INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
It was the ultimate tale of two halves for the Colts in their 28-24 loss to the Steelers (12-3).
What was the good and bad from the Colts (10-5) losing their first December game of the season?
-First Half Dominance: Understandably, many will forget just how dominant the Colts were in Sunday’s first half. They were up 21-7, but played even better than that score indicated. Philip Rivers was nearly flawless, leading 3 opening-half touchdown drives. Defensively, the Colts allowed 73 total yards to the Steelers, with a short field being the only scoring drive that Pittsburgh even sniffed. Again, this was a thorough 30-minute domination, in every facet of the game, including coaching.
-Jonathan Taylor Is Here: We already lauded the issues in Jonathan Taylor not touching the ball more to close out this game. Taylor finished Sunday with 18 carries for 74 yards, which is a decent stat line. But it was how he went about that production leaving another lasting impression. Taylor’s patience and make you miss ability continues to be on display as he closes out his rookie season. If you are making a list of the top NFL running backs right now not named Derrick Henry, Taylor needs to be at the top of that list.
-Second-Half Implosion: This was an utter collapse. When an NFL team is leading by 17 points late in the third quarter, with the ball, the expectation is a win. Anything short of that is a choke job. And that’s exactly what the Colts did on Sunday. This starts from the top-down in the Colts doing you know what down their leg. Yes, the Colts did not get a great whistle at times on Sunday. But we cannot ignore just how badly the Colts fell apart, offensively and defensively, in trying to hold onto this critical win.
-Picking On Rock Ya-Sin: We have seen this more and more as the 2020 season has unfolded with teams targeting second-year cornerback Rock Ya-Sin at a much higher rate. That occurred again on Sunday with Ya-Sin often in coverage of some big Steelers plays. An injury to Khari Willis in Sunday’s third quarter didn’t aid things either, with veteran Tavon Wilson struggling, too. Along with Ya-Sin’s struggles, the Colts pass defense allowed way too much rhythm from Ben Roethlisberger and a Steelers offense explode to put up numbers they hadn’t sniffed in over a month.
-Offensive Line Depth: Finding quality offensive line depth is difficult. But when the Colts chose not to even address it in a significant manner during the offseason, that makes it even more maddening, particularly when you see games like Sunday. Philip Rivers was sacked 5 times in 34 pass attempts on Sunday, easily a season high. Simply, if the Colts are without Anthony Castonzo or Braden Smith, it turns this offense from a unit that has the ability to consistently move the football to one that will have inevitable inconsistencies.
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