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Colts week two snap counts vs. Broncos: Notes and thoughts from the Colts' loss

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Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts lost to the Denver Broncos on Sunday 34-20 to fall to 0-2 on the 2016 season.  Let's take a look at the snap counts from the game to see what we can learn:

Offense:

Player Pos. Snaps Percent
Jack Mewhort G 73 100%
Joe Reitz T 73 100%
Andrew Luck QB 73 100%
Anthony Castonzo T 73 100%
Ryan Kelly C 73 100%
T.Y. Hilton WR 64 88%
Dwayne Allen TE 62 85%
Phillip Dorsett WR 61 84%
Denzelle Good T 49 67%
Jack Doyle TE 45 62%
Frank Gore RB 34 47%
Josh Ferguson RB 27 37%
Jonotthan Harrison C 24 33%
Chester Rogers WR 23 32%
Quan Bray WR 17 23%
Robert Turbin RB 12 16%
Erik Swoope TE 11 15%
Donte Moncrief WR 9 12%

Notes:

  • The reason for Donte Moncrief's snap count being so low is due to injury, as he suffered a head/neck injury early in the game and didn't return.  In his absence, Chester Rogers (23) and Quan Bray (17) saw a notable increase in their snap counts, while T.Y. Hilton (64) and Phillip Dorsett (61) obviously led the way.
  • Four of the five offensive linemen played the entirety of the snaps, with the lone exception being right guard Denzelle Good, who left with a back injury.  He still played the majority of the snaps, but Jonotthan Harrison filled in for him late in the game.
  • At running back, we saw Josh Ferguson's snaps increase significantly.  We learned last week that he's essentially the Colts' change-of-pace back, and he played that role again on Sunday.  Last week, he saw 12 snaps (17%), but this week he played 27 snaps (37%), just seven less than Frank Gore.  Ferguson also finished as the team's leader in receptions with five, as he caught all five targets for 29 yards and also had the highest yards per carry of any Colts back (he averaged 3.5 yards per rush on two carries for seven yards).  Frank Gore's snaps decreased this week (from 48 a week ago to 34 this week), but he did make some plays - he rushed 13 times for 44 yards (3.4 yards per carry) and caught three passes for 19 yards and a very acrobatic touchdown.  Robert Turbin rushed for a touchdown on Sunday, but his snaps stayed the same as last week (he had 12 both weeks).  So it probably depends on the situation and these snap counts will vary because of that, but at this point it looks like Josh Ferguson does have a pretty nice role in the Colts' offense.
  • Once again the Colts' top two tight ends dominated the snap counts at the position and they produced as well.  Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle were both in on over 60% of the snaps on Sunday, and they combined to catch six passes for 62 yards and a touchdown (Doyle was tied with T.Y. Hilton for the second-most receptions by a Colt).  Through two games, they have combined for 13 receptions, 150 yards, and three touchdowns on 19 targets.

Defense:


Player Pos. Snaps Percent
Mike Adams SS 71 100%
D'Qwell Jackson LB 66 93%
Sio Moore LB 59 83%
Rashaan Melvin CB 55 77%
Erik Walden LB 52 73%
Antonio Cromartie CB 51 72%
Darryl Morris CB 50 70%
David Parry NT 47 66%
Robert Mathis LB 47 66%
Zach Kerr DT 40 56%
Winston Guy SS 37 52%
Kendall Langford DE 36 51%
Clayton Geathers FS 34 48%
T.Y. McGill NT 31 44%
Curt Maggitt LB 27 38%
Akeem Ayers LB 23 32%
Hassan Ridgeway DT 21 30%
Darius Butler CB 15 21%
Josh McNary LB 14 20%
Matthias Farley FS 5 7%

Notes:

