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NFL: SEP 17 Colts at Texans

Source: Icon Sportswire / Getty

INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.

The Colts first win of the 2023 season had plenty of positives exiting a 31-20 victory in Houston.

What was the good and bad from the Colts (1-1) winning their first divisional game since last October?

1. Hits: Gardner Minshew

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans Source:Getty

Gardner Minshew: That’s how a backup quarterback is supposed to respond to being thrust into duty in the middle of a game. Gardner Minshew entered early in Sunday’s second quarter and led three straight scoring drives (two touchdowns and a field goal) before milking the clock took center stage. Minshew was very efficient—going 19-of-23 in relief. Not only does Minshew give the Colts more than a competent backup QB, but also one who helps you evaluate the young skill players on your roster.

2. Hits: Zack Moss

NFL: SEP 17 Colts at Texans Source:Getty

Zack Moss: The pure run-game production Zack Moss gave the Colts on Sunday (18 carries for 88 yards) was a massive step forward from Week 1. But the amount of snaps he played is truly astonishing. Moss played 56-of-57 offensive snaps. That 98 percent of offensive snaps workload is a number the Colts have only asked Jonathan Taylor to do once in his career (a 27-17 win over the Patriots in 2021), and a very rare number for a running back in today’s NFL. And it’s rare for Moss, who’s previously offensive snap percentage high was 74% in his 4-year career.

3. Hits: Shane Steichen

NFL: SEP 17 Colts at Texans Source:Getty

Shane Steichen/Offensive Line: Let’s toss the head coach and offensive line together in this one. The Texans had 0 sacks and 1 quarterback hit in the entire game. That’s a very quiet day, no matter who was playing quarterback for the Colts. Shane Steichen and the offense were much better on early downs, which allowed for more manageable conversions on third down (6-of-12). That was a much, much better effort than Week 1.

4. Hits: Defensive Line

NFL: AUG 24 Preseason - Colts at Eagles Source:Getty

Defensive Line: It’s two weeks in a row for the Colts defensive line falling into the “hits” group. They’ve taken an obvious on-paper advantage and followed through with that. On Sunday it was wrecking a massively banged-up Texans offensive line with 9 quarterback hits of C.J. Stroud, 6 sacks and a huge forced fumble, which set the early tone of a two-score lead. Also, the 6 sacks and forced fumble came from 7 different players, a nice sign of variety up front.

5. Misses: Darrell Baker Jr.

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans Source:Getty

Darrell Baker Jr.: You could tell the Texans were picking on Darrell Baker Jr. peppering him with targets, and oftentimes finding success in doing so. Baker Jr. had issues in coverage and also tackling on Sunday. It was a reminder of Sunday was the 2nd ever NFL game on defense for the former undrafted free agent. Does a game like Sunday lead to Gus Bradley exploring more playing time for rookie Jaylon Jones (next up on the dept chart) or JuJu Brents (a 2nd round pick who missed a huge chunk of off-season action)?

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