Monday, December 1, 2014

Colts Observations, Week 13 vs. Redskins

Quick summary:

A cloud of doubt once again hangs over the Colts after another slow start. Eventually, they get it together and show Washington the true meaning of pain.

Awful start. Andrew Luck was sacked on the first play of the game and fumbled the ball, giving the Redskins great field position. Washington settled for a field goal. Luck threw an interception on the next series, but the 'Skins couldn't capitalize. Since the Redskins are a terrible football team, none of these things mattered.

BOOM, BABY! The Colts have a great two-back system: Trent Richardson and the Other Guy Who Runs It Better. Herron went 49 yards on a touchdown run and was solid. However, he also put the ball on the turf for the second straight game. That's something to watch.

The Mistake. We're back to calling Trent Richardson "The Mistake" this week. It's a pretty popular thing to do, but he was especially ineffective this week, averaging just 1.5 yards/carry and gracing us with a long rush of three yards. Three. Stinking. Yards. Richardson's obviously not the guy the Colts thought he'd be, but they could also use him a little better. He's been more effective on swing/screen passes. Then again, when you have T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Reggie Wayne, Dwayne Allen, and Coby Fleener to throw to, why waste a pass on T-Rich?

Fleener! No one covered Coby Fleener this week. He had a monster game, reeling in four catches for 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The first TD catch was beautiful. The second TD catch was an exercise in teamwork and hustle. Then again...

#Fleenered! We've seen this one before: Coby Fleener, no one around him, drops a perfectly thrown pass. Why does this happen? Does he think too much when he's all by himself and a touchdown is all but assured? The world may never know.

Good grief, Moncrief! Less playing time for Hakeem Nicks means more playing time for Donte Moncrief which means a lot of happy Colts fans. Washington's secondary refused to cover Moncrief, who got loose for touchdown catches of 48 and 79 yards. Perhaps even more heartening was how Moncrief hustled during Fleener's long catch and run, keeping a couple of would-be tacklers away from No. 80.

T.Y.! T.Y. Hilton caught the second of Luck's five touchdown passes. He made a pair of jaw-dropping grabs that had to be seen to be believed. Seriously, they were great. T.Y. can beat you deep, but he can also get you with his route running and elusiveness. He made great adjustments on both catches.

The turnover bug. Add three more turnovers to this team's tally. One day, they'll learn to take care of the ball. Maybe.

Fourth and duh. Aggressive? Warranted? Stupid? There are several adjectives to describe Jay Gruden's decision to go for it on fourth and short in Washington's own territory. It backfired and basically clinched the game for Indy. Washington called for a play-action pass in hopes of catching the Colts off-guard. But they forgot to block Erik Walden, who shot through the right side, blindsided Colt McCoy, and forced a fumble. D'Qwell Jackson picked it up for one of the easiest scoop-and-score defensive touchdowns you'll ever see. That decision--or the failed execution of the play call--was the game's defining moment.

The Meal McCoy. The Colts defense feasted on Colt McCoy, sacking him six times. The D was credited with nine QB hits. Walden had a pair of sacks while Greg Toler, Jerrell Freeman, Jonathan Newsome (1.5) and Art Jones (0.5) all got in on the hot McCoy action.

But they didn't get him every time. McCoy's highlight of the game was somehow evading three different Colts defenders who had him dead to rights and then flicking a pass to wide open Logan Paulsen, a dude who's been targeted 13 times this season and has only caught 11 total passes.

Will they ever beat a good team? The Colts beat up on FCS Jacksonville last week and Washington this week. Against teams with actual talent and quarterbacks, they're 0-4 (Denver, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New England). Two of those games weren't even close. Look, the Colts play the schedule they're given, and that schedule includes the Titans and Jaguars. I'd just like to see them rise to the occasion and beat a contender.

Did Mike Adams try to hurt DeSean Jackson? Internet rumblings tell me it looks like Mike Adams took a dive after being pushed in the back so he could take an "unintentional shot" at Jackson's legs. As in any case, you'll see what you want to see. Maybe next time the Washington player who hit Adams late will think twice before doing it.

Would it make a good Subway commercial? Just imagine RGIII, clipboard in hand, telling us about the benefits of Subway's low-fat, low-calorie sandwich offerings. "Subway, the official training restaurant of backups everywhere."

That tight end problem. Jordan Reed caught 9 passes for 123 yards, proving once again that the Colts simply can't cover tight ends.

Josh Cribbs. I think it's safe to say that Cribbs has brought excitement to the return unit. He's fearless and decisive. One day, the Colts will be able to set up a return without getting a penalty. It was a problem when Griff Whalen was returning punts, too. Cribbs also had a fantastic special teams tackle that pinned Washington deep in its own territory.