INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
Jeff Saturday’s head-coaching debut went down as one of the more entertaining Colts games of the year, with Indy building a lead, then coming back to beat the Raiders, 25-20.
What was the good and bad from the Colts (4-5-1) getting their second road win of the season?
-Jonathan Taylor Home Run Hitter: Weren’t you just waiting for Jonathan Taylor to break one? Still though, Taylor has hardly reached the second or third levels this season. His ankle checked out pretty well though on that 66-yarder against the Raiders. Yes, Taylor’s speed broke that run. But that play was blocked beautifully by the entire colts offensive like. It was a massive hole right at the
Raiders for the biggest play of the season. Taylor finished Sunday with 22 carries for 147 yards, finally giving a Colts quarterback support we haven’t seen since the season opener.
-Offensive Line: Well, it’s been rare to see this unit fall in the “hits” category in 2022. But they deserve it after Matt Ryan was hit just 1 time in 28 pass attempts and Jonathan Taylor sprung that 66-yarder. Given the lack of the Raiders pass rush entering Sunday and the decimated linebacker depth chart for them, there was on-paper potential for a big day up front. But the Colts OL hasn’t been able to carry that out enough this season. The group showed up though on Sunday.
-Defense Closing: The Stephon Gilmore coverage on 4th down obviously will garner many of the post-game headlines, but what about the play Bobby Okereke made on 3rd down? Okereke recovered from getting beat by tight end Foster Moreau to deliver a timely, on target punch to knock the ball out and take a potential game-winning touchdown off the board. Yes, Gilmore stood tall on an island against one of the NFL’s best wideouts. But don’t forget about the play Okereke made, too. If Okereke fails to make that play, the Gilmore moment doesn’t happen.
–Critical Mistakes: Imagine if the Raiders just fall on that Michael Pittman fumble late in the 4th quarter, instead of trying to pick it up for a return. That could have been the game-sealing play for the Raiders, and it would have been yet another crippling fumble by the 2022 Colts. The Raiders had no life until Keke Coutee fumbled in the second quarter with the Colts on the verge of going up 3 scores. These sorts of plays have killed the Colts this season. You can overcome them against the listless with Raiders, but not against more legit opponents.