Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. This Colts team is just wow. You watch them in the second half and ask why they can’t play like that every quarter. If you haven’t read my previous wrap up, I do my personal reaction then I do the stats and analysis. I went to the gym right before the game so I got back towards the back half of the Colts opening drive, they just love to start the game making you wonder if they could compete in the NCAA. There were signs of life early though, they were showing they could move the ball well and protect Ryan. I am so happy they could figure it out, I guess Dennis Kelly was the guy they needed to complete this offensive line, I mean Ryan got hit and had the intentional grounding which I still think that those should be counted as a sack in the record books. The Colts still couldn’t go without fumbling because of Granson but he made some awesome plays to make up for it. Matt Ryan showed real growth too, he was getting rid of the ball faster and not making too many stupid plays with the ball while under duress, although in his entire time with Indy, I have never seen someone have more balls batted down at the offensive line, he is almost looking for linemen to throw them at, it is one of the most puzzling things I have seen in my life, he just cannot avoid those hands. Deon Jackson is an absolute monster, he could start almost anywhere else but Indy, he just plays like he is looking for money, I almost want them to use Hines as a wide receiver and have Jackson be the #2 running back, he just runs angry, basically like he is playing for a roster spot, which he is. The defense was surprisingly mediocre, which statistically as I mentioned in my preview, has been mediocre, they are good in the 4th quarter, giving up now 7 points all season but they got run over, it makes you look at the teams they have played, maybe their run defense has been skewed a little bit? It was frustrating how they just did not get their job done when they needed to. Yes they got to Lawrence much better than last game and last year overall but the rest was meh. We haven’t felt this in a while but every time they ran the ball felt like it was an automatic 5 yards from Etienne or Robinson, hell, even their 3rd string guy joined in on the fun and broke one off. The pass defense was getting picked apart in the Jags go ahead touchdown drive. I seriously cannot stand Brandon Facsyon, Isiah Rodgers Sr. is a massive upgrade that we basically only use for kicks and punts when Hines is hurt, Kenny Moore is just BAD. For someone who is playing for a big contract, he can’t avoid getting beat and he bitches a lot while doing it. One more thing, this is my weekly appreciation for Chase McLaughlin, field goals are hard, have you ever tried to kick a 40 yard field goal? That shit is hard, really hard, just kicking the ball 40 yards is difficult for anyone but a soccer player and most kickers, I went to a high school football game Friday night where they kicked an extra point from the 2 yard line short, SHORT. It made me really appreciate kickers because they always get blamed when they suck but never get love when they do their job. Ok, not I got my emotions out, lets get down to business.
I know, I never said anything about Alec Pierce, statistically he didn’t have a great day, I am obviously still excited about Pierce, he has made some awesome catches just to start his young career, he stole a few last week and makes the game winner over Shaquill Griffin. Again, a mediocre day statistically seeing only 3 catches for 49 yards and a touchdown on 7 targets but sometimes stats don’t matter, sometimes the importance of the play overrules the stats. Matt Ryan has seen his fair share of struggles to start the season, he was sacked 21 times over 5 games, averaging just over 4 sacks per game, a nightmare that would keep Andrew Luck awake. The offensive line was not perfect today, an intentional grounding, 6 QB hits but no sacks on Matt Ryan, that is the ultimate goal, keep the defense from hitting Ryan and he can make some plays. The Colts shuffled the deck again with the offensive line as follows
Raimann at LT
Nelson at LG
Kelly at C
Pryor at RG
Smith at RT
Dennis Kelly was also switching time with Raimann, I really like that, they are still making Raimann play through tough moments but if there is a play they think Kelly will fit better then they can take Raimann out and throw in Kelly. This is also the 3rd position Pryor has been at in 3 weeks, I don’t understand the love for him, put anyone else in there, Pryor is not getting it together, we need somebody, anybody better.
