INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
Equally as entertaining as it was heartbreaking, the Colts (3-5) lost such an important game in overtime on Sunday, falling 34-31 to the Titans (6-2).
What was the good and bad from the divisional hopes of the Colts taking a near fatal blow in Week 8?
-Dominant Run Defense: This was an outstanding, outstanding performance against the NFL’s best running back. The Colts held Derrick Henry to 68 yards on 28 carries on Sunday. That’s 2.4 yards per carry. Entering Sunday, Henry hadn’t been held to that low of a number since Week 6 of the 2019 season. Henry had a long rush on Sunday of just 9 yards, which is also a low since ’19. If I were to give an individual game ball for this effort, it’s going to nose tackle Grover Stewart for controlling and re-setting the line of scrimmage all afternoon.
-Michael Pittman’s Growth: As the mid-way point of the Colts season hits this week, Pittman is putting together a Pro Bowl caliber year. Pittman had two touchdowns on Sunday, giving him now 4 TDs in the past 4 games. Against the Titans, Pittman made several contested catches, no better than a 3rd-and-16 conversion in overtime. If opposing defenses aren’t doing it already, they need to start treating Pittman like an unquestioned No. 1 wideout, requiring proper attention.
-Carson Wentz’s Decision Making: Simply, it was awful. What Wentz got away with early in that win over the 49ers last week turned into burning fire in Sunday’s overtime loss to the Titans. You could toss back a few drinks wildly debating which of his late-game interceptions were worse from Sunday. Outside of those horrific decisions in the season’s most important moments, Wentz wasn’t good against the Titans. He completed just 52 percent of his passes and had a woeful yards per attempt of 4.5. The 4.5 YPA is the lowest for Wentz since his rookie season. Take out the INTs and it was already one of the worst gams of Wentz’s career. Wentz was particularly shaky with the game on the line, ending the game with just 3 completions in his last 14 attempts.
-Frank Reich: The misses for Frank Reich on Sunday were aplenty: giving the Titans early life by going for it on 4th down late in the 1st quarter, ignoring Jonathan Taylor in the game’s most important moments and some head scratching play calling. With Reich’s head coaching duties centered around him as a play caller, he must give the Colts an advantage in that area. He didn’t sniff that on Sunday. There’s been too many instances this season where an apologizing Reich post-game has been at the podium. You don’t have enough lives in an NFL season to survive such mistakes.
-Key Injuries: Entering Sunday, the Colts had by far their healthiest game day roster of the season. That added to the sting of the loss. And now, on a short week, the Colts are monitoring some important injuries. It was Tyquan Lewis, the only young defensive lineman who has shown a few signs of consistent playmaking, being carted off with a knee injury. It was Khari Willis exiting due to a calf injury, forcing both Andrew Sendejo and George Odum into every-down safety duty. And then T.Y. Hilton leaving with a concussion, as the Colts enter a short week. Those are 3 injuries at spots where the Colts haven’t found needed depth.