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Colts Cast: Examining Colts 21-9 victory over the Redskins
07-11-2018, 12:00 PM
Post: #1
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Colts Cast: Examining Colts 21-9 victory over the Redskins
Top individual performances After a disappointing loss in Week 1 after the Colts held a 13-point lead Rigoberto Sanchez Jersey , the team bounced back in a major way yesterday against the Redskins. The defense was swarming all day, the offense was methodical for large stretches of the day and the coaching was excellent as well.Today we look back on Darius Leonard’s fantastic performance and what that means for the Colts’ defense going forward, the offensive line and how, with subs getting significant snaps at tackle, they continue to protect Andrew Luck enough to allow him to be successful at all depths of the field and what Frank Reich did before the game that may have been as important as anything he did all day.The Colts held the Skins to 65 rushing yards, zero touchdowns and disrupted their backfield all day with 11.5 tackles for loss. Additionally, the Colts are putting Reich’s system to good use as Luck is spreading the ball around and Jordan Wilkins is showing his vision in the running game which allows for the dink-and-dunk attack to stay unpredictable.This wasn’t just a win for the Colts, it was a peek into what their potential could lead to this season. They’ve worked over two very good defensive rosters, are still showing that they have some big-play ability as well as the patience to move down the field slow and steadily Al Woods Jersey , convert on third downs at an amazing rate and get points on the board. The Colts may not have the overall, top-end talent that most of the true contenders have right now, but they do have a group of guys who are playing extremely well together and are going to make life tough on whoever they play. This is such a fun group to watch, and regardless of their final record this year, Colts fans legitimately have something to be excited about right now, and definitely into the future.Please subscribe, rate and review the show anywhere you listen to podcasts.Colts Cast Links: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Art 19 | SB Colts Cast YT ChannelIndianapolis Colts Rookie Report: Week 5 vs. New England Patriots Injuries are forcing the Colts to make roster adjustments in order to put a healthy team on the field. For instance, in place of rookie linebacker Darius Leonard was rookie linebacker Zaire Franklin. In place of right tackles Joe Haeg and Denzelle Good was rookie guard/tackle Braden Smith. Even undrafted rookie George Odum had to take snaps during the game after Clayton Geathers left with an injury.The bad news is that these changes are made out of necessity and signal that the Colts are experiencing another season with a ridiculously high injury rate. The good news is that rookies are getting the opportunity to test their mettle against starting NFL talent and coaches are getting a look at film to help them improve.Let’s take a look at the role rookies played in Foxborough.OFFENSETwo of Chris Ballard’s top three picks in the 2018 NFL Draft played every snap on the offensive line. Quenton Nelson continued his impressive rookie season and Braden Smith out-performed the expectations of his coaches at right tackle. Given what we saw of him in preseason, I’m not particularly surprised by Smith’s performance. With the announcement of Matt Slauson’s move to injured reserve Cheap J'Marcus Webb Jersey , it will be interesting to see how the coaches handle Smith moving forward. One has to imagine that he will be given a long-term starting spot until or if Joe Haeg returns from the injured reserve.Rookie running back Nyheim Hines continues to see his role in the offense increase. Despite a small stature, he doesn’t shy away from contact as a blocker but his use in the passing game will be his most important contribution. The downside of his usage is that fellow rookie Jordan Wilkins has seen an decrease in his carries. Hines dominated the backfield snaps with 67% of the load while Wilkins had 22% — Turbin had 11%. Hines carried the ball 15 times for 45 yards, a 3 yards per carry average but hauled in 7 passes on nine targets for another 45 yards. Wilkins carried the ball 6 times for 39 yards, a 6.5 yard per carry average and hauled in 2 passes on 2 targets for 9 yards.When Marlon Mack returns and after Robert Turbin has a week of full practice to carve out his role in the committee, it will be interesting to see which rookie back is still involved. Smart money says that Hines may see his share of the offense stay at or around the same while Wilkins struggles to see the field.One question that has to start getting louder is when to the Colts activate rookie wide receiver Reece Fountain, or even undrafted rookie Steve Ishmael. There is no depth receiver in front of them that screams long-term solution so it wouldn’t be surprising to see one or both join the active roster at some point.DEFENSEWith Darius Leonard watching the game on the sidelines, Zaire Franklin was given the opportunity to play a larger role on defense. In fact, Franklin never left the field. After Anthony Walker suffered a concussion, veteran Najee Goode saw 74% of defensive snaps. Franklin finished with 11 tackles Adam Vinatieri Jersey , with only one solo. Kemoko Turay continued to be an active part of the defensive line rotation, gathering 55% of the defensive snaps. He finished the game with 1 quarterback hit. The only other rookie contribution on defense for the game was George Odum with 9 snaps. He did not tally a defensive stat.Second-year defenders did continue play an important role on defense, however. Malik Hooker played every defensive snap and led the team with 12 tackles. Anthony Walker played in 20% of the defensive snaps and gathered 3 tackles before leaving the field with an injury. Grover Stewart spent 47% of the game at nose tackle, which is higher than Al Woods at 41%, and tallied 3 tackles for the game.ANALYSISHealth has been a long-standing issue for the Indianapolis Colts. The upside this year is that the first- and second-year players that Chris Ballard is hoping will form the team’s identity are getting a lot of opportunities on the field and having a chance to make an impact. The downside is that even rookies and second-year players have been affected by the injury bug and the team simply cannot afford to have more of its young talent missing games for extended periods of time. Imagine how much better off the team would be if there were meaningful contributions from Deon Cain, Tyquan Lewis, Reece Fountain or Steve Ishmael. The latter two still have a chance and are sitting on the practice squad waiting but the first was a training camp and preseason sensation and the second was supposed to be one of the primary pass rushing puzzle pieces on defense. Lewis may return this season but losing Cain may have been a bigger blow than initially thought.
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