INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
For the first time in a decade, the Colts are 0-3, and are one of five winless teams with September football now over.
What was the good and bad from the Colts (0-3) losing 25-16 to the Titans?
-Running Back Production: This wasn’t a bright spot in the first two weeks of the season. But Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines gave this offense needed production on Sunday, especially with Carson Wentz clearly limited. Taylor had 10 carries for 64 yards (6.4 YPC), along with 1 catch for 8 yards. Hines had 6 carries for 25 yards (4.2 YPC) and added 5 catches for 54 yards. With Taylor and Hines combining for more than 5.5 yards per carry, the Colts received run game production they needed to tap into even more.
-Creating Some Turnovers: Anytime you are plus three in the turnover battle, you’ve done an outstanding job of creating opportunities and at protecting the ball. In a game that the passing offense was hindered by Carson Wentz’s situation, the Colts had to win this category. They dominated the turnover margin, which typically leads to a win rate of more than 90 percent. It should be noted that Wentz has done a really nice job of protecting the ball this year.
-Abandoning The Run: It was a crime to see the Colts go away from their strength at such critical junctures on Sunday. They abandoned it in goal-to-go situations (see more below) and in the second half. In the game’s final 25 minutes, the Colts ran it just 4 times, despite continuing to have success on the ground. Typically, Frank Reich is committed to the ground game for longer than most play callers. But that was not there on Sunday. And it cost the Colts.
-Goal-To-Go Misses: If you want to boil this game down to one stat on Sunday, point to goal-to-go situations. The Titans were 2-for-2. The Colts were 0-for-2. Neither team did a great job of getting close to the goal line for their TDs. Instead, the Titans converted a couple of third-and-mediums, beating man coverage and then zone for the touchdowns. The Colts decided to pass it on 5 of their 6 goal-to-go plays, with all 5 falling incomplete. Play-calling and execution were again woeful, on both sides of the ball, for the Colts on Sunday.
-Defensive Resistance: No position group on the Colts roster has more Chris Ballard investment into it than defensive end. Yet, the pass rush continues to be a major issue. Consistency with the pressure is absent. Couple that, with way too much social distancing in pass coverage from Colts linebackers and defensive backs, and you’ve got a defense we’ve seen far too often under Matt Eberflus. The touchdowns allowed by the Colts on Sunday were ‘throw your remote’ type of defense. Through three weeks, the Colts pass defense (pass rush and coverage) continues to be a weak spot, especially against better than average QBs.