The Colts have issues at cornerback, and that could continue to be the case for the remainder of 2023.

The Colts have issues at cornerback, and that could continue to be the case for the remainder of 2023.

 

The Indianapolis Colts secondary got burned by the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, which could be a sign of things to come.

If you didn’t know better, you’d think The Greatest Show on Turf took place Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The quarterback pair threw for 354 yards, as many as their receivers. The team also rushed for 161 yards.
They recorded 511 yards of offense.

But they were not St. Louis Rams of the late 1990s.
The 2023 New Orleans Saints dominated in every way against the porous Indianapolis Colts defense.

The Colts lost their third straight game, 38-27 to the Saints.
The Colts remain the only team in the NFL to score more than 20 points per game this season.
But Sunday marked the third straight game the Colts defense allowed 30 or more points.
“We weren’t successful defensively,” DeForest Buckner said after the game.
“Obviously this is a team sport and we need to play better complementary football and get points in attack.
That is, 27 points are enough to win.
Critical moments require attention to detail and good humor. “We couldn’t do that defensively today,” he said.

As for Buckner, he was one of the few Colts quarterbacks to make a positive impact.
With three tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, Buckner did his best to make life difficult for Derek Carr and the Saints offense.
But Buckner can’t play every defensive position.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Rashid Shahid (22) throws a long pass to Indianapolis Colts quarterback Tony Brown (38) during the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The biggest struggle for the Colts defense was at cornerback.
Indy second baseman Dalis Flowers is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, and JuJu Brenz missed the second round with a quad injury.
Injuries have sidelined rookie Jaylon Jones and special teams aces Tony Brown and Kenny Moore II.

Moore saw a resurgence in 2023 and returned to Pro Bowl form.
He continued that streak Sunday, being all over the field for seven innings. Moore wasn’t a problem on Sunday, and he hasn’t been a problem all year.
The Saints decided to select Brown instead.
Carr threw to the Browns’ charging receivers multiple times Sunday and seemed to have success each time.
The Saints continued on first down and then down as Brown tried to block the man in the white shirt.

The player who gave Brown the most trouble was wide receiver Rashid Shahid.
Shahid finished the day with three catches for 153 yards and a touchdown.
Brown gave up 109 yards and a touchdown to Shahid.
To say it was a tough day for Brown would be an understatement. His normal role on defense is as a backup in case Moore gets injured.
Additionally, cornerbacks only see the field on special teams.
But with injuries and a lack of depth at the cornerback position, Brown found himself in an untenable position.
Since spring, the Colts have been playing with fire at the cornerback position.
Accidents are part of the game and cannot be blamed. However, the front office can be held accountable for how they handled the position, and the coaching staff can be held accountable for failing to put players in successful positions.

The Colts traded 2022 cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Dallas Cowboys because they wanted the veteran to play with their rival. The Colts responded by taking three cornerbacks in the draft instead of signing a veteran free agent.

A month after the draft, the Colts signed Isaiah Rodgers Sr. He was suspended for the season for gambling at cornerback. General manager Chris Ballard has yet to make a move.
Instead, the Colts decided to stick with their young crop despite an abundance of high-quality free agents.
After training camp, the Colts brought in fifth-round rookie Darius Rush after a rough preseason.
Rush has given up a lot of plays, but has shown attractive ball skills as a prospect.
But Indy decided to move on.

Indianapolis Colts cornerback Jaylen Jones (40) replaces New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave (12) with the ball Sunday, Oct.
3.
August 29, 2023 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The way the technical staff responded is also worthy of criticism. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and defensive backs coach Ron Milus put Brown in positions he shouldn’t have been in.
Brown never looked comfortable there, resulting in an embarrassing performance.
Coach Shane Steichen admitted, “It felt good to have Tony involved in the game.” “So it’s decided.”

Brown’s replacement was Darrell Baker Jr., who has struggled in recent weeks.
While he hasn’t been perfect, Baker has at least played the field this season and showed promise in the preseason.
Other options include moving Moore to the outside and putting one of Brown, Nick Cross or Julian Blackmon in the slot.
However, the Colts’ defensive line coach made no adjustments.

The puppies are now 3-5 years old and can sleep in their own beds.
With injuries piling up at the cornerback position, there are few options.

The flowers bloomed again this year.
Brent performed well on the field, but there is no guarantee he will return healthy. Jones maintained his rookie status, but Brown and Baker were major disappointments.
There was always a chance that a corner bet would bite the colt.
About halfway through the season, everyone’s worst fears start to come true.
The low point of the 2023 season was his inability to settle into the cornerback position and make the right adjustments this season.

Unfortunately for Colts fans, a solution to this problem may not come until the end of the year.

 

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