The Indianapolis Colts ended a four-game losing streak with a dominating performance against the Buffalo Bills. Entering the game, the Colts were 0-2 against the AFC East, securing a much-needed win as they head on the road to Oakland.
Let’s look at grades for Week 7. Warning: These grades might be high.
It was a day to remember for the Colts on offense, and we’re not even talking about the passing game — although Andrew Luck completed four touchdown passes and nearly 160 yards. The Bills came into Week 7 with a defense that ranked top-5 in terms of total yards and yards per play.
While most of the football spectrum will be impressed with Luck’s multitude of touchdowns and lack of sacks, the spotlight needs to be on the running game. Before Sunday, Buffalo was 6th in the league in terms of defending the ground game, giving up just 3.8 yards per attempt. Along with a strong rush defense, the secondary was doing an admirable job as well, giving up less than six yards per attempt through the air (5.7, ranking 3rd in the NFL).
Those numbers will be different come Monday.
Indianapolis finished the win with 220 yards on the ground, a number that has been unheard of for sometime for the Colts’ offense. Indianapolis had their best game, by far, on the ground and it all started with a healthy Marlon Mack, who’s proving to be a game changer if he’s 100 percent. The former USF star put together 126 yards on 19 carries — which was his first career game over 100 yards. Nyheim Hines was also a big factor in the Colts’ ground attack, picking up 47 yards on just five carries.
Frank Reich’s brilliant schemes came to fruition against the Bills, let’s hope this a good sign moving forward.
Corey Moore’s interception off a tipped pass from Quincy Wilson was the icing on the cake for a defensive unit looking to gain much-needed momentum. That turnover gave Indianapolis five on the day.
It wasn’t just the turnovers, however, it was way the Colts were able to get them. Indianapolis pressured Derek Anderson into an interception by Kenny Moore and the Colts took advantage with a 20-yard score from Mack. The Colts got turnovers and took an opportunity to capitalize on them. Moments like that are huge. Mike Mitchell, who has been a Colt for just twelve days, has two interceptions in two games. Even when Clayton Geathers comes back into the lineup, Mitchell will be a huge asset moving forward.
Another bright spot on the day was the emergence of Kemoko Turay. Chris Ballard graded Turay highly coming out Rutgers because of his ability to release from the line, and that skillset showed when he forced a fumble on a strip-sack on Anderson. That turnover turned into points after Wilson returned it to the 2-yard-line.
The defense was awesome in Week 7, let’s hope this is a sign for things to come.