It was nice to see the Indianapolis Colts be rather aggressive on fourth down in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks under head coach Frank Reich. What wasn't nice though was some of the play calls and overall execution from the players on the field.
Those three fourth-down attempts all ended up failing with two resulting in turnovers on downs, while the other resulted in a lost fumble as quarterback Carson Wentz and center Ryan Kelly botched the snap on a QB sneak, resulting in another turnover.
Despite the failures on the fourth-down attempts as the Colts came up empty on the possess and on the scoreboard, Reich isn't second-guessing his play calls or the decisions to go for it rather than taking the points.
“I wouldn’t call it second guessing. If you don’t get something done, if you don’t get it done it’s never good enough," Reich said to reporters Wednesday prior to practice. "So, you can always do better. So when we don’t convert, you’ve got to look at everything and you start by looking at yourself.”
It's impossible to fault Reich for the botched snap that resulted in a turnover, as that simply can't happen between Wentz and Kelly, regardless of the lack of work the two have together from training camp and practice leading up to the Week 1 opener.
As for the two other fourth-down calls, Braden Smith failed to hold up in pass protection, resulting in a sack on a play Wentz probably should have hit Nyheim Hines out of the backfield to move the chains.
The first fourth-down failure came at the end of the first half where Wentz simply aired the football out down the right sideline looking for Ashton Dulin, so that once can be written off.
However, the larger point remains that the Colts indisputably weren't good enough on fourth down, and really weren't good enough on third downs either, going just 5-for-13 (38%) on the afternoon.
"I’m always evaluating everything – the call, the execution of it, what they did," Reich said. "Sometimes it’s just the question of they have a player that just makes a – on two calls, they had a player who made an unbelievable play to be honest with you.”
Reich is likely referring to Seahawks' pass rusher Darrell Taylor as one of the players, but I wouldn't be giving Seahawks' cornerback DJ Reed any credit for jumping on a loose football that occurred because of a botched center-quarterback exchange.
It's good to hear that Reich isn't second guessing himself and won't lose some of that aggressiveness, but maybe in some similar instances moving forward the veteran head coach takes the points on a day in which his offense had to work so hard to move the football into scoring range.
Have thoughts on Frank Reich's comments regarding the fourth-down issues on Sunday? Drop a line in the comments section below letting us know how you feel!