It is amazing what happens when you don’t sabotage yourself. This is the cleanest half of football the Colts have put together all season. The offense is hitting on all cylinders and has stayed balanced. The defense created two turnovers. One was created by Mike Mitchell’s forced fumble, recovered by Darius Leonard. Another turnover was created by an interception on a deep passing attempt by Derek Anderson that was returned deep into Bills territory — once again Mike Mitchell. One Hines run later, Indianapolis gets a late first half field goal and pushes the lead to 24 points.
ESTABLISH THE GROUND GAME
They have done this for much of the first half. They have 116 yards on the ground in the first half and are averaging 6.4 yards per carry. They utilized Marlon Mack heavily, who looked tremendous, but Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins have also played a role in the game. Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the ground game so far is that every type of run, inside and outside, and every running back is having success.
PLAY AGGRESSIVELY IN THE SECONDARY
The Colts are still relying on soft coverage to keep plays in front of them. With an early first half lead, it is unlikely that they will become more aggressive. If the offense can keep things moving and the defense can continue to make the Bills one-dimensional, there is no reason to take risks or be overly aggressive. How refreshing to be in this situation going into the half.
GENERATE CONSISTENT PRESSURE
Other than a batted pass by Margus Hunt and a hit by Kemoko Turay, the Colts haven’t had a great deal of success getting to Anderson. This is partially due to a quick strike offensive game plan that hasn’t required the Buffalo offensive line to block for extended periods but it would be nice to see the pass rush come to life in the second half.
This defense is built on speed and the potential to make big plays. With a big lead the ends should be able to pull their ears back and Eberflus should be able to send some well timed and designed blitzes to make life difficult for Anderson.
CATCH THE DAMN BALL
I can’t recall a single drop in the first half and Luck utilized seven different receivers. This is an important development. If the receivers can continue to catch the ball moving forward this season, the offense might start to put up some big numbers.
NO BACK BREAKING TURNOVERS
No fumbles and no interceptions for the Colts in the first half. In fact, the Colts caused a fumble and picked off Derek Anderson during a desperate two minute drive. The result? Two extra first half possessions. This has helped lead to a 24 point half time advantage.