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Indianapolis Colts

Colts 2022 Position Recap: Special Teams

Bubba Ventrone's special teams units underwent, successfully, plenty of change in 2022. 

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2022 Depth Chart

  • K Chase McLaughlin (16 games, 30/36 FGs, 9/12 50+ yard FGs, 21/21 PATs, 65.0 yards/kickoff)
  • K Rodrigo Blankenship (1 game, 2/3 FGs, 2/2 PATs)
  • P Matt Haack (17 games, 70 punts, 44.8 yards/punt, 28 punts inside 20-yard line)
  • LS Luke Rhodes (17 games, 3 tackles)

3 Things To Know

  • Dallis Flowers led the NFL in yards per kickoff return. The undrafted rookie from Pittsburg State took over as the Colts' kickoff returner at halftime in Week 12 and promptly returned his first kick as a pro 89 yards in that Monday Night Football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Flowers' 31.1 yards per return average led the NFL, with his vision, acceleration and top-end speed translating into a number of explosive returns.
  • Chase McLaughlin did well in two areas. It wasn't just that McLaughlin connected on 83 percent of his field goals, including a franchise record nine from 50 or more yards. He averaged a career high 65 yards per kickoff, a stat that carries plenty of importance for the Colts under special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone, who deploys a directional kickoff philosophy designed to tackle the returner before the 25-yard line.
  • Matt Haack stepped in for Rigoberto Sanchez. Sanchez sustained a season-ending Achilles injury during a training camp practice in mid-August, and the Colts were able to not just bring Haack in, but stick with him for the entire 2022 season. In addition to his punting duties, Haack was the holder on field goals – and the only piece of the Colts' field goal operation that remained from 2021 was long snapper Luke Rhodes.

1 Big Stat

The Colts had plenty of personnel turnover on their special teams coverage units, which consistently were among the best in the league from 2018-2021. But that didn't change in 2022 despite all the changes to Ventrone's coverage units:

2022 special teams tackle leaders:

  1. Grant Stuard (11)
  2. Nick Cross (8)
  3. JoJo Domann (8)
  4. E.J. Speed (8)
  5. Tony Brown, Dallis Flowers (6)

2021 special teams tackle leaders:

  1. Ashton Dulin (17)
  2. E.J. Speed (12)
  3. Zaire Frankin (11)
  4. Matthew Adams (9)
  5. George Odum (9)

Don't let the totals fool you – the Colts had 18 fewer kickoffs to cover in 2022 compared to 2021 – Ventrone's coverage units still played at a high level, even with Speed the only constant between these two seasons.

What's Next

Both McLaughlin and Haack will become unrestricted free agents in March.

A look back at the Colts' special teams through photos from the 2022 season.

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