That was the first game I have seen from the Colts this season where they looked competent on offense. Everyone just looked happy, they looked motivated, Frank was definitely the problem. After Frank fired Marcus Brady, I thought that possibly Frank could turn it around because he is an offensive minded guy and maybe Marcus Brady did hold back the offense, but nah, nope, nada, Frank already was 100% the problem. Matt Ryan looked like he had a renewed love for the game, he had a zip on the ball that I didn’t expect from someone dealing with a grade 2 separated shoulder. The greatest difference was the offensive line, Ryan got sacked once for a loss of 14 yards, but everything else was awesome, even the run blocking, the Colts rushed and passed for over 200 yards each, 415 total yards, a true distribution of the ball. For the first time this season, I am excited about this team and I am totally on the Super Bowl train and I don’t care that it seems crazy, this Colts team can be super fun and Jeff Saturday may have just secured his job just based on this game. I feel like Jim Irsay’s rivalries matter a lot to him and McDaniels may be one of his biggest because of his backing out of the head coaching job. Frank’s wins this year were against Kansas City, a great team but no real rivalry, the Denver Broncos, again, no true hatred and the Jaguars at home, it’s standard to beat them in Indy, Irsay almost doesn’t care if they win in Indy. All of the true Jim Irsay hatred games he lost, New England, Dan Snyder, the Titans twice and the Jags in Jacksonville. Some people may think I hate Reich as a person, I don’t, I liked him for a little bit, I think Andrew Luck masks any bad coaching decisions because he was just dominant, the year Luck retired you can’t really blame him for losing but after that, I blamed him for losing the playoff game against Buffalo and a few other super important games, including both games at the end of 2021 I really hope the best for Frank, I hope he can find success somewhere else and if he could be the QB coach in Indy, I would actually be happy, he seems like an important guy to have on the staff and he knows the game well.
“Friday’s practice was poppin'”
That was what Jeff Saturday had to say about Friday’s practice before the game, that same day, it was reported that practice was more spirited than usual and Jeff Saturday made the team run plays until they executed properly.
“Thursday was the first day I could practice”
Matt Ryan and Jeff Saturday opened up about how it went from Sam Ehlinger being to starter to Matt Ryan getting the nod, they said it was a turbulent week and adding in a quarterback change doesn’t help but Saturday said he liked how Ryan threw the ball and he hasn’t seen Ryan throw the ball until Thursday.
Offensive Keys to the Game
- Try and fix the offensive line: 1 sack, over 200 rush yards including a 66 yard touchdown rush from JT and a 39 yard scramble for Matt Ryan that looks like he was in slow motion for a career long rush, yeah, it wasn’t perfect, but it was so much better than the rest of the year, now the real question is, was this as a result of Jeff Saturday’s work or was it a result of the Raiders lackluster pass rush, ranking dead last in sack percentage at just over 3%, who knows and who cares because the Colts did what they needed to.
- Get Ehlinger Working: You failed, you objectively failed because Ehlinger did not play. But you got Ryan working, he threw it under 30 times for over 200 yards, he was efficient with 21 completions for 222 yards and a touchdown, running the ball over 30 times helped open up the field for Ryan, it also lets the dump off passes go for more because of the lack of players in the area.
- Ashton Dulin is back: Ryan said it in his press conference, Ashton Dulin delivered a downfield block that opened up the field for his 39 yard rush, at that point, I wouldn’t have cared if he did anything else the rest of the game, that rush converted a 3rd down and 3, 2 plays later Ryan completed a 35 yard pass to Parris Campbell for the go ahead touchdown with 5:07 left in the 4th, Colts win.
Defensive Keys to the Game
- Pressure Carr: The Colts had 2 sacks and 5 QB hits in total, with Kwity Paye out it seems like an okay day, but the Raiders offensive line has given up 21 sacks this season, pretty down the middle in the NFL rankings this season. Hopefully getting Kwity Paye back can really get those numbers up.
- Keep the Ball From Adams: Going down the stretch, it seemed like this would be a classic game from Davante Adams, helping bring the Raiders down the field, he was making everyone miss, Carr was delivering some questionable passes that Adams made good plays on. Adams was going to make some plays, he had 9 receptions, there are only 2 other games he has seen more receptions on 14 targets, again, he had 2 other games he saw more targets, but Adams is really the only guy, the next closest guy in receptions was Josh Jacobs with 6 receptions on 9 targets. You didn’t keep the ball from Adams but it helped in the end, Carr is going to force the ball to Adams.
- Control the Tempo: The time of possession was pretty split, the Colts had 29:01 of possession, the fumble from Keke Coutee really killed it for the Colts, the turnover battle would have lost the game of the Colts if not for Stephon Gilmore and Bobby Okereke, the Raiders scored a touchdown on that drive and on the drive McLaughlin missed the field goal, a 17 point swing at the very least, Coutee fumbled on the Vegas 22, you have to think, the way that drive was going, the Colts would have converted at least a field goal.
Player of the Game Prediction
As I was picking out the player of the game, I wanted to take Parris Campbell, but I felt it was pretty chalk to take a wide receiver, so I took Mo Ali Cox, I knew Jelani Woods was out so I thought big Mo would have a big impact. I had Campbell’s line at 9 REC, 88 YDS & 1 TD. His line was 7 REC, 76 YDS & 1 TD, damn. always stick with your gut because Ali-Cox was an all time wrong answer, Mo had ZERO catches, just a whole lot of blocking.
I am so damn happy that they could pull out a win, I honestly said that if the Colts lost this game, I would be fully on the tank train, if they won I was back on the Super Bowl train, well, look where I’m at