Colts Grab Defeat From the Jaws of Victory… yet again (Quick Thoughts)

Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray (29) pushes past Indianapolis Colts strong safety Matthias Farley (41) as Murray scores a touchdown on a 3-yard run in the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

What Went Down:

The Indianapolis Colts did what they do best on Monday Night Football, choke away yet another second half/4th quarter lead to the Tennessee TItans on national television.  For the 5th time this season, the Colts took a lead into halftime, and for the 3rd time in those games came away with a loss.  Jacoby Brissett was solid yet again in the first half, and the offensive line was playing well.  However, come the 2nd half, Tennessee made some adjustments on defense which led to the Colts offense being unable to do anything.  In the 2nd half, the Colts mustered an embarrassing 3 points, and Jacoby Brissett was under constant duress from the blitzing Titans defense.

On defense, the Colts did a very good job at keeping Mariota from running, or maybe it was the fact that he has a hurt hamstring and didn’t even attempt to run.  Marcus Mariota picked apart the Colts secondary in the 2nd half, and the Colts defense couldn’t get off the field.  They were on the field essentially the whole second half, and ran out of gas yet again by the end of it when they needed a stop the most.

The night was capped off by a 72 yard run on 3rd down by Derrick Henry for Tennessee.  Outrunning everyone on the field after the defense failed to set an edge.  It was fitting for a team that has continued to make the same mistakes all season long, and they were unable to overcome those mistakes against a decent team this time.

 

Quick Thoughts:

 

  • There is no way in hell I would have believed you if you had told me Marlon Mack would only touch the ball twice on Monday Night.  Following his best game of his young career in which he ran for nearly 100 yards on only 9 carries, the Colts rookie rb had 2 carries for 18 yards.
  • T.Y. Hilton was a … ghost… when the team needed him the most.  1 catch for 19 yards.  I know he wants to be great, and at times he is, but he must show up each week for this offense to be effective.
  • The Colts led for the majority of the game, yet threw the ball 17 times more than they ran it.  37 passes, with a backup qb, to only 20 carries.  The Colts were having really good success running the ball too, averaging 4.3 ypc.  I’m not sure what the explanation for this is, but I’d love to find out what the thought process was.
  • I’m not mad about the 4th and 1 play call near the end, but I am about the challenge that followed.  It was an unconventional play call with an athletic quarterback, and it nearly worked.  Credit Tennessee for the stop.  However, Pagano has to know better than to challenge and burn a timeout in a no win situation.  It was pretty clear that Brissett was short, so whoever told Pagano to throw the flag should get a pink slip on Tuesday.
  • Another Game Without Adjustments:  Tennessee came out of half like gangbusters, blitzing Brissett all 2nd half long and forcing quick throws from the young qb.  The Colts never adjusted from that, and never brought in extra blockers to counter.  Its a common theme, and it led to the Colts getting outscored 27-9 in the 2nd half.
  • 21-3 in the 4th quarter is what the Colts were outscored by.  The tally this season is up to 85-22.  I’m not sure that I have ever seen a team collapse like this week after week.

 

This is a multifaceted problem the Colts have.  They do not have the talent to overcome the lack of coaching, and they do not have the coaching to overcome the lack of talent that they have.  This is going to be a common theme all season long and I’m not sure on the answer.  I’ll continue to dive into the game film and give in depth breakdowns.