Indianapolis Colts Football

THIRD AND SHORTS STALLED COLTS DRIVES

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 16, 2012 – 2:04 pm

For the first time in the 2012 season, the Colts offense was unable to score a touchdown on Sunday.

The Colts have scored at least two touchdowns in their first four games but the inability to finish off drives and protect the football limited the Indianapolis offense.

In starting out each half, quarterback Andrew Luck and the Colts offense marched into Jets territory before drives stalled out on what interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians called ‘manageable’ third downs.

-On the opening drive of the game, the Colts reached the Jets 40-yard line before facing a third-and-one. On a play-action pass, Luck appeared to have tight end Dwayne Allen open in the flat but overthrew his fellow rookie.

-The Colts defense forced a three-and-out and the offense was able to take over at its own 41-yard line. After a trio of first downs, the Colts had a third-and-one from the Jets two-yard line. Luck faked a handoff to running back Delone Carter, but threw it just over the outstretched hands of tight end Coby Fleener. The Colts would settle for a 20-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal.

Arians talked on Monday about what he saw from his ‘amped’ up rookie quarterback in missing those two opportunities.

“Just set your feet and throw it, you don’t have to throw those balls on the run. And take a little bit off of it because they’re there,” Arians said.

“The first one just keep moving, draw the defense in too you a little bit more and let Dwayne (Allen) clear it instead of just trying to lob it over his head. The second one same thing, you’ve got time, you don’t have to play at such a fast pace. Slow down and let the play happen.”

Following the Vinatieri field goal, the Jets would outscore the Colts 21-3 the rest of the half in pushing the margin to where a comeback would have to rival the one Indianapolis pulled off in the previous week against Green Bay

-The Colts defense forced an opening half three-and-out, providing the offense a chance to cut into the 21-6 lead. The offense drove to the Jets 43-yard line but on a third-and-three, Luck was under duress and in trying to throw the ball away he was penalized for intentional grounding

-On the following possession, the Colts defense once again forced a Jets three-and-out. Indianapolis drove to the New York 48-yard line but on a third-and-three, Luck’s deep pass intended for wide receiver Donnie Avery fell incomplete.

For the game, the Jets were 5-of-5 in red zone efficiency where as the Colts were 0-of-2.

The four turnovers for the Colts was the focus coming out of Monday’s media session but in looking closer at the game, Arians knows the importance of converting ‘manageable’ third downs.

“We got ourselves in very manageable situations and didn’t make the plays, especially early in the ballgame,” Arians said.

“We’ve been getting ourselves in good third-down situations, between one and five (yards) and that’s probably been the worst scenario to be in. That’s something we have addressed for two weeks and we just have to continue to address it.”


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