2022 Week 2 Game Recap: Jaguars 24, Colts 0 (by Ross Jacobs)


There are a lot of nonsense storylines about this one that I hope to clear up. Namely that the Colts are suddenly a bad team, Matt Ryan is washed, and that the Jaguars are suddenly a great team because Doug Pederson is the most amazing coach ever.

Note: there's a kernel of truth to each one of those things but the media is taking it to extremes as usual.

First, let's talk about the game. Jacksonville started off very well. They ran their dink and dunk offense to perfection and here's where I want to credit Pederson...he runs a creative, well-structured offense and it is perfectly tailored to Trevor Lawrence's strengths while avoiding his weaknesses. Lots of quick underneath routes, get the ball out fast and let your playmakers run. It's classic Andy Reid West Coast offense stuff. The Jaguars are going to be actually respectable on offense this year no doubt.

So Jacksonville moved up and down the field almost at will, scored a couple times, and before you could blink they were up 14-0 on Indy. They weren't doing anything special, at least not on offense.

For Indy it was just one of those days, everything goes wrong and there's not much you can do about it. It starts with the offensive line. They were getting absolutely killed against a very impressive Jaguars front 4. Josh Allen and Travon Walker were eating the Colts linemen alive, especially left tackle Matt Pryor. This is a detail I wish I hadn't overlooked when researching the Colts for 2022. When they were at their best last year it was when Eric Fisher was at LT. When he got hurt and Pryor came in the offense took a noticeable step back. I think Pryor and the o-line will be better (but not nearly as dominant as 2021) later in the year but Pryor is going to continue to struggle against better pass rushers unless they start giving him some help (maybe having one of their gigantic TEs over there chipping would be a good idea...just a thought).

So Ryan constantly had pressure in his face, almost Burrow-esque, and took 5 sacks on the day. He was missing his top WR (and only legit starter). I watched him carefully here because I've heard a lot of talk that he's completely washed and is dragging this team down...no, just no. He's the 2nd best player they had on the field outside of JT. On the rare occasions he wasn't pressured (and actually had someone get open), he was finding the right guy and delivering an accurate pass. His arm strength is definitely losing a little something but he's got enough juice left to play. He did throw one bizarrely bad INT early on that contributed to the quick deficit but the other two were a tipped ball straight to a defender and a late bomb down the left sideline where he threw to a spot and the receiver quit running but the safety over top did not and grabbed an easy INT. I saw one ugly pass from Ryan as opposed to 2-3 for Lawrence that should have been intercepted but the passes were dropped.


Despite all the blocking issues, false starts, dropped passes..etc, Ryan still managed to get them into the red zone a couple of times and just missed out on a pair of TDs when Mo Alie-Cox couldn't get a second foot down and again when he was pressured multiple times and had to scramble around trying to heave passes into the endzone with nobody open.

The lesson? Stop box score scouting. Ryan is definitely nearing the end of his playing days but he had a ton working against him here and he was still the best QB on the field. You don't want him for fantasy, I've maintained that all along, but getting Pittman back will be huge for this team, and if they would start using Strachan and Jelani Woods more they might actually have a respectable group of pass catchers.

The fact that Ryan is not the core issue for Indy doesn't change the fact that they have some issues to work out. A lot of it is bad luck so far...penalties, turnovers, missing Leonard, missing Pittman...not much has gone their way so far. That will change and things will get better but this team is in no way shape or form a contender obviously. With Tennessee dying off I fully expect Indy to bounce back a little and win this division with 7-10 wins or so but it's not going to be pretty or impressive most likely.

The Indy defense looks average-ish, but should be getting Shaq Leonard (I'll never get used to typing that) back this week which is a huge boost.

Jacksonville's defense looks significantly better than last year but still not a good group overall. They have some impressive young talent though, mostly in the front seven. Anyone that doubted the Walker pick is going to be disappointed.

Jacksonville is going to show some promise this year but I guarantee they are the lesser team of these two. Could Jacksonville finish second in the division or (dare I say it) possibly win it if Indy continues to struggle? I don't think it's completely out of the realm of possibility.



Fantasy Player Notes:


 – You're probably feeling pretty good about Christian Kirk right about now. Through two games he has 18 targets, 12 catches, 195 yards, and 2 TDs. He's clearly the top target for Lawrence. Everything is fine, yeah? Maybe but I have some concerns.

Lawrence is showing improvement but is still a terrible downfield passer and this is a death-by-a-thousand-papercuts offense. Kirk is not likely to continue averaging 16 yards per catch. That's being bumped by a 49 yard play from week 1. Most weeks you're going to get something closer to 8 targets, 5 catches, 60 yards and no TDs and how will you be feeling then? That's nice work, WR2 work, but nowhere near the pace he's on right now. I'm not saying dump Kirk by any means, but I am saying best to temper expectations and if you get an offer to move him for a legit WR1-1.5 or something similar then you should do it.

