fans believe they heard Mr. Irsay. But ultimately, these moves haven’t moved the needle, and after firing Marcus Brady and Frank Reich, the team is still in turmoil.

As if the team needed another reminder after a 54-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Colts lost 39-36 to the Vikings, a game in which they led 33-0 at the half. Fans will likely blame the defense for the game because that’s the low-hanging fruit. But the reality is, this offense isn’t good enough and hasn’t been for much of the season. It ranks 20th or worst in the following categories:

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  • Pass Yards/Game: 214.4 (Ranked 20th)
  • Interceptions Thrown: 2.73% (Ranked 23rd)
  • Quarterback Sacked Percentage: 8.72% (Ranked 27th)
  • Yards/Pass: 5.9 (Ranked 29th)
  • Turnover Margin/Game: -0.9 (Ranked 31st)
  • Giveaways/Game: 1.9 (Ranked 32nd)

General Manager Chris Ballard, an elite talent evaluator, engineered this offense but severely fell short in critical areas of building a roster. For all the talk of this roster being one of the better in the league, the Colts are still far from hoisting a Lombardi.

Colts’ Chris Ballard Has Failed This Organization

It’s time to say the quiet part out loud: Chris Ballard has failed this organization. After Andrew Luck retired, the team had to move on. Six quarterbacks later, the team still has yet to find an answer. Band-aid after band-aid, Ballard has failed to find the anchor for this team. The narrative from Ballard is that it takes time and that these things can’t be rushed.

“Look, taking one will get y’all off my a— for a little bit, but the second that guy doesn’t play well, I’m gonna be the first one run out of the building.”

Charean Williams, Pro Football Talk

But, the team has been in a win-now mode, with high expectations from owner Jim Irsay. Unfortunately, Ballard’s track record on the offensive side of the ball doesn’t entirely support that notion. For example, long before Anthony Castanzo retired, Ballard did not put any depth behind him. The team then brings in Eric Fisher as his replacement which fails miserably. Next, Ballard pivots to in-house talent Matt Pryor (who had one start at left tackle before this season), and that fails as well, as Pryor couldn’t cut it at three different positions. Investing in premium positions is lacking.

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Speaking of premium positions, before this season, Ballard drafted six wide receivers, four of which are still on the team. However, only two have been starting caliber. Instead, Ballard hung his hat on the assumed capabilities of Dezmon Patmon, Mike Strachan, and even an un-drafted Ashton Dulin. While Michael Pittman, Jr. and a healthy Parris Campbell have helped, this group has severely underperformed. Only Campbell (and rookie Alex Pierce) have over 500 yards outside of Pittman. Campbell leads the group with three touchdowns.

The Colts Must Sever Ties

During Jeff Saturday’s introductory press conference, Jim Irsay fielded questions about Chris Ballard’s tenure and whether or not he would be back with the team in 2023. Irsay confirmed that Ballard would be back but then seemed almost insulted that the media would ask such a question, saying, “you guys can try to diminish him all you want, but that’s just your words. They have no substance to them.” Irsay said that Ballard is a winner, comparing him to Michael Jordan.

The facts are that Ballard is not building a winning culture. His team is 4-9-1 this season. Ballard’s time with the Colts has only produced two seasons with ten or more wins, bringing the total to 45-49-1. The team has no division titles, is 1-2 in the playoffs, and has no championships. The problem is in the foundation: the team must sever ties.

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After every blistering loss this season, some worse than others (24-0 to the Jaguars, 26-3 to the Patriots, 54-19 to the Cowboys, and 39-36 in overtime to the Vikings), this team inches closer and closer to being a shell of its former self. Gone are the days of being respected and, in some aspects, feared. Jim Irsay is loyal to a fault, but how much longer will that loyalty hold up?

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