The Colts Re-Watch: Week 4 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Each week, I will head back to the computer to re-watch the Indianapolis Colts’ previous game – sometimes multiple times – to help pick up on some things I might have missed the first go-around while watching live.
Sitting at 1-3 with a share of the division's basement isn't where the Colts hoped to be, and after narrowly losing to a previously winless Jacksonville Jaguars squad, 30-27, things are starting to get really discouraging for the Colts.
Andrew Luck didn't play perfectly, but he wouldn't be getting as negative of attention if box score scouts realized that his receivers dropped six passes. Between Frank Gore, Josh Ferguson, Chester Rogers and Dwayne Allen, their drops accounted for approximately 35 yards, and three of them would have been first downs. Regardless, Luck does have a tendency to hold onto the ball for too long, which helped lead to his taking 6 sacks.
- Gore is doing everything that the team could ask of him, but they have to abandon the run in the second half far too often. Gore has been on pace for 100 yards at halftime in each of the past two weeks, only to come up short in the second half.
- Though he still hasn't gotten anything going on the ground, rookie running back Ferguson is running after the catch with more decisiveness and authority than he was in the preseason and early into the regular season. Instead of losing his balance at the thought of squaring up with a defender, he is now seeing his path and shooting forward.
- The Colts defense continues to have issues corraling running backs that can catch. Jacksonville got TJ Yeldon involved quite a bit, touching the ball 18 times for 117 total yards. For the Colts, this should improve in theory considering they have three safeties who are more than willing tacklers in Mike Adams, Clayton Geathers and T.J. Green, plus cornerback Vontae Davis, but as the saying goes, "Ain't nothin' to it but to do it."
- Okay, so the Colts started three rookie offensive linemen, but the Jaguars also started two (essentially) rookie defensive ends, plus rotated in rookie tackle Sheldon Day, and they all wreaked havoc. True rookie Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler, who also just played his fourth career game after missing all of 2015 with a knee injury, were in the backfield consistently and made Colts offensive tackles Anthony Castonzo and Joe Haeg look like slouches at times. Overall, the Jaguars D-line as a unit whooped up and the Colts' O-line.
- The Colts' pass coverage downfield was pretty good. Though he is terrible at decision-making when his first couple of looks break down, the Colts sent Blake Bortles running several times, a total of seven times in the game. Vontae Davis held Pro-Bowler Allen Robinson in check for the most part when the two were matched up with each other. Davis actually began shadowing Robinson later in the game which was a great call on the coaching staff's part.
- Other than when he needs a rest, just keep Sio Moore in next to D'Qwell Jackson. The Moore/Antonio Morrison/Josh McNary carousel isn't helping the team right now.
The coaching is arguably hurting the Colts as much as some of the on-field miscues from the players in critical situations. The fact that they don't go no-huddle until they're down by multiple scores in the second half is dumb. At one point, down 30-27, with 1:36 left, the Colts were able to force a Jags three-and-out and force the punt with 38 seconds left. They then decided not to put a punt returner downfield. They could have called for a fair catch with 32 seconds left. Instead, without the returner, they let the Jaguars down the ball, milking the clock down to 26 seconds. How does that happen? It's just another example of how the Colts are constantly unprepared. However, how can you expect a team that doesn't get prepared for a home game in Indianapolis to be prepared for a game across the Atlantic Ocean?
- This has the early makings of a pretty decent rivalry. Two teams with young quarterbacks that should lead the franchise for years to come, plus chippy play is resulting from what appears to be a dislike for one another. These teams square off again in Week 17, and at least one of them may be in play for a wild-card spot, assuming they don't recover in time to be leading the division.
Jake Arthur is the AFC South Division Manager, Indianapolis Colts Team Manager, Assistant Director of NFL Content and a Featured Analyst for Pro Football Spot. He is also a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @JakeArthurPFS on Twitter as well as on Facebook, Google+ and FanCred.
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