INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
For long stretches on Sunday, it looked like the Colts were putting together their best win of the season.
What was the good and bad from the Colts (4-6-1) unable to finish against the 9-1 Eagles?
-Yannick Ngakoue: This was easily Yannick Ngakoue’s best game of the season, for a couple of reasons. The individual highlight was the strip/sack of Jalen Hurts on the first play of the second half. Those types of sacks—the game-changing ones—-haven’t been there enough from Ngakoue. Also, Ngakoue had a couple of stout stops in the run game, which is not an area of strength for him. The Colts have been waiting for this type of Ngakoue to show up throughout the first 10 weeks.
-Defense: Anytime you hold the Eagles to a season-low in points, it’s a darn good day defensively. Entering Sunday, a big question for Gus Bradley was if his defense could still perform at a high level against a legit offense. The answer was ‘yes.’ As has been the case all year long, this unit has done its part. It’s a playoff-caliber defense.
–Run Offense: To me, the most disappointing aspect to this game is the Colts rushing offense. Philly’s run defense has been an issue, particularly as of late. The Colts dominated on the ground on the opening touchdown drive. After that, Jonathan Taylor had 15 carries for just 35 yards. That set the tone for the rest of the afternoon offensively, with the Colts unable to score another touchdown.
–Finishing: Let’s focus here on just “finishing” a football game. Like the final innings of a baseball game, the last couple of minutes in a basketball game or the back nine on Sunday of a PGA tour event, heightened moments brings more attention. Well, just like with Washington three weeks ago, the Colts couldn’t finish on Sunday. The offense missed several chances to push the lead to another score, including a first-and-goal from the 5-yard line ending in a field goal. Defensively though, such a great day will be scarred a bit by a quiet pass rush and an inability to corral Hurts on Philly’s game winning touchdown drive.
–Left Tackle, Right Guard: Again, it’s no surprise to see these two positions show back up in the ‘miss’ category. Left tackle and right guard have both been clear and obvious issues dating back to the preseason. Rookie Bernhard Raimann got beat for a couple critical 4th quarter sacks, and also was whisked for two penalties. Over at right guard, the young Will Fries was penalized 3 times. Too many breakdowns by these two, which gets further exposed when you have such a lethargic offense.