INDIANAPOLIS – Looking for their first win of 2014, the Colts could not hold onto a 14-point second-half lead on Monday night.
After keeping the Eagles electric offense to just six points through three-and-a-half quarters, Philadelphia ended the game on a 24-7 run.
The Colts will now head to Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon to start a stretch of three divisional games in the next four weeks.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
FINISH THE JOB – The Colts played with a lead for the majority of Monday night but could not hold off the Eagles explosive attack. After the game, the talk centered on a fourth quarter drive the Colts had leading by seven points and within field goal range. While opinions will vary on an Andrew Luck interception, the Colts know they had their chances to close the door on a win over the defending NFC East Champions.
GROUND ATTACK EXCELS– All week long, it was no secret that a productive Colts rushing attack would go a long way in slowing down the Eagles offense. Behind a 69-yard rushing output in the opening frame (the largest for the Colts since 2007), the Colts piled up a total of 169 rushing yards. Both Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw eclipsed the 70-yard mark on the ground.
BIG PLAYS PLAGUE COLTS– The Eagles led the NFL last year with 99 plays of at least 20 yards. They had six in their season opener and added another half dozen on Monday night. A pair of third-quarter chunk plays will eat at the Colts. With the Colts leading by 14, Eagles tight end Zach Ertz caught a 21-yard pass on a third-and-11. On the next Eagles drive, it was LeSean McCoy running for 21 yards on a third-and-15 draw play.
BETTER START – It wasn’t immediately out of the gate, but the Colts start on Monday night was what this team is looking for going forward. Behind a defense holding the Eagles to field goals in red zone trips, the Colts built a 17-6 halftime lead. We saw what playing ahead of schedule can do for this team thanks to a strong run game and sustained drives.
PLENTY OF THREE TIGHT END SETS – A major beneficiary of the Colts ground success goes to some three-tight end sets with Jack Doyle playing h-back. Doyle logged 36 of the team’s 72 offensive snaps on Monday night. The multiplicity of this offense was once again on display and gives opposing defenses something to take into account each week.
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