Each week, I will look to break down two of the best or worst plays (or situations) from the previous game, but I’ll be listening to Stampede Blue to choose which plays should given a closer look as I hope to explain what happened in greater detail than the broadcasters can. Often you’ll hear “how did that guy get so open?” and I hope to be able to answer that question for Colts fans this season.
At the end of the day our Colts weren’t able to come away with a victory on the road in New York but there were some positives to take from the game. The big winner of this week’s poll is one of those positives. Marlon Mack’s third quarter runs from shotgun formations were a sight for sore eyes, but I realized pretty quickly that the formation wasn’t really that important, but we’ll get into that later.
The second place poll winner was Andrew Luck’s fourth quarter interception. It was not a positive but when you’re 1-5 and lose to the Jets, there are going to be some negatives. We’ll start with Luck’s pick and get to the exciting stuff later.
Andrew Luck’s 4th Quarter INT:
This angle isn’t the best but you can see a little of what happens.
Have you ever been in traffic and seen someone with their turn signal on? You probably thought, oh that guy is trying to get over. Then depending on who you are you made a decision to react accordingly, you either close the gap between you and the guy in front of you because you’re a child that believes anyone in front of you is somehow accomplishing something that you aren’t or you do the mature thing and you give that person space to merge because everyone on the road is just trying to go home and see their family for a few hours before they have to go back out into that God-forsaken parking lot some people call the “interstate”.
Either way you have identified a signal of intent and made a decision accordingly.
That’s kind of what happens to Andrew Luck on this play. Jets linebacker Darron Lee (#58) has his turn signal on at the snap of this ball. Instead of trying to tell someone he wants to merge he’s showing blitz and because most teams usually rush four most of the time Andrew Luck believed Lee would be coming on that blitz.
Instead, Lee faked the blitz and dropped into coverage to intercept the pass. The equivalent of being duped by a little old lady who has had her turn signal on for the past ten miles but you didn’t notice until right before you made room to let her in and then she never comes over.
Long story short, Andrew Luck was fooled on this play. He thought he had an open receiver who had a step in coverage and had Lee actually blitzed, then Luck would have been right.
Marlon Mack’s 3rd Quarter Runs:
When watching the game, I placed too much emphasis on the formation Mack’s successful runs came out of. I noticed something else that was far more important and it’s something that Colts fans should be able to count on moving forward from this Colts team.
Also if you haven’t done it, go read Zach Hicks breakdown of Marlon Mack’s game last week. Zach was kind enough to let me use some of his gifs for this story, as we were largely discussing the same plays, though his focus was on Marlon Mack and I want to focus on a different aspect. I’m going to go ahead and show you four gifs in a row and I’m not going to offer any commentary until the end.
Instead, see if you notice anything about the runs, focus on the basics, don’t overthink it.
Did you notice anything?
I did. I noticed that every one of these runs was designed to go to the left side of the line. It is true that Mack’s explosiveness helped make these plays highly successful but the biggest difference between week six and the five games before it, was the play of the left tackle.
Anthony Castonzo is a huge reason the Colts were able to find success on the ground in the third quarter unlike any they had been able to have all year.
All off season I was excited and hopeful to watch Castonzo line up next to Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly. I really thought those three guys were talented enough to have a huge impact on games. It turns out we had to wait five weeks to see it happen, but hopefully we get to watch these three work together to move people for the next ten weeks and beyond, because for as well as Marlon Mack played, reading blocks and anticipating opening holes, this offensive line is just getting started.