Monday, September 29, 2014

Colts Observations, Week 4 vs. Titans

Quick summary:

After a breather last week against FCS Jacksonville, the Colts get a visit from MAC opponent Tennessee. Early mistakes help Indy surge to a quick lead. A stupid turnover is stupid but has no impact on the game as the Colts score 41 points. That doesn't make it any less stupid.

Four score encore. Andrew Luck carved up the Titans, throwing for 393 yards and four touchdowns. A similar performance last week against the Jaguars earned Luck AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. Will we see a repeat?

Hot start! Hot start! I've heard a lot of talk about the start Andrew Luck is off to. Before we think about how he's going to break Peyton Manning's single-season touchdown record, keep in mind he threw eight of his 13 touchdowns in back-to-back games against the hapless Jaguars and Titans.

#GRIFFNATION, Part I. Griff Whalen had a solid recovery on an onside kick, thanks to a "block" from "Jack of All Trades" Doyle. It was a great kick, of course, from Pat McAfee.

#GRIFFNATION, Part II. Griffer had a couple of nice punt returns again this week...but they didn't count because of penalties. One of these days, he'll have a long return and it will actually count. Maybe.

Ageless Reggie Wayne. In my Colts preview post, I wrote of Reggie Wayne: I won't believe (he's back) until he goes off for about eight catches and 100+ yards. Seven catches, 119 yards, touchdown. He's back.

Ahmad Bradshaw: Red Zone Secret Agent. Bradshaw has been the go-to guy in the red zone. I was going to make a joke about how people might want to cover him inside the 20...but it wouldn't be relevant given that this week's TD came from a sick move and a broken tackle.

Ground pound. The Mistake finished with 47 yards on 20 carries...a meaty 2.4 average. His longest run was 10 yards and he did have a touchdown. The Colts keep sending him "into the garbage" at the line of scrimmage and expecting he'll get out of it. He won't.

Richardson in the passing game. Richardson had a drop on a poorly thrown ball from Luck. Other than that, though, he did some nice work out of the backfield, catching four passes for 54 yards. I hate it when people say they need to get a certain player out in space (I think about "Pigs in Spaaaaaaace" every time), but Indy needs to give Richardson a couple chances on screens and swing passes. He's show he can be effective there.

T.Y. triumphant. T.Y. Hilton had six catches for 105 yards. He was really, really good in the first half. The Colts moved him around and he hurt the Titans on all kinds of routes.

I love it when M. Adams does well. Mike Adams had two interceptions against the Titans. Both were kind of "right place, right time," but they still count. He wears number custom Colts jersey is number 7. Nine minus two equals seven, you know? Coincidence? Oh, yeah, totally that.

Maybe he should get mugged every single time? Coby Fleener, left completely by himself last week when dropping a pass, made a nice TD catch this week after getting absolutely mugged. He stuck with the play, though, and made a nice catch.

Four TDs, four different guys. Dwayne Allen, Reggie Wayne, Coby Fleener, and Ahmad Bradshaw were all recipients of TD passes this week for the Colts.

One of the greats. How good is Reggie Wayne? How about a third down catch that he went up and got? Or a sideline back shoulder throw in which he caught the ball, spun, and got into the end zone? Or there's this: he's seventh on the NFL's career receptions list and 10th in career receiving yards. He's caught three or more passes in 75 straight NFL record.

The interception. What did Andrew Luck see there? Who was he trying to get the ball to? Those are answers only No. 12 knows. As soon as he threw the ball, he knew it was a mistake and sprinted downfield to make the tackle. Still, the bonehead play opened the door--just slightly--for the Titans. You can't make those kinds of mistakes against anyone.

Turnover battle. The Colts keyed on a pair of early turnovers to take control of the game. While the Titans did draw within 20-10, the game wasn't close.

Gutsy call. The Chuck Pagano Colts aren't known for rolling the dice or doing anything particularly risky. Indy flipped the script with an onside kick after their first touchdown. They caught the Titans sleeping, and it was a beautiful thing. Even if it hadn't paid off, I would've appreciated it.

Robert Mathis' suspension is over! Not that it matters.

Monday fallout. Speaking of players who won't be with the Colts, Da'Rick Rogers was dismissed from the team after a drinking and driving arrest. Then we learned LaRon Landry earned a four-game suspension for violating the league's PED policy. Great job, guys. Dismissing Rogers? He had zero impact on the team, but his size and speed kept him on the roster, so it's not a big loss if the Colts stay healthy at wide receiver. I've criticized Landry, but you never like to see a starting player miss four games.