INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
It’s a 2-2 mark in the gauntlet for the Colts after an extremely disappointing 45-26 loss to the Titans in Week 12.
What was the good and bad from the Colts (7-4) suffering their biggest home loss of the season?
-T.Y. Hilton: You have to start somewhere with trying to get T.Y. Hilton on track. After no targets for Hilton in Sunday’s first half, he was the only individual bright spot against the Titans. Hilton backdoored his way into the best individual game he’s had since early last season. Hilton caught 4 balls on 5 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown. Hilton caught a deep ball for 50 yards that probably could have been a touchdown had Philip Rivers hit him in stride. With Michael Pittman struggling on Sunday, Hilton showed that his presence is still very much needed for the Colts to make any January push/run.
-Continued Use Of Jacoby Brissett: The Colts said they would be expanding the Jacoby Brissett package and usage. They did that on Sunday with Brissett scoring twice in short-yardage sneaks. The Colts involved some more read-option variances and even had Brissett attempt a pass (in which he ended up scrambling for a 4th down conversion). Some credit to Brissett for how he’s handled a vastly different role in 2020. He’s been needed, and performed.
-Trench Depth: It’s one of the core beliefs for Chris Ballard. He stresses the need constantly to have depth across the offensive and defensive lines. Well, the Colts got exposed majorly in both areas on Sunday. Yes, they were without some high-level personnel, but that still doesn’t totally excuse a trench effort that saw the Titans average nearly 7 yards per carry in the first half, hardly ever touching Ryan Tannehill, the Colts finishing the game with 2.0 yards per carry and Philip Rivers facing a pretty steady amount of pressure.
-Coaching: Where do you start? Continued poor starts, an undisciplined team in the most important game of the season, committing 6 first-half penalties, not able to withstand an injury to Anthony Castonzo at all…this was a top-down disappointment on Sunday. One big play late in Sunday’s first half came with Mike Vrabel calling a timeout and taking his punt team off the field to go for a 4th-and-4 from the Indy 38-yard line. Vrabel went for the kill shot there and the Colts were lost, with a helmet-less Xavier Rhodes yelling at A.J. Brown before the snap and the defense running an extra defender off the field at the final second. The Titans converted, punched it in the end zone on the next play and the Colts had allowed their most first-half points in franchise history.
-Rock Ya-Sin’s Development: Sunday was the worst we’ve seen from Rock Ya-Sin, in what has been an up and down Year Two for him. Ya-Sin committed two major third-down penalties and got beat easily in man coverage on A.J. Brown’s 69-yard touchdown. There’s a technique flaw from Ya-Sin early in routes that when it shows up, he gets grabby and teams/officials are targeting him a lot. From Day 1 of Ya-Sin in the NFL, the Colts have had worries about him being too handsy. We are still seeing that as he closes out his second NFL season. Is it time to ride T.J. Carrie more along with Xavier Rhodes and Kenny Moore?
-Anthony Castonzo’s Injury: We went into deeper detail here on what the injury to Anthony Castonzo means for the Colts. Fortunately, it doesn’t sound like Castonzo’s injured knee is in the season-ending variety. Still, any missed time for Castonzo exposes the Colts’ biggest weakness—offensive tackle depth. When Castonzo exited after two drives (both touchdowns) on Sunday, the Colts followed that with 7 straight empty drives. Think he means a lot?