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The Colts The Colts notched their first win of the Frank Reich era with a 21-9 victory against the Washington Redskins. Many notable players stood out for the Colts but our focus in this article is the players that they were able to limit on the Redskins. The Redskins were coming off of a dominant win against the Cardinals but the Colts stonewalled them in all facets. Here’s revisiting the 5 Redskins players I said to lookout for on Sunday:Adrian Peterson/ Chris Thompson Youth Chester Rogers Jersey , RB:I said on Sunday that if the Colts want to win this game, they have to focus on eliminating the Redskins rushing attack. They did just that. They held the Redskins team to just 65 yards rushing on 22 attempts after they put up 182 the week before against the Cardinals. Adrian Peterson in particular was really bottled up. He had just 20 yards rushing on 11 carries in the game for just a 1.8 yards per carry average. Chris Thompson didn’t fair much better on the ground as he had only 1 yard rushing on 4 attempts.The other aspect of the talented duo that the Colts needed to bottle up was their ability to catch the football out of the backfield. Against the Cardinals in week 1, they combined for 130 yards and broke many big plays. The Colts did allow the backs to catch a lot of passes, they combined for 15 catches, but held them to only 126 yards. The Colts linebackers, tackling machine Darius Leonard in particular, did an excellent job of keeping the tandem in front of them and swarmed to every tackle. Taking these two out of the game crippled the Redskins offense.Jordan Reed, TE:The Colts did an excellent job of keeping Jordan Reed in check for most of the day. When healthy, Reed is one of the most talented tight ends in football but was limited due to the dominant play by the Colts linebackers. Reed’s best attribute is his athleticism and he is deadly in space with the ball in his hands. The Colts took this away from his game by rolling a safety over the top and forcing Jay Gruden to target Reed on short, dump-off throws. A key play involved Reed late in the game when rookie standout Darius Leonard forced him to fumble. Reed was going down holding the ball loosely when Leonard knocked the ball away. It was an excellent effort by the defense to limit one of the more explosive tight ends in football.Matt Ioannidis, DE:For almost the entirety of the game, the Colts offensive line dominated the Redskins front. The big matchup was Quenton Nelson vs top 15 picks D’aron Payne and Jonathan Allen, a matchup in which Nelson absolutely dominated. Going into the contest Matt Slauson against Matt Ioannidis worried me the most. Although Ioannidis did register a sack in the Colts’ lackluster third quarter, he was held in check for most of the day by the veteran guard.Ioannidis is a very impressive young player who was bound to make at least one play. Despite him getting a sack, Matt Slauson and Ryan Kelly deserve credit for their play this weekend. The Redskins defensive line is no slouch and the Colts’ front was more than ready for the challenge. This is a very hopeful sign for the future as Andrew Luck has rarely had protection like this in his career.Ryan Kerrigan, OLB:It may be time for us to start talking about how good of a season Joe Haeg is having. After holding his own against the likes of Carl Lawson the week before, Haeg shifted over to right tackle to face one of the top pass rushers in football in Ryan Kerrigan. Haeg not only held his own against Kerrigan http://www.thecoltsfoo....-hilton-jersey-authentic , he shut him down. Kerrigan was essentially a non-factor all day and I don’t recall that he made any impact plays.Joe Haeg was super impressive locking down Kerrigan, who is coming off of a 13 sack season in 2017. This certainly support his case to be the Colts’ starting RT once Anthony Castonzo returns. I also want to commend the performance of Le’Raven Clark as he played well against pass rusher Preston Smith, only getting beat once for a sack in the third quarter.Montae Nicholson, SAF:Montae Nicholson had a pretty solid game for the Redskins on Sunday. He was all over the field and his huge frame and speed were evident early on. He dominated the third quarter in both the pass and run games. Anybody watching should have noticed number 35 on defense.The Colts did use abuse him a little bit in the pass game though. He played mostly as a single high safety last season and is playing more in the box man coverage this year. The Colts abused his inexperience as Nicholson was the target of pick and iso plays. He often gave up too much separation in these situations. He was also the player who got beat by Eric Ebron for a touchdown. Overall, the Colts did an excellent job of limiting the impact of the Redskins’ best defensive athletes and created separation through pick plays and crossing concepts.Knee-Jerk Reactions: Colts fall to Texans in overtime 37-34 The Indianapolis Colts have not put it all together in 2018. Andrew Luck has been asked to play a big role at times and has been ineffective at others. The offensive line has shown some signs of improvement, especially along the interior, but the tackle depth is a major weakness. The defense has been very impressive for much of the season, creating pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and making difference-making plays that give the team the opportunity to win football games. The unit has also come up a little short by allowing big drives to get into scoring position late in games.The first and perhaps most important knee-jerk reaction from the Colts and Texans game is that Andrew Luck is completely healthy. All of the chatter and nonsense about hidden issues facing Luck’s throwing shoulder or a lack of arm strength were answered repeatedly today. No quarterback with arm strength or shoulder weakness throws more than 60 times in a ball game including taking numerous deep shots and a ridiculously long hail mary. If Reich was worried about shoulder strength or setbacks, he doesn’t have Luck throw over 60 yards with one second left in regulation.The Colts need to get Zach Pascal more active in