INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
One of the Colts best starts to a game this season faded miserably in the game’s final 15 minutes, as the Colts got smoked by the Cowboys, 54-19.
What was the good and bad from the Colts (4-8-1) losing their third straight game?
-Alec Pierce: It wasn’t a perfect night for Alec Pierce, but the rookie looked much more like the guy we saw in October (21 catches for 312 yards in 5 games) compared to November (4 catches for 51 yards in 4 games). Pierce made a beautiful 50/50 grab on a 45-yarder to ignite the first touchdown drive. And then Pierce made another nice adjustment for a back-shoulder touchdown in the second quarter. These are the sorts of plays we didn’t see from Pierce in November. But it’s been a staple of his rookie year and something the Colts desperately need.
-Chase McLaughlin’s Leg: That was Chase McLaughlin’s 7th make of at least 50 yards this season. It’s been a 7-of-10 run from 50 yards or longer for McLaughlin, in his 12 games kicking for the Colts this season. That’s very impressive, and welcomed from a distance mark the Colts had zero reliability on in recent seasons. It’s not always the prettiest looking kick from McLaughlin, but he’s helped a limiting offense end some drives with points.
–Matt Ryan’s Arm: Jeff Saturday says he hasn’t gotten any indication that Matt Ryan is having lingering throwing shoulder issues. The eye test would indicate otherwise. Ryan’s arm looked off speed/change up like on Sunday, contributing to his 3 interceptions, and several more balls that were highly contested by the Cowboys. Ryan’s velocity in September wasn’t eye-popping, but it was better than the level we saw against the Cowboys. With defenses knowing this, you get defensive backs feasting on jumping those underneath routes.
–Stopping The Bleeding: That avalanche in the 4th quarter was one of the most amazing things you’ll ever see in the NFL. Imagine falling asleep at the start of the 4th quarter on Sunday night, with the Colts losing just 21-19…and then waking up to see a 54-19 final score. As the Colts went 4 straight possessions with 4 straight turnovers, the Colts defense couldn’t stop the bleeding. Unlike the start of the game on Sunday, it looked like a team stumbling into the latest bye week, with the defense wilting as the offense continued to be the turnover riddled unit its been in 2022.
–Limiting Their Stars: On a night the Cowboys limited Michael Pittman to 2 catches for 16 yards, they relied heavily on their big 3 in the playmaking department. It was Tony Pollard having 14 touches for 106 yards, Ezekiel Elliott with 20 touches for 91 yards and Ceedee Lamb with 7 touches for 94 yards. The Colts had zero answer for any of these three, with Lamb especially hurting the Colts in making guys miss.
–Pass Rush: Did the Colts really have just 1 hit against Dak Prescott? In 30 pass attempts, Prescott was hit once (a sack by Kwity Paye), while Matt Ryan was hit 7 different times in his 37 pass attempts. The lack of consistent pressure from the Colts has happened way too often this season. Do the Cowboys have a really good offensive line? Definitely. But they were shuffling guys in and out on Sunday night, and yet the Colts only hit Prescott once.