Indianapolis Colts Football

Five Things Learned, St. Louis-Colts

Posted by craigkelleycolts on November 11, 2013 – 9:31 am

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Intro:  Indianapolis suffered a 38-8 setback to the Rams, the first-ever NFL game that ended by that score and the club’s largest-margin loss of the season.  Here are Five Things Learned from Sunday.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are 6-3 and lead the AFC South by two games, but the game that dropped Indianapolis from two to three losses was a 38-8 home defeat to St. Louis.

The Rams scored touchdowns offensively, defensively and on special teams before the game was 20 minutes old.  Indianapolis was not able to get on track the rest of the day.

The Colts have four days to rebound in facing Tennessee in Nashville on Thursday Night Football.  The Titans are 4-5 and are the Colts’ nearest divisional competitor.

Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.

COMEBACKS NOT THE BLUEPRINT – During the week, Andrew Luck said the Colts would not be able to survive their mistakes forever.  Miscues in every phase of the game put the Colts behind by three touchdowns before 20 minutes ticked off the clock.  Twice under Luck and Chuck Pagano, the Colts have rallied from 18-point deficits to win.  The franchise record for the largest deficit overcome is 21 points on four occasions.  No one wants this scenario, and Luck likely would prefer that an 11th comeback win in late, dramatic fashion doesn’t happen any time soon.  Early execution can avoid these deficits.  It has not been a consistent part of this team’s DNA, but it doesn’t mean it cannot become so going forward.

EFFORT NOT ISSUE – Pagano made clear his team battled for 60 minutes Sunday, though the field was tilted heavily against it quickly.  He is correct.  The team will not give up its fight.  Improving the techniques, fundamentals and communication can yield the desired results.  Pagano has a “process” instilled in this team.  He told it Sunday to give credit where it is due – to the Rams – then put the game behind it and move on.  It’s the only approach.  Dismissing problems is not done in Pagano’s program.  Correcting ills is the tactic.  It starts today and will be on display again Thursday in Nashville.

PROTECTION IMPROVEMENT – St. Louis was the NFL’s top team with one quarterback sack per 9.8 attempts, and Indianapolis knew this going in.  In less than three minutes clock time, Luck suffered a sack-strip-touchdown.  The Colts knew going in protection was a premium.  Luck had been taken down four times among 11 hits at Houston.  Sunday was three more sacks and seven hits.  A team with an elite quarterback like Luck is going to have protect their asset with schemes, chips and protection from backs.  Anthony Castonzo said there was a misjudgment in protection on that first play.  Pagano stressed execution is the issue.  In seven remaining games, the target is for marked improvement in this area.

WINNING FIELD POSITION – Putting pressure on an opponent can be helped by winning the field position edge.  St. Louis clearly did so in the first half Sunday, averaging its five-possession half with a start point at its 40.  Indianapolis had seven possessions in the half with an average start at its 15-yard line.  The Colts had six punts and turnover.  Indianapolis did not start a drive outside its 35 until St. Louis had scored all its points.  Kickoff returns netted the Colts starts at their 35, 7, 7, 20, 13, 13 and 20.  Field position is not an intangible among statistics.

RED ZONE/THIRD DOWNS – The Colts did not convert a third down at Houston until the third quarter and then not until their eighth attempt.  For the game, they were four-of-13.  The Colts were one-for-eight Sunday against St. Louis in the opening half and two-for-12 for the game.  Extending drives lies in execution and staying in manageable situations.  The club has converted 13 of its last 52 third downs over four games, a total that needs juicing.  A heavily-tilted scoreboard took the Colts out of typical game situations and precipitated aggressive play calls.  Indianapolis scored on one-of-five red zone chances against St. Louis.  Entering the game, the Colts were 11th in the NFL in TD percentage in the red zone with 15 TDs in 25 trips (60%).  Prior to Sunday, Indianapolis had not failed to score in the red zone (25 trips, 15 TDs/10 FGs).  It was the NFL’s only perfect red zone scoring percentage.  The club now is tied-for-17th with 16 TDs in 30 trips, and its total red zone scoring percentage is 86.7.


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8 Responses to “Five Things Learned, St. Louis-Colts”

  1. By David Bacher on Nov 11, 2013 | Reply

    The issue with the Colts is the same every year, special teams. Payton might have won three of four if we had any skill in this area, it still is the same. Spcial teams represent more net yards than any other part of the game, can’t understand why whe spend millions on offense to gain 350 yards, yet nothing on special teams which represents maybe 500 net yard in a given game. It really is the deciding factor. Just talking playoffs, example with two bad teams, the SanDiego game they get kick off returns, punt returns, they put two or three punts inside the 5. We loast. How about the Jets game, Paytons last year, we score with 52 seconds, they return the kick off and we loose again. This year is no different.

  2. By TERRY on Nov 11, 2013 | Reply

    Saying things are “correctible” says nothing. 6The question is “how long will it take the Colts to correct things and quit doing things that need correction???!~ Our gunners never get down the field fast enough and the opposition has no fear running back kick-offs from deep in the end zone. And on punts, we are slow getting down and then we are never in position to recover a fumble or down a punt. The special teams are pitiful as far as coverage and kick/punt returns go, but the OL and DL leave a whole lot for improvement.

  3. By PUNISHER on Nov 11, 2013 | Reply

    Just one things to learn…The betting mafia was behind to lose vs Rams and many people have the bags full of money…

  4. By Woohoo on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    I’ll add one thing we already know. The Colts have one of the weakest fan bases in the entire NFL. Did everyone not notice how many people (not fans) left the stadium in droves as early as halftime?

    On the Colts Post Game radio show, host Craig Wakestraw (spelling)stated he is in support of fans who leave early. He said they paid for the show and can vote with their feet!

    …..and lest we forget recent history, over 10,000 season ticket holders cancelled their tickets when Manning was traded.

    We don’t see much of that happening in Green Bay, Pittsburgh or Foxborough.

  5. By Ray on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    You know there was a sport phase that read, Build it and they will come… might apply here. It’s mainly in part because of one of the all time great QB that’s gone but everyone knows it the house that Peyton Manning built. Now If you want them to stay for desert, put on the field a better packet. A packet that can consist of pro bowlers … check, future pro bowlers.. Check, a Great coaching staff.. Undecided, pending outcome, and some role players … hmm none comes to mind. Look how other teams played against us this year, down starting tackle, QB, made shift line WR and RB and played us extremely well with backup and role players. Where do we get some of them? We had a motto, next man up! What ever happen to that? story.

  6. By t on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    We found out we had no “next men.”

  7. By Ray on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    man I agree with you Terry. The way I see how our team covering kicks these days… must be arriving in some slow @#*! stage coaches with half the horses pulling/ going in the wrong @#! direction…. good lord.

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