the offense every week. This unit lacks a ton of proven talent at wide receiver and Pascal has been a consistent contributor on offense and special teams. Most importantly, he has shown tremendous hands and isn’t dropping key passes at key moments. Nyheim Hines is starting to make his presence felt. He should be rarely used to pick up yards on the ground as a lone running back but he can move all over the field and create the kinds of defensive issues that Reich and Sirianni envisioned when they selected him in the 2018 NFL Draft. It is stunning to think about how far he has come from fumbling away punts in the preseason to looking like a speedy and shifty offensive weapon just 4 weeks into his rookie season.The Colts gave away another winnable game. Remember in Week 1 against the Bengals when Andrew Luck was driving down the field on a would-be game winning drive and Jack Doyle fumbled? Remember when Andrew Luck and the offense had multiple chances to punch the ball into the end zone against the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles but failed to do so? Well, mark down another example of a would-be win in your memory.The Indianapolis Colts defense was legitimately responsible for giving up 17 points to the Texans offense during regulation. Andrew Luck led the offense down the field for 31 offensive points. Unfortunately, a bad snap by Ryan Kelly on the goal line and strip sack given up deep in their own territory on another possession resulted in another 14 points for Houston. Frankly, Indianapolis shouldn’t have been in a position to play for overtime and the Texans should have gone home devastated after a thrashing on the road. Sadly, after an impressive four quarters for the defense, overtime saw the group fail to make big plays when they needed it most. Darius Leonard guessed wrong on a key Deshaun Watson scramble on third down. The pass rush couldn’t land when the defense needed a big play. The secondary, safeties in particular Womens Margus Hunt Jersey , played way too loose in coverage and allowed huge passing plays in front of them to keep drives going.Lastly, the Frank Reich decision to go for a first down on 4th-and-4 in overtime was bad football. If his team of analytics experts played a part in that decision, Reich needs to recognize when football intelligence overrides statistical analysis. This was a game that 1) the Colts really needed to win, 2) they had no business taking to overtime after the offensive disasters of the first half, and 3) has huge implications for the division. You don’t play “aggressive” in your own territory in overtime when a field goal defeats you. Ties may not feel good to a fan base but they will make a difference when tie breakers come into play for playoff consideration later in the year.Unless you don’t care about your chances to make the playoffs, you punt the ball away and take the tie. No-brainer football stuff. Analytics or no.Let’s take a look at how the keys to the game played out against the Texans.Pester Deshaun WatsonFor a second straight week, the Colts found ways to get to the quarterback. There has been a lot of mutually beneficial work happening in the secondary and along the defensive line. Some of the sacks have been due to edge rushers landing with athleticism and speed. Some of the pressure has been the result of excellent coverage from a young secondary. It is certainly fair to recognize that the pass rush is still inconsistent but it is also clear that this group has come a very long way from 2017. The Colts accumulated 7 sacks today, versus 4 given up against J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney with backups at both tackle spots.Red Zone EfficiencyAfter struggling early in the year, it is a relief to see the Colts score in each of their 4 red zone visits. The first half offense was putrid and did not get much of an opportunity to get in Texans territory but once the ball started moving in the second half, things really started to click.Andrew Luck’s Decision-Making and AccuracyThis is perhaps one of the most impressive single game performances of Andrew Luck’s career. He completed 40 of 62 passing attempts for 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. He did this without T.Y. Hilton for a significant portion of the second half and while facing considerable pressure from Houston’s marquee pass rushers J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.Of Luck’s incompletions, a half dozen were drops by his receivers. Without those drops, he would have a 75% completion percentage. Other than a couple of passes that were slightly overthrown or underthrown, his accuracy was fantastic. He hit T.Y. Hilton on a 42 yard bomb along the right sideline and threw a hail mary at the end of regulation that went 60 yards down the field.Any suggestion that Andrew Luck’s throwing shoulder is causing a strength issue at this point is comical. His first game back saw him throw over 50 times, this game saw him throw over 60 times and put up a QB rating of over 108. If Luck’s shoulder is causing an issue, it isn’t enough to impact his ability to win football games.Offensive BalanceFrankly, there isn’t any. The Colts have failed to create any threat of a running game and are having to rely entirely on Andrew Luck. Anthony Castonzo’s pending return may play an important role in improving the running game and Robert Turbin’s return from suspension will also help but Frank Reich and Nick Sirianni must find a way to create some balance offensively or Luck will be a sitting duck in the pocket.Slow Down the Texans Pass RushThe offensive line struggled mightily in the first half with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. Watt gathered two sacks and was credited with two forced fumbles. Watt beat Le’Raven Clark with speed around the edge. The second half?The coaching staff and offensive linemen made some changes that really slowed things down. Luck ran a quick no-huddle approach that was creating real issues for the Houston defense. It wasn’t until overtime that Clowney was able to land another sack with a stunt to the inside beating Quenton Nelson.

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