The Indianapolis Colts lost to the Houston Texans 22-17 on Sunday, falling flat in their biggest and most important game of the season.
The loss drops the Colts to 6-7 on the year and to third place in the AFC South, and the team will likely be officially eliminated from playoff contention soon enough because Sunday's game was essentially the final straw. It wasn't a good game for anyone, so there's not a ton of positives to point out, but there are still some things to note as we take a look at the snap counts from the ugly loss.
- It wasn't really a good game for anybody yesterday, but if we're going to point out a couple of players who did step up, we should mention T.Y. Hilton, Jack Doyle, and Frank Gore. Hilton was once again the only reliable wide receiver despite the Texans trying to stop him, as he caught nine passes for 119 yards and a touchdown on 63 snaps. The rest of the wideouts combined? Four catches for 40 yards on 119 snaps. Doyle was the team's second-leading receiver as he caught five passes for 55 yards, proving once again to be a reliable receiving target for Andrew Luck. And Gore rushed ten times for 41 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and caught two passes for 33 yards and a touchdown, totaling 74 yards and a touchdown on the day.
- Regarding Gore, some media members have opted to criticize the Colts for not using him more, and on the surface just ten carries for him on a day where he was running well and not much else was working for Indy is bad coaching. But he spent quite a bit of time on the sidelines on Sunday, and he appeared to be getting looked at by trainers at one point. We've heard nothing about a potential injury (and nobody has asked about it, either), but the fact that he played less than half of the snaps and less than Robert Turbin would seem to give some credence to that thought.
- Once again the Colts had to endure shuffling along the offensive line, as Anthony Castonzo, Joe Haeg, and Joe Reitz were the only linemen to play every snap. Ryan Kelly left with an injury at one point but returned, and Jack Mewhort went out with a season-ending knee injury. That meant that Jon Harrison saw quite a few snaps, and even Le'Raven Clark - yes, Le'Raven Clark! - saw a few snaps.
- Since both Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson have been quick to point to the stat sheet today, I guess we should probably mention that the leading tacklers for the Colts on Sunday were the young starting linebackers: Edwin Jackson had ten tackles and Antonio Morrison had nine tackles. So Pagano and Grigson are apparantly pretty happy about those stats, even though the team gave up 185 yards rushing.
- With Clayton Geathers out, T.J. Green saw just 33% of the snaps! Darius Butler got the start at safety, and while Green did play (especially early on), he didn't see a ton of playing time. He did leave at one point with an injury but appeared to be fine, and we've received no update of an injury either. So it's possible his snaps were limited by injury, but with him it's also just possible that the Colts are trying to get him on the field less after seeing him struggle. Either way, it's something worth noting.
(Note: Only those playing more than 50% of the special teams snaps appear here, so this is not the entire list):