March 19, 2018

Preview Of The Enemy: Indianapolis Colts Game Two

The team the Texans were supposed to be would beat the Colts this week and win their first ever game at Indianapolis. Sadly, as you know, the Texans are no where close to that level and the Colts will likely win their 12th game over the Texans in Indianapolis. With Reggie Wayne, the Colts were 5-2; they’re 3-3 without their star wide receiver. With Reggie Wayne the Colts knocked out powerhouse teams like the Seahawks, Broncos, and 49ers; without him they lost to the Rams and Cardinals by a combined score of 78-19.

For the season, the Colts have actually allowed more points per game than they’ve scored (24.3-24.1), but the AFC South is a joke so they’ve already won the division. The Colts expected win total (an estimate of what the team’s record “should have been,” given the team’s points scored and allowed. The concept goes back to baseball analyst Bill James) at this point is just 6.4-6.6; they’re a mediocre team.


No Mistakes – The Colts rank first in the league in fewest turnovers per game with just 13 total through their first 12 games. The Colts are also the second (tied with New England) least penalized team in the league with just 4.4 penalties per game. Football can sometimes be very simple; if you don’t turn the ball over and don’t commit penalties, you’ll be in almost every game.

Lucky Luck – The second year quarterback already has 10 game winning drives under his belt in less than two seasons and has shown a knack for making big timely plays. By comparison, Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger both had just 8 game winning drives during their first two seasons; Eli Manning didn’t lead his 10th game winning drive until late in his fourth season.


Trent Richardson is a Bust – The former first round pick has rushed for four yards per carry or better in just one game this season (40 yards on 10 carries in the Colts 19-9 loss to San Diego). Overall this season Richardson is rushing for a pitiful 2.97 yards per carry. Forty running backs have carried the ball 100 times or more this season, Richardson ranks 38th amongst those backs in yards per carry (Willis McGahee and Bernard Pierce are both averaging 2.7 ypc). In the six games since their bye, the Colts have averaged just 78.5 rushing yards per game; only the Steelers and Jaguars have an average lower than that for the season.

No Identity on Offense – The Colts came into this season wanting to establish themselves as a power run team after ranking 22nd in rushing yards per game and 23rd in yards per rush attempt last year. In 2012 their top two rushers both averaged only 3.9 yards per carry. To fix the situation, they hired Pep Hamilton, Andrew Luck’s old offensive coordinator from Stanford. At Stanford Hamilton ran an offense that leaned heavily on two and three tight end sets and the power run game to set up play action passes. With Hamilton in place, two second year tight ends that they were high on, and the later traded for Richardson, the Colts thought they had everything in place to become the team they desired to be.

After TE Dwayne Allen got hurt and Richardson turned out to be a disaster, the Colts were left trying to execute an offense that no longer fit their roster. When Reggie Wayne was lost for the season from a knee injury, the option of going back to a pass first offense like they ran under Bruce Arians (627 pass attempts to 440 rush attempts in 2012) was no longer a good option either. In the six games since the injury to Reggie Wayne, Luck has averaged 6.44 yards per pass attempt, while completing 56% of his passes with a 79.9 QB rating. In the seven games before the injury, Luck averaged 7.03 yards per pass attempt, while completing 60% of his passes with a 91.3 QB rating. The Colts have the division and a playoff spot wrapped up for this year, but they have some big issues to address going into next season if they want to take the next step.

However, what they do still have should be good enough to beat a deflated Texans team.


Colts 27
Texans 20

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: