Colts Weekly Recap: Week 2 New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts
Where should the Colts be on the Panic Meter?
Right from the start of the game, it was another ugly game for the Colts. The Colts fell to 0-2 and are now teetering on the side of panic. They aren’t quite there yet, as they started 0-2 last year and still made it to the AFC Championship game, but I would have to argue that the Broncos and Eagles last year were better than the Bills and Jets this year. The Colts are headed to Nashville to take on the Titans next week, and they can’t afford to start 0-3 and be down two games in the division.
Is it just me or is the NFL starting to become unwatchable? I’m not blaming this game on penalties, AT ALL, but the number of penalties called on both teams, was just absolutely ridiculous. In the first nine plays there were five penalties accepted, but seven penalties called. It’s getting out of hand, this week marked the most penalties called in one week of the NFL ever, and it wasn’t even close.
Penalties were only part of the issue for the Colts. It seemed that whenever they started getting any momentum, someone would hold and bring everything back. The Colts had eleven possessions in which five of them ended with the Colts turning the ball over, and another ended with a Vinatieri missed field goal, he is now 0-2 this year on field goal attempts.
The Colts started the game off on defense, and they were able stuff a 3rd and 1 for a two yard loss to force a punt. Frank Gore was actually doing well running the ball, and the line was opening up holes, but it turns out that the reason there were holes was because they were holding. This was a theme of the game, whenever there was any momentum, the Colts killed it with a penalty or a turnover. On their first drive it was both. After long runs by Frank Gore coming back because of holding, Andrew Luck threw his first interception of the game. This interception gave the Jets their first touchdown as they started their possession at the Colts’ nine yard line. It had appeared that the Colts stopped them and were going to hold them to a field goal, but no, defensive holding gave the Jets four more downs, but they only needed two (do you see the pattern).
The Colts’ responded well to this touchdown and moved the ball through the air and on the ground. They threw for 30 yards (1 completed pass to Donte Moncrief) and rushed for 35 yards on only 3 carries. It seemed all was well, as the Colts had an opportunity for a 29 yard field goal. SURELY VINATIERI WILL MAKE A CHIP SHOT, nope… off the right upright, and the Colts remained scoreless.
The next two Colts’ possession were three and outs, totaling 0 yards. They punted away to the Jets who were slowly moving down the field. Then on another 3rd and 6, Vonte Davis broke up the pass, but held Brandon Marshall, giving the Jets a new set of downs. Luckily Davis redeemed himself on the very next play, breaking up a pass that was then intercepted by Mike Adams. The Colts followed that up with a nine yard run, and were unable to gain a yard on the next two plays and were forced to punt which led to a Jets field goal. The Colts then fumbled before half (Luck) and gave the Jets another field goal opportunity, which luckily was also missed off the upright.
Halftime, the score was 10-0 which wasn’t bad considering the Colts were playing dreadfully. Plus, they were getting the ball back to start the half, and they came out strong. The Colts drove the length of the field, 18 plays 79 yards, and Frank Gore fumbled the ball into the end zone. He just dropped it. The Jets recovered and were then forced to punt after a three and out.
On the third play of the next Colts possession, Luck and TY Hilton were not on the same page, and he threw his second interception of the game. The defense was able to force yet another punt and give the ball back to their offense. This was the one good moment for the Colts’ offense in this game. They took the ball 91 yards down the field in 8 plays and scored.
The defense was unable to come up with a stop this time, however, and the Jets marched down the field, chunks at a time, and scored another touchdown, a 15 yard pass to Brandon Marshall. After the ensuing kickoff, Luck threw his third interception of the game. The Jets were able to run down the clock and get a field goal to set the eventual final score to 20-7.
Just a bad performance by the Colts, but you can’t get the Colts all the credit. The Jets saw what the Colts struggled with last week, and imitated the Bills. One thing is for sure, the Colts need to figure it out, or this is going to be a really long season, and it may give me an ulcer.
What do the Colts need to do to improve?
They have to protect the ball.
Luck is now responsible for 6 turnovers in just two games, but you can’t put all of the blame on him. Football is the ultimate team sport, and I think we forget that sometimes when talking about the quarterback. It all starts in the trenches with the offensive and defensive line. The Colts defensive line played remarkably well against the Jets, much better than I think anyone expected them to play.
However, the main issues are on the offensive line, and this is nothing new. Colts fans know this every year, dating back to when Peyton Manning was here, he never had a good offensive line either. When you are getting blitzed, what is the best thing to do? Run screens and draws. The Colts didn’t do anything to prevent the defense from blitzing. You have to slow the blitz down by taking advantage of their aggression. Wide Receivers and tight ends must win one on one matchups, giving Luck a bigger target to throw to while being pressured.
They have to continue to run the ball.
They started off running the ball extremely well, and then abandoned it. I understand they were losing, and it’s hard to catch up, running the ball, but with short yardage to go, sometimes the simple play, is the best play. Frank Gore was getting chunk yardage running the ball, something the Colts haven’t seen in quite some time. Good things happen when you’re not one dimensional.
ENOUGH WITH THE PENALTIES
The number of offensive and defensive holding penalties was staggering… DON’T DO IT. STOP HOLDING! Nothing is more frustrating than busting a big run, and getting it all brought back for holding. It’s terrible! Ok, one thing is worse, when you stop the opposing team on 3rd down, but you held the receiver so now they have a first down.
The STATE of the Indianapolis Colts
It’s not quite panic mode for the Colts yet, but they have to get their shit together. This was the most explosive offense in the league last year, and they added weapons. The offensive line needs to gel and do anything else, because what they are doing, isn’t working… they cannot keep Luck upright. The defense is extremely banged up. Hopefully Vonte Davis won’t miss any more time, as he left with a concussion. The Colts could be without their top 3 cornerbacks. The seemed to have fixed some of their woes on Monday, but that could be partially due to the Jets’ offense.
If the offensive line can give Andrew Luck a little more time, I think the offense will start to click. We have seen glimpses of it in the last two games, but only a couple of drives have shown what this offense can do. Time to be more consistent and get the job done.
My Weekly Preview for the Colts at Titans will be up in a day or two, follow me on here or on twitter for an update when it comes out.