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INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.

The Colts bounced back with an impressive effort in beating the Vikings, 28-11, on Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.

What was the good and bad from the Colts getting their first win of 2020?


-Defensive Aggression: A change in defensive approach in Week Two led to a far more aggressive Colts defense. The Colts disrupted timing better and made things extremely difficult for Kirk Cousins to do anything through the air. It was refreshing to see. One week after allowing a single incompletion the entire game, the Colts forced an eye-popping 9 passes defensed and caused Cousins to have a career-worst passer rating of 15.9. This was a stickier pass defense, with the Colts more prone to playing closer to the line of scrimmage. It led to playmaking we didn’t see in Week 1 and one of the finer defensive performances under Matt Eberflus.

-Rookies Delivering: Seeing Jonathan Taylor get a Wisconsin-type workload was not a shock in his first NFL start. Taylor deserved a big day, and he was solid with 26 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown, being the workhorse for the offense. He wasn’t the only rookie that made several winning plays. Michael Pittman (while needing to clean up the penalties) continues to look steady as a receiver. All four of Pittman’s catches came in the first half, and all of them were in the red zone or on third down. Lastly, Julian Blackmon not only made his NFL debut, but played more than half of the defensive snaps, flashing with a couple of tackles and two passes defensed. It was the sort of impact you expect from your Day 1/Day 2 picks, but still was noteworthy to see so early in the season.

-Mo Alie-Cox Coming Out Party: The Colts top two tight ends on Sunday started their college careers as basketball players. And the start to Mo Alie-Cox’s day on Sunday was one to forget, as he couldn’t handle a red-zone target that bounced off him for an interception. After that, it was a glorious day of work from the 6-5, 267-pound Alie-Cox. He caught his final 5 targets for a career-high 111 yards. The sheer size of Alie-Cox provides such a target and presence for the Colts. If Sunday is the beginning of something, that would be massive for an offense reeling a bit in the injury department at the skill spots.

 -Special Teams Group: We could have thrown Rodrigo Blankenship into the rookie group above. Hot Rod was 6-of-6 on Sunday, with field goal makes from 28, 38, 38 and 44. The ball continues to come off his leg looking good. But this special teams success extends to the entire unit, which helped be in full field position control all day. The Colts had an astonishing 25-yard advantage in average drive start. What a play by long snapper Luke Rhodes to pin a beautiful punt from Rigoberto Sanchez, which led to a game-changing safety a few plays later.



-Injuries: Man, where to begin. It started before kickoff on Sunday with Rock Ya-Sin being transported to a local hospital with a stomach illness. On the second play of the game, explosive wideout Parris Campbell went down with an ugly knee injury, which led to him being carted off. Later in the first half, Malik Hooker’s day (and possibly season) ended with an Achilles injury. Any loss of Campbell would be crushing. He’s such a unique weapon to this offense. You could see that in his usage in the season opener. And while Hooker’s loss will be downplayed by fans, it’s another blow to a secondary with depth questions. In 2019, the Colts wilted when their depth was tested. It’s early in 2020 and we’ll see how well it can hold up.

-T.Y. Hilton Drops: Many thought T.Y. Hilton would respond in a big way from his two drop performance in the season opener, but that didn’t happen. Hilton had just 3 catches for 28 yards on Sunday, dropping a deep touchdown in which Philip Rivers placed a perfectly thrown ball to a wide open Hilton. It’s so un-Hilton like to see him not being reliable, especially in big time moments (two drops on the final drive last week and one in the end zone this week). His lack of production is being felt in the red-zone struggles, too. Two games into the 2020 season and the Colts’ most sure-handed wideout has dropped a third of his targets, with a career-low catch rate of 44.4 percent. In 2018, Hilton had 4 total drops in 120 total targets. Last season, he had 3 total drops in 68 total targets. This is not how Hilton envisioned the first contract year of his career starting.

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