2022 Dynasty/Fantasy Preseason Week 3 Game Report: Colts 27, Bucs 10
I should recuse myself from commenting on Colts games…
I think I hate this 2022 Colts team more than any other team in the NFL right now.
It’s a good team that Frank Reich is going to Frank up as sure I am sitting here typing.
We’ll get into all the way he’s going to screw up this team in the player commentary section, and I saw plenty of signs of it in this preseason game -- a game where the Colts went four drives with their (mostly) 1st-team, and they eventually had a TD drive on the final of the 4 drives…against the Bucs 2nd-3rd team defense. When the Bucs had their 1st-team guys in, the Colts 1st-team offense was hapless -- like they’ve been all preseason (but J. Taylor is on the sidelines).
The Bucs let Tom Brady out of his chamber of immortality and the 1st-team offense ran a series…and got down to the red zone swiftly and settled for a field goal. We’ll break some of the 1st-team happenings down in the player section.
The Colts went on to ‘win’ but in the battle of 1st-teams…once again, this preseason, the Colts ‘lost’. Every game I watched this preseason, the Colts were out-efforted…out-energized. The Lions pushed them around in joint practices. This Colts team has zero ‘grit’, to use a Dan Campbell/Lions term. The Colts have taken on the image of their coach -- passive, finesse…about to fail.
Dynasty/Fantasy Player Notes…
-- So, we got to see the two team’s 1st-team QB/offense (mostly) here…
Tom Brady (6-8 for 44 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) looked like another day at the office. Physically looks as good/better than the 7+ years younger opposing QB. I got nothing to say here besides -- he looked normal/good. He had one, maybe two egregious drops in the mix. He played one series…took them down the field…and settled for a field goal, and then done.
Matt Ryan (5-7 for 59 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) is SO Eli Manning his final two (sad) years of his career. Eli had a ‘name’ people respected. He was a veteran presence. He could still play the game at a decent level…BUT hated any pressure in the pocket. So much so that he rushes his passes anytime the pocket remotely starts to get muddy. I’m sure in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 non-contact practices, Matt Ryan is an ace. The moment there’s pressure…good night…same for Eli’s final years.
There won’t always be pressure, so Ryan will have some moments…but overall, Ryan is done as any type of top QB, or guy who can take a midland team to the promised land.
-- Leonard Fournette (2-13-0, 1-2-0/1) was in with the 1st-team offense…and was the RB for the entire time. They didn’t let Rachaad White (6-9-0, 1-3-0/1) anywhere near the 1st-team. As soon as Brady and Fournette & Friends departed…then White came in to do some work. That let’s you know White’s current status -- he has none…until Fournette gets hurt, and it forces the team to use White.
Whatever that is worth to you in redraft…that’s Rachaad’s value…rookie-in-the-corner working special teams. He should be integrating in as a receiving weapon already, because he’s a super-talent in the passing game, but Todd Bowles and Bruce Arians are geniuses that cannot be questioned…and Tom Brady runs the team anyway and only works with established guys by choice.
-- OK, so the Colts/Frank Reich are going off the deep end…and what they did at running back in this game is some proof.
Deon Jackson (4-3-1, 3-34-1/4) started, which didn’t really faze me at first because I assumed they were sitting their top guys -- Taylor-Hines-Lindsay. Then after a few series, Jackson went out (with the 1st-team) and in came Phillip Lindsay (7-23-1, 0-0-0/1). How is Jackson ahead of Lindsay? How do you treat the veteran, who has had a good camp, this way?
You don’t unless you're Frank Reich…a guy who thinks Nyheim Hines is Tyreek Hill and wants to build the offense around him. Now, he has Deon Jackson pushed ahead of Lindsay…and making Lindsay work preseason games with the 2nd-team offense.
It’s not a huge thing, but it’s a tell among several bizarre personnel tells Reich has. Lest we forget, Reich tried to push Marlon Mack over Jon Taylor, in Taylor’s rookie season. Reich was also the ‘Carson Wentz is the savior’ guy. Reich is destroying this team by his ‘choices’.
-- Another waste of time Reich-thing… Parris Campbell (0-0-0/0) getting pushes while Mike Strachan (1-11-0/1) and Ashton Dulin (1-6-0/1) are clearly better. For all the training camp bluster on Parris this year…he hasn’t done jack squat in the preseason games. It’s like he’s not even there, but he’s on the field.
-- Side note…Michael Pittman (3-29-0/3) worked with the 1st-team run…and he looked good. He and Ryan seem to be OK together…but more so as long as Ryan has time to look downfield. Ryan missed Pittman open a few times because Ryan panicked into a dump pass to not get hit in the pocket…he wasn’t even looking at/for Pittman breaking open.
I know Pittman is super talented, but I worry if his downfield style and Ryan’s lack of downfield ability anymore is going to push Pittman to just ‘nice WR2’, instead of the WR1 he should be.
-- The 1st-team WRs worked with Brady…nothing amazing to report. Evans-Julio looked fine. Tyler Johnson (3-36-0/4) worked in place of injured Russell Gage. Jaelon Darden (2-9-0/2) got on the field with Brady for a few snaps in place of Johnson at a certain point. Gage is the slot starter without a doubt.
I know this…Scotty Miller (1-0-0/1) is going to get released, or he should be. Possibly put on the practice squad…but probably not. He’s playing his way out of TB.
-- The Bucs TE situation…
Cam Brate (2-10-0/2) has a natural flow, a professionalism with Brady…he’s the TB TE to have if you want a shot at some hope of Gronk-lite…a TE2 that could have some TE1 moments.
Kyle Rudolph is too slow to matter for FF. He’s a blocker and a body who will catch a pass or two.
Cade Otton (2-37-0/3) is a snooze at this point…a generic NFL TE, but a rookie version this year. The #3 TE who will play sparingly until/if an injury hits.
-- The most talented TE on the field this game…you know it, Jelani Woods (1-12-0/1). And this is yet another example of Frank Reich with his head up his arse frank-ing everything up.
I’m watching Woods play this game…and he’s already a great blocker. He’s got size to be present for the QB in the passing game. He is firing off the snap and getting downfield with more smoothness, confidence every week. He’s a weapon to use right now…that won’t be used.
What will ‘Frank’ do? He’ll use Alie-Cox + Granson and waste a golden opportunity until it’s too late. I love Jelani, but when Frank is gone…then I can get really excited. If injury hits this season and they HAVE TO use Woods, which is the way most stars start their career, not on-purpose, then maybe he’ll have some FF usefulness in 2022. But to start the season, I bet Woods barely plays…and then Matty Melted Ice won’t hang in the pocket long enough to hit Woods downfield often enough to matter. *See: Kyle Pitts 2021.
-- Couple Colts IDP notes…
Rookie CB Dallis Flowers (2 tackles), from Pittsburgh State, looks terrific…good in coverage, a great tackling CB (could be a SAF someday), and a really nice return man -- he returned one kick this game, for 53 yards. I’ve seen Flowers return like 4 kicks this preseason, and three of them had ‘that look’ like ‘this might go to the house’. Our college scouting computer models brought him to my attention, and I liked what I saw pre-Draft on tape…but it’s been even better in the preseason.
Sterling Weatherford (10 tackles), UDFA LB…that dude is making the team, unless Frank frank’s it all up…which is 50/50 possible.
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