On September 24, 2017 the Indianapolis Colts will host the Cleveland Browns. In this week three match up I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea for what we’re up against. The Browns have a young roster chocked full of young talent and high draft picks. The last time our Colts played the Browns we needed a patented Andrew Luck led game winning drive to bring home the W.
A lot of faces have changed for both teams since 2014, hopefully that turnover results in a similar outcome. Let’s figure out what we can expect in week three.
- What Losses Are Made Of:
Sure, it’s impossible to know that the Browns get a stop if he gets that ball off clean, but the bottom line is, this TD could have meant the difference from 1-0 to 0-1.
Punter: Britton Colquitt
The Browns signed Colquitt to a four-year extension in the off-season. Colquitt is an average punter, most of his 2016 metrics are near the middle of the pack. I don’t expect to see any massive punts or expect to see consistent punts downed inside the 20.
Another thing to note is that Colquitt, in the league since 2010 has thrown only one pass, seven years ago. It is pretty safe to assume we won’t see any fake punts in the game and if by some chance we do, it’s probably not going to be a pass.
Kicker: Zane Gonzalez
Depending on who you talk to Zane Gonzalez might be the best kicker prospect in years, even better than Roberto Aguayo which despite his bust status, was considered one of the best prospects to ever kick footballs.
So far he’s 100% on the season. Gonzalez is known to have a big leg so expect to see a lot of touchbacks and if the situation calls for it a couple long field goal attempts.
Wildcards of the game
These are the “if” guys of our match-up. If they live up to the hype, draft position, or past success they could impact the game in a big way. This week I believe the biggest wildcards are defensive backs Derrick Kindred and Briean Boddy-Calhoun.
- Derrick Kindred
Kindred played well in week one getting an INT and notching three tackles. He was generally in good position for the majority of the game. If he can continue this level of play Kindred could have a big impact in both the run and pass game. Look for him to play closer to the line while Jabril Peppers plays deep.
- Briean Boddy-Calhoun
If this play looks familiar it’s because I used the same one yesterday. Boddy-Calhoun is the guy who tipped the pass that allowed our other wildcard player, Kindred to run under the deflected ball and get the INT. It’s interesting to note that Cleveland only played three cornerbacks in week one and Boddy-Calhoun was used most of the game as the nickel. Week two saw the Browns use a fourth corner, Michael Jordan but he only played one down in the game.
The Colts don’t have a threat in the slot that anyone is going to lose sleep over but Boddy-Calhoun has a chance to take the option completely away and hopefully for the Colts, doesn’t have a chance to tip any passes.
The Browns are improving. That much seems clear, what we don’t know is how much better they really are. On one hand I look at their defense and just due to their scheme, speed, and overall talent up front and I believe they can stay in most games based on that strength alone.
On the other hand when we look at the Browns offense, there is a serious lack of play making talent. They have a few really nice players, but each can be game planned around. Couple that with starting a rookie QB who is bound to have struggles, the Browns offense is beatable.
So the question becomes, if neither team can score how ugly will this game be?
I believe that we could see a historic day punting the football. I know that’s probably not what many people think about going into a game but I honestly don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that we see either Britton Colquitt or Rigoberto Sanchez move into the top five on the single game punts list.
NFL Draft Watch
I wanted to add a segment that will cover our draft positioning as the year progresses. No, I’m not suggesting that we throw the season or that we should all look forward to the draft. Rather I hope that this will allow us all to be aware of next off-season and realize how much our 2018 outlook can change from week to week.
I would like to point out a really cool site that covers the NBA, NHL and NFL: Tankathon. It has a funny name but it serves a cool purpose, weeding out tie breakers to show who is slated to draft where.
2018 Colts Draft Position Post Week Two:
Coin flip for 1st Overall
If the season ended today (the NFL wouldn’t be very popular) the Indianapolis Colts would need a coin flip to determine if they would pick first or second overall. In the modern era our Colts have had the top pick, five times and the second overall pick three times.
Colts 1st overall picks: John Elway, Jeff George, Steve Emtman, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck.
Colts 2nd overall picks: Marshal Faulk, Quentin Coryatt and Cornelius Bennett
Ultimately I don’t believe the Colts will be in contention for the top spot in a few weeks time but if by some horrible luck we are, this would be a great year for a team with a franchise QB to have a pick in the top 3. If this is the case, expect the Colts to move back with a team looking to land a rookie QB and look for what we receive in return to be astonishing.