INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
The Colts closed out the first quarter of the season on Sunday with a 27-17 victory in Miami (1-3).
What was the good and bad from the Colts (1-3) beating Jacoby Brissett and the Dolphins?
-Defense Doing What It Needed To Do: The opponent was not some offensive juggernaut in Week 4. But the Colts defense still has a standard for the unit—something that hadn’t been met so far this season. It was met on Sunday (for three quarters, at least). The Colts took advantage of their definite strength in the trenches and that set up the impressive performance. They stuffed the Miami run game, got Jacoby Brissett routinely off his spot and created their most pressure of the season. It was a muffed punt that set-up Miami’s only points (3) of the first three quarters. Individually, Kemoko Turay needs mention for his two sacks, one that took a potential field goal off the board.
-There’s Big Mo: With the Colts struggling in the red zone this season, they’ve needed to take some 1-on-1 chances with more of their unique skill talent. Mo Alie-Cox qualifies as one of those guys and the Colts finally looked his way on Sunday. Alie-Cox just out-sized Miami DB-Eric Rowe for a 4th quarter touchdown that sealed this one. It was a jump ball that Carson Wentz tossed and hoped that the 6-inch size difference would win out. It did. This is why Alie-Cox must be utilized more, particularly in this part of the field.
-Big Plays In The Run Game: The Colts have had more explosive days in the run game (4.2 yards per carry on 33 carries for 139 yards), but what stood out on Sunday were a pair of big plays courtesy of Jonathan Taylor. A 23-yard TD run by Taylor followed up by a 38-yard run in the third quarter by Taylor were two big plays when the Colts needed to open things up more offensively. Plays like that are why the Colts traded up for Taylor. He’s not some elite third-down pass catcher. But he does bring big-play ability to the run game and the Colts have been missing that.
-Slow Start Offensively: Frank Reich mentioned after Sunday’s win how the defensive effort early on was what kept the Colts feeling like they were still in control, even if the scoreboard didn’t indicate that. Through 4 games, the Colts have scored just 3 points in the opening quarter, and that came on the first drive of the season. On Sunday, Reich had some poor clock management to end the half which hindered a late-scoring possibility. These are things you can get away with in playing the Dolphins, but not next Monday against the Ravens.
-Marlon Mack Touches: For the 2021 Colts, it’s a crime to have Marlon Mack out-touching Nyheim Hines 11-to-4 in a game. That was the case on Sunday, with both players logging 22 snaps. It’s puzzling to see Mack touch the ball so much when it’s clear that Jonathan Taylor and Hines are the far superior weapons right now. Was Mack getting those looks as trade bait? That would be a commitment to playing a worse player for a team that was 0-3 and in desperate mode for a win. Mack is a fine player, but giving him so many more chances than Hines is not smart. And the Mack we saw on Sunday is not a player who is going to all of a sudden garner some marquee draft pick via trade.
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