INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
The Colts put together their most complete game of the season in Week Six, beating the Houston Texans, 31-3, inside of Lucas Oil Stadium.
What was the good and bad from the Colts (2-4) winning their first home game of the season?
-The Big Plays: Offense. Defense. Young guys. Old guys. It didn’t matter on Sunday, the Colts found big plays everywhere in the runaway victory over the Texans. Carson Wentz, who was brought to Indy for this dynamic, continues to take more and more chances down the field, with the likes of Parris Campbell and T.Y. Hilton connecting on 50-yard plays in the first half. Jonathan Taylor was hardly touched on the first 50 yards of his 83-yard scamper. Defensively, it was Darius Leonard up to his old tricks, despite being clearly limited by the ankle he had surgery on in June. It was Leonard’s third-quarter INT, with the score just 10-3 that changed how this game played out in the second half. The Colts, like any NFL team, need to have plays like these to overcome what transpires in 60 minutes of football. Points/touchdowns are created much more so off these huge plays, vs. clock-eating drives.
-Finishing: The Colts finishing Sunday’s win with 21 unanswered in the second half comes from that Leonard INT starting things. Now, we all know the Texans are not good, and Sunday might be the ‘easiest’ game the Colts will have all year. But this is a Colts team that needs to learn how to finish (and eventually beat the league’s better teams). It struggled at times to put Miami fully away back in Week Four. Sunday was different though. They stepped on Houston in the third quarter and squashed the Texans for good in the final period. With every phase of the game contributing, this is how you put away an NFL opponent.
-T.Y. Hilton’s Swagger: Anytime you show up to a game wearing a clown mask or a ‘Michael Jordan 45 jersey,’ you better back it up. No one on the Colts roster carries themselves with more public swagger, and then has backed it up like Hilton. We saw that again on Sunday, with Hilton also taking on more of a leadership onus in speaking to his teammates on Saturday morning about the sacrifices he’s made to get back to playing at the age of 31, despite a very serious neck injury. Similar to the point above, the Colts need some (more?) of what Hilton can bring.
-Health Of Parris Campbell: For the sake of a guy deserving some good injury luck for once, let’s all hope that Parris Campbell’s foot injury will not keep him out for long. On Sunday, before getting hurt, it was Campbell getting behind the Texans defense to haul in a 51-yard touchdown. It was the first time in Campbell’s NFL career we’ve seen his 4.3 40-yard dash speed behind a secondary, and a Colts quarterback hitting on such an opportunity. But a foot injury later in Sunday’s first half took Campbell out for the rest of the game. And now, the reliability question on Campbell is front and center again. He’s played in just 14 of 48 NFL games, and that was after missing only 2 games in his final 3 years at Ohio State. If Campbell is out for an extended period of time, the Colts will miss the firework impact he can have on this offense.
-Starting Games: When you win by 28 points, it can get lost a bit on how a such a margin grows to that gap. It’s wild to think that the Texans had the ball in the third quarter on Sunday, down by just 7 points. The Colts did get out to a 10-0 lead in the first half on Sunday, but we still aren’t seeing the same early-game scoring that we have in years past. Fortunately for Indy, the defense has kept things quiet on the scoreboard early in the last couple of contests. That’s no guarantee it will last though. We need to see more complementary football from the offense, especially in finishing off drives.
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Trackside with Curt Cavin & Kevin Lee