After Kirk there's a 3-way split between Evan Engram, Zay Jones, and Marvin Jones. Of those three I'd most like to have Engram as a nice backup TE that I can count on for bye weeks and in case of injury. He looks fine, solid, but not a superstar mega-athlete like he was coming out of college. He's going to see some decent volume this year and finish in the TE1-1.5 range most likely.

The two Joneses rotate in and out a lot although Marvin is on the field more often. They fill the same niche. Both are WR3-4's right now. If one or the other gets hurt I'd be a little more interested but honestly that might just open the door farther for Jamal Agnew who is miraculously already back from his injury and looking quite spry. He's going to have an explosive play or two this season.


 – James Robinson looks as good as ever. I'm shocked really. Less than a year since an Achilles tear and he appears to be fine. That's the first time that's ever happened for an NFL RB as far as I know. He's going to have a solid year but some people have decided after two games that they think Robinson is the clear lead over Etienne and I think that's simply incorrect.

Week 1 it was a perfect split in snap count but Robinson took more carries. This week Robinson was in about 60-65% of the snaps and took far more carries which is leading to the logical conclusion that the staff recognized he's better than Etienne and it will be that way the rest of the year. We ought to know better by now. 

1:It's just two games and in this one Jacksonville got up early on the Colts and went to their between-the-tackles runner. It won't be like that every game and actually the Jags will be losing fairly often which will favor Etienne. 

2: Since when are personnel rotations that smooth? How many times a year do we complain about X player not getting enough time over Y player when in our minds “he's clearly better!” It happens all the time and it's going to happen here too. Have we already forgotten about how Pederson treated the RBs when he was coach in Philly? This is a full-split, RBBC between Robinson and Etienne and I guarantee you're going to be frustrated and disappointed trying to chase the points each week.

Etienne himself looks exactly like his scouting report. Smaller than his reported combine weight, not a great interior runner, nice hands in the passing game and extremely fast. The Colts bottled him up well here but he's going to house a couple screen passes this year, mark my words. His best games are going to come when Jacksonville is down big and Lawrence needs to dump passes to him quickly.


 – I said Trevor Lawrence is showing improvement and that's true but I still don't really want him for fantasy. He'll work fine as a backup though. The game plan is smart, lots of quick baby throws like he ran at Clemson, get the ball out quick without having to make too many decisions. He's going to have a solid year statistically and win more than 3 games.


 – For fantasy purposes absolutely nothing has changed with Indy. There's Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman and nothing else. JT will get his, he's still a beast. The offensive line is weaker this year and the team might be in more deficits which could lead to his stats being a bit lower as compared to 2021 but overall he's going to be fine. So long as Pittman is healthy he is going to get forced a ton of volume by Ryan because he's the only legitimate receiving threat on the field right now. He's squarely in the WR1-1.5 range.

Ashton Dulin got 7 targets and was somewhat ok with them in Pittman's absence but he has no business being a starting receiver in the NFL, much less the top target. I have no interest for fantasy.

Mike Strachan was on the field a lot but didn't look good. He had one nice catch while falling backwards near the sideline but was otherwise a ghost. I don't know what happened to him after he looked so amazing last preseason but he doesn't look like the same guy anymore.

All that Parris Campbell breakout talk from the off-season? I bought into that one and I was dead wrong. He's a complete nobody out there. Never again will I be suckered into this non-story.

All that talk about lining up Nyheim Hines as a WR in the slot this off-season? I called BS and I was right. Even missing Pittman here, with no other halfway decent receivers to be seen, Indy still didn't do anything with him.

This team desperately needs to get Jelani Woods on the field and into routes, especially in the endzone. They are so devoid of talent there's just no excuse. RC is absolutely right that it's just terrible management by Reich if they don't play him. They are still putting Kylen Granson out there for reasons that are completely beyond me. He's not good. I hope you listened to RC and didn't buy into that 7 target nonsense from week 1.



IDP Notes:


 – It was a surprising low tackle game for last year's leading tackler Foyesade Oluokun. There's nothing wrong with him. They just got up so quickly that Indy abandoned the run. He'll be fine.


 – Through two games Bobby Okereke is averaging 9 tackles per game, albeit without Leonard on the field. We'll have to see if that holds up with his more famous partner back in.



Snap Counts of Interest:


37 = Taylor

15 = Hines


43 = Campbell

35 = Strachan

32 = Dulin

24 = Patmon


27 = Granson

27 = Cox

8 = Woods


64 = Kirk

64 = Marvin

48 = Zay

7 = Agnew


49 = Engram

33 = Manhertz

16 = Arnold


45 = Robinson

26 = Etienne