INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
It was the defense keeping the Colts in it on Sunday in Nashville, with the offense putting up another clunker as Frank Reich’s team lost 19-10 in Week 7.
What was the good and bad from the Colts (3-3-1) dropping their 5th straight game to the Titans?
-(Should Be Pro Bowler) Grover Stewart: It’s not often to see a guy drafted in the middle rounds, earn a big second contract and then see his play reach another level. That’s happening with Grover Stewart in his 6th NFL season. Stewart was a stud on Sunday, piling up 12 tackles. That’s the most for any NFL defensive tackle this season. It’s the most for a Colts defensive tackle since at least 1994. That’s an eye-popping figure for a defensive tackle who is more of a nose tackle. Stewart should be a Pro Bowler in 2022, but he probably lacks the notoriety around the league to garner that honor.
-Red Zone Defense: The Colts defense kept the offense in it on Sunday. And two red-zone stops against the league’s best red-zone offense was a major reason why. Entering Sunday, the Titans were 92 percent in red-zone conversions this season, tops in the NFL. They were 0-for-2 on Sunday with the Colts forcing 4 field goals, and not allowing a single offensive touchdown all afternoon.
-Matt Ryan’s Turnovers: This has shown up on the ‘miss’ list far too often 7 games into the season. Ryan had 2 fatal interceptions on Sunday, particularly for an offense void of big plays. Ryan’s 2 picks led to 10 Titans points (with a pick six) and halted two Indy drives that had reached Tennessee’s side of the field. The turnovers are beyond alarming with Ryan, as he leads the NFL in interceptions (9) and fumbles (11) through 7 games. That’s inexcusable for a 15-year vet.
-Coaching: Sunday marked the 9th straight game the Colts have failed to hold a halftime lead. It marked the 6th straight AFC South contest in which they’ve trailed by at least two scores. And Frank Reich admitted his emotion towards the official led to a late play call on his part, with that play resulting in the pick six. All of those are terrible reflections of Reich and this coaching staff. While the personnel and roster construction should be in question, this team has a clear coaching problem right now.
-Punting: When the Colts signed Matt Haack to replace the injured Rigoberto Sanchez, one of the biggest differences between the two came from how effective each was in pinning punts inside the 20-yard line. Simply, Haack was terrible in that on Sunday. He had 5 punts, with a net average of 31.2, despite the Titans not having a single punt return yard. That’s really hard to do. Haack didn’t have a single one of his five punts end up inside the 20. It was an awful day in controlling field position from a punting standpoint. I would expect the Colts to look into some free agent punters this week.