The Indianapolis Colts came into Week 8 with some great momentum after blowing out Buffalo at home in Week 7. This matchup against the Oakland Raiders seemed to be the perfect stepping stone to increased success after their Week 9 bye, but the Raiders had another outcome in mind.
The Raiders took the lead 14-10 with 6:24 left in the second quarter and continued to keep the lead — or remain tied with the Colts — until the Colts defense forced their first point of the second half at the 9:20 mark of the fourth quarter.
This was the turning point in the game.
The Colts scored using Jack Doyle heavily to take the lead with 5:28 to go, then Darius Leonard forced a fumble on the Raiders first play of their next possession and converted that into points a couple minutes later, giving the Colts a 42-28 lead that would stick.
Here are a few takeaways from the Colts 42-28, Week 8 victory over the Raiders.
Colts broke 100 rushing yards by halftime.. again?
That’s right folks, for the second straight week, the Colts broke 100 rushing yards by the end of the first half. Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines had 46 and 47 yards respectively, and Jordan Wilkins added 14 on 2 carries. Collectively they averaged 5.1 yards per carry, but Hines was by far the most successful in the first two quarters of the game with an average of 9.4 yards per carry.
Mack greatly improved his average from just over 3 yards per carry in the first half, to 6.3 yards per carry with his huge 49-yard run on his first carry of the second half. Mack finished the day with well over 100 rushing yards (132), Hines amassed 78 rushing yards as well and all of the sudden it looks like the Colts actually have a very good rushing attack that could help them make a push towards a playoff berth.
In all, the Colts totaled 222 yards on the ground. It’s still possible, don’t rule it out.
Inman becoming quite the trusted weapon for Luck, and in big spots
Most of the success today came from the tight ends, and it was glorious. The threesome of Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron and Mo Alie-Cox each caught a touchdown, but another target has seemingly become a favorite for Andrew Luck.
Dontrelle Inman was targeted 7 times, hauled in 6 catches for 52 yards. That’s not all that impressive — I mean it’s a solid day for a guy who was just signed to the roster. But, when he’s been targeted is what’s been pretty interesting. Today Inman was targeted 4 times on third down situations, he caught 3 of those and all three were conversions.
That’s nearly a third of the team’s third down attempts for the game.
He has been a very heads up player, with good route-running skills and that matters. Reich has familiarity from his days in San Diego and let’s say he made a very good decision in bringing him in to help out a struggling receiver group this year.
He also caught a tipped ball late in the third quarter which became the difference in a third-and-long, and a third-and-short. In a game like this one, that is an enormous help.
Vinatieri makes history just before halftime
The G.O.A.T finally got his record. Adam Vinatieri was successful in taking over the all-time scoring record just before halftime with a field goal to pass Morten Andersen’s mark of 2,544 career points. Vinny has been with the Colts since 2006 and racked up a ton of those points while wearing a horseshoe on the side of his helmet.
He holds more records than that, though.
Adam Vinatieri is first in NFL history in career points scored, career FGs made, consecutive FGs made, & career 100+ point seasons, among others. He’s the only player to have 1,000 points with multiple teams. He has multiple game-winning Super Bowl kicks. He’s truly the .— Josh Wilson (@JoshWilsonSB) October 28, 2018
Vinatieri had already solidified his spot in Canton, Ohio as a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee, but holding the scoring record might be just the cherry on top. His 1361 total points with the Colts is 173 more points than he totaled in his time with the New England Patriots. We can only imagine that he’ll enter “the Hall” as an Indianapolis Colt.
Colts pass rush, pass defense was beyond unacceptable
In the first several games of the season, we were talking about how the defense was keeping the Colts in games and the offense showed very little aggression. The Colts, at one point, were also in the top-5 in the league in sacks. If you watched them today you would have guessed that this was the Colts years past with their lack of pass rush and wide open zones at the second and third levels of the field.
Derek Carr diced up the Colts for 244 passing yards, but that wasn’t really the issue. The real issue was that he only had 4 incompletions until their last drive of the game, and at one point rattled off 17 straight completions. The Colts only had 1 QB hit, zero sacks and 1 pass defensed for the entire game — and Carr finished 21-of-28 and 3 touchdowns. There is no way that sort of performance can sit well with Frank Reich and Matt Eberflus.
The safety position suffered big time without Malik Hooker back there to police the secondary as Jared Cook feasted (ZING!) on Corey Moore and finished with 4 catches, 74 receiving yards and a touchdown. Seth Roberts got behind the deepest safety for a 31-yard touchdown catch as well. This simply cannot happen.
Additionally, the Colts didn’t notch a single tackle for loss on the day. No sacks, 1 hit and no TFLs? There better be some accountability during the bye week from the coaching staff. After all, the Colts were facing a Raiders O-line without Osemele and two rookies as the bookends.