  • Through two games, safety Mike Adams has played 100% of the defensive snaps.  Considering the injuries elsewhere in the secondary, that's not surprising.
  • D'Qwell Jackson played most of the defensive snaps, but he still didn't have a very productive day.  After recording just two tackles last week, he at least doubled that number this week by recording four tackles, a tackle for loss, and a pass defensed.  But the reason Jackson is in there is because of his production, and so far it hasn't been great.  In fact, both games this season would rank among the five-lowest single-game tackle numbers Jackson has recorded in his last 50 games.  His six combined tackles this year would rank tied for his fifth-lowest tackle number in a single-game dating back to 2013, much less a two-game span.
  • Though Sio Moore was the best of the linebackers last week, he came crashing down this week.  He played the third-most snaps but didn't play very well, as he missed a bunch of plays and missed several tackles.
  • In the absence of Trent Cole, Curt Maggitt (27) and Akeem Ayers (23) saw their workload increased, though neither was particularly productive.
  • Zach Kerr really took advantage of his snaps to have a really strong performance to follow up a disappointing one last week.  Against the Broncos, Kerr recorded five tackles, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, and a sack.  He was arguably Indy's best defensive player on Sunday, and it was nice to see a really good game from him.
  • Speaking of quarterback hits, the Colts only registered four on Sunday - and Zach Kerr (2) and Mike Adams (2) had them both.  So the only Colts that actually got to the quarterback were a defensive lineman and a safety?  That's not exactly how it's supposed to work in this system, but it just goes to show how the Colts are desperate for players to step up all over the defense to help in the area of pass rush.
  • Rashaan Melvin, Antonio Cromartie, and Darryl Morris were the top three players in terms of snap counts at cornerback for the Colts in week two.  If you could have predicted that before (or even during) training camp, you'd be a millionaire right now.

Special Teams:

Player Pos Snaps Percent
Josh McNary LB 24 80%
Matthias Farley FS 23 77%
Curt Maggitt LB 20 67%
Antonio Morrison LB 19 63%
Jordan Todman RB 18 60%
Edwin Jackson LB 18 60%
Erik Swoope TE 17 57%
Jack Doyle TE 16 53%
Quan Bray WR 15 50%
Josh Ferguson RB 14 47%
Pat McAfee P 13 43%
Winston Guy SS 12 40%
Robert Turbin RB 9 30%
Darryl Morris CB 9 30%
Chester Rogers WR 8 27%
Mike Adams SS 8 27%
David Parry NT 8 27%
Zach Kerr DT 8 27%
Matt Overton LS 8 27%
Erik Walden LB 8 27%
Kendall Langford DE 7 23%
D'Qwell Jackson LB 7 23%
Hassan Ridgeway DT 5 17%
Jack Mewhort G 4 13%
Joe Reitz T 4 13%
Jonotthan Harrison C 4 13%
Rashaan Melvin CB 4 13%
Antonio Cromartie CB 4 13%
Joe Haeg T 4 13%
Adam Vinatieri K 4 13%
Denzelle Good T 3 10%
T.Y. McGill NT 3 10%
T.Y. Hilton WR 1 3%
Clayton Geathers FS 1 3%

Notes:

  • For the second straight week, Josh McNary dominated the special teams snap counts for the Colts, while Matthias Farley was second for the second straight week as well.
  • Pat McAfee and Adam Vinatieri continued to produce for the Colts, proving once again to be the most consistent part of the team.  McAfee managed to get his punts off despite a ton of pressure, and he averaged 56.5 yards per punt with a long of 72.  Vinatieri, meanwhile, hit both field goal attempts - from 48 and 52 yards out - to improve to 4-for-4 on the season and extend his consecutive made field goals streak to 29, which is the third-longest in Colts franchise history.
  • This morning the MMQB's Peter King pointed out that he can't understand why returners will bring the ball out of the end zone on a kickoff when a touchback now goes out to the 25 yard line (and he's right in saying that they should take more touchbacks in those situations).  It got me interested in seeing how Quan Bray has done in that department this year, so I looked it up.  He's returned three kickoffs, and two of them were fielded at the one yard line.  The other was fielded four yards deep in the end zone but he only got it out to the 21, so it would have been better to take the touchback.  Overall, he has returned three kicks and averaged 24 yards per return, with an average starting field position at the 23.3 yard line.  So it's still better to take the touchback when given the opportunity, but for the most part he's made good decisions in that area this year.