Matt Ryan has showed everyone, give me time, I will make you pay. Matt threw for 389 on 58 attempts, that cannot happen again, he cannot throw 60 times a game for the entire season because he will not survive, his arm will quite literally fall off. Congrats to Ryan for passing Dan Marino on all time pass yards to move into 7th, Ryan doesn’t even care, it’s 7th place, he wants 1st and only 1st in NFL history, the best thing Ryan did was not turn the ball over, even when he could have fumbled he didn’t, he held onto the ball and didn’t really force anything, there was only one pass that he threw into triple coverage that got batted down, although there were some Ryan just shouldn’t have thrown, some where he got hit as he threw and almost threw a pic but he was overall showing why, if he can win a Super Bowl (in the next few years, lets be real this Colts team isn’t up there) he could be a hall of famer.
MPJ was a monster, he is projected to be under 1,000 yards but when your QB can’t get the ball out to start the season, there should be a lot more yards for Pittman on the horizon. This really is the year for him, if he has over 1,000 yards and 15+ touchdowns you could see a big contract in his offseason, but who am I kidding, Chris Ballard doesn’t give out money like that. Almost every drag route he ran seemed to go for at least 15 yards. He only have 3 incomplete passes today with a stat line of 13 rec on 134 yards and 16 targets.
Deon Jackson has been the big secret the Colts have stashed on their practice squad. He just seems angry, he runs angry, like he just got his lunch money stolen. He was the second leading receiver on the team with 10 rec for 79 yards on 10 targets along with the 12 carries for 42 yards, he accounted for 121 all purpose yards, a touchdown and a 2 point conversion, DAWG. I have always been a Deon Jackson fan, even in the preseason, I never understood why he wasn’t the 3rd guy, everyone in the Colts fandom never talks about him, if you give him a chance over Hines I think he can be really good. I love Hines but Indy doesn’t use him correctly, he should be used in the pass game and only the pass game, they should change his position to a wide receiver, he could be a great player in running some 5-10 yard drags, some 10-20 yard in or out routs, he is one of the most athletic players I have ever seen yet they have no use for him. Deon Jackson is a perfect 2nd back, super physical guy who needs more playing time.
Frank Reich has been called many things, the quarterback whisperer, the comeback kid, an idiot. Now I understand the Colts wanting to pass more than running, you don’t have your 1,800 yard rusher and your super athletic second string RB, but you need to try and establish the run, give it a shot, running the ball 16 times compared to 58 pass attempts is mind boggling when you have a running back that is still competent. The first RedZone trip for the Colts Reich called for 3 straight passing plays and none of them go to your massive tight ends. Reich needs to try to run the ball once and how about an outside run play? The majority of run plays are into the middle of the field, the only “outside run” they try is a bubble screen that almost always sees the bubble burst and goes for -5 to 3 yards. No wonder why they can’t score in the RedZone, they always try to treat it like the field isn’t short, I get what they are trying to do but it’s not going to work, it never works, you have to treat it differently, run the damn ball, you have the most expensive line in the league, use it.
Gus Bradley had had ups and downs, I don’t like to blame the defense when the offense was so bad, but good lord, Gus Bradley still putting Brandon Facyson in at corner over Isiah Rodgers is a travesty. Through the first 5 games of the season he allowed an 84.6% completion percentage with a 102.2 rating. Isaiah Rdogers has allowed a 75% completion percentage in coverage and an 83.3 rating, he’s just better, and Gus Bradley just keeps playing Facyson because he was on the Raiders last year with Bradley. The 61 yard rush the Jaguars 3rd string running back broke off for a touchdown saw the Colts playing a cover 1 defense and immediately sending the 3 linebackers to the line without even waiting for the play to develop, it was one of the worst play calls on defense I have ever seen. The Jaguars touchdown drive to take the lead was a soft coverage I haven’t seen since Matt Eberflus was up in the booth. The Jaguars just bullied the Colts for 10 minuets of football, they burned our corners and saw our line get bullied around, they seemed to want to avoid the deep ball but didn’t even think about the other the underneath.
Kenny Moore needs to be taught that not every play that looks like a run will be a run, that is all.
Next Game: @Tennessee 10/23 1:00 pm