INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
It’s been quite some time that the Colts have suffered a defeat with so much good, followed by so much bad. That was the case in Monday’s 31-25 overtime defeat to the Ravens (4-1).
What was the good and bad from the Colts (1-4) ending a three-game road trip with a crushing loss?
-Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman Shine: Man, the Colts have two great talents in No. 28 and No. 11. The entire nation saw that on Monday night. Jonathan Taylor showed off his speed on a 76-yard touchdown via a screen. Then you saw Taylor’s power in short-yardage. It’s a rare mix of speed/power that separates Taylor from so many backs. Pittman had 6 catches for 89 yards and a touchdown, with the Colts finally giving their second-year wideout a 50/50 ball chance, which he turned into a highlight reel TD. When looking towards the future, the Colts have two emerging skill players who are unquestioned cornerstones moving forward.
-Defense Shuts Down The Run: The vaunted Ravens rushing attack finished Monday with just 3.4 yards per carry and a long rush of 13 (with their NFL-tying record of 100-yard rushing games ending, as well). The plan the Colts had to limit this dynamic rushing attack worked perfectly. We’ll get into what didn’t below, but the Colts should be commended for making the Ravens play left-handed. Credit to Darius Leonard for continuing to gut it out.
-Carson Wentz Again Not The Reason For Blame: It’ll get lost in the shuffle, but let’s not forget what Carson Wentz did on Monday night. He threw for more than 400 yards, 2 touchdowns and didn’t throw an interception. He set career-highs in passing yards (402), passer rating (128.5) and yards per pass attempt (11.5). It was Wentz’s best game of the season. Through 5 games, Wentz has shown plenty more signs that he can be the guy in Indy, compared to the alternative.
-Defense Falling Apart: When this loss is described as ‘crushing’ it centers around how the defense dominated for around 40 minutes and then crumbled to the finish line. Once again, it was extremely poor pass defense (rush and cover) that led to Lamar Jackson having a night that many didn’t think was possible. The disrupting of timing in the passing game remains the biggest fault of Matt Eberflus. It decimated the Colts on Monday.
-Managing An Injured Kicker: It was 2019 all over again on Monday night. Obviously, it was no one’s fault that the Colts had an injured kicker dressing on Monday. Rodrigo Blankenship got hurt in warmups. But the Colts didn’t handle having an injured kicker well. They still trotted him out there far too much and the results were what you expected for a kicker feeling ‘stabbing pain’ in his kicking leg. Hot Rod missed an extra point, had one field goal blocked and missed from 47 yards to win the game. From play-calling and decision making on when/who to kick, the Colts did a poor job reacting to the sudden injury to Hot Rod.
-Lacking A Killer Instinct: That’s now 7 straight losses against playoff teams. I thought the Colts played way too conservative, on both sides of the ball, in trying to win this game on the road. This league has way too much parity to be so reliant on the opponent giving you the game. On Monday, it was mainly the defense that cost the Colts. But neither unit has been able to truly put a team away, and that’s going to remain a question, particularly against the league’s elite.
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