The Colts are on a roll with 4 straight wins, and before last week’s game, we took a look at the matchups to watch vs the Titans and today we are going to go back through those matchups and see how they panned out.
*Spoiler alert* It went pretty well.
Offensive line vs Jurrell Casey
The offensive line has proven time and again that they are equipped to handle the top competition in the league. The slate of defensive lines they have faced has been no joke, and they have more than held their own. This game was no different.
According to Daniel Jeremiah on his Move the Sticks podcast, he did film work after the game and said Luck wasn’t even hit in the Titans game, let alone sacked. Jacoby Brissett narrowly escaped a sack by Casey when he came in for Luck, but that was as close as Casey was able to get to making an impact on this game. Against a player of his quality, that is a huge win for the Colts.
Eric Ebron vs Titans Secondary
This one is a tougher one to gauge. On its face, Eric Ebron got completely shut out. He was targeted exactly zero times for the game, and his only real action was the failed pass to Andrew Luck. Credit the Titans for eliminating him from the game.
But don’t credit them too much, because it kind of seems like Ebron was mostly used to keep T.Y. Hilton in single coverage, and that allowed him to go off for 9 of 9 catches and 155 yards with 2 touchdowns. Eric Ebron largely played the decoy on Sunday, which is a perk the Colts haven’t had in recent memory. They can now force teams to decide who to eliminate, and there is no good choice, because the prospect of single covering either T.Y. or Ebron is very bad for any defense.
Darius Leonard vs Dion Lewis
Dion Lewis made Colts fans a bit nervous prior to the game. He possesses certain qualities that can be problematic for this defense, and there was legitimate concern that he might go off and make this a real game. That worry proved to be unwarranted once the action began, with the defense swarming to the ball and getting stops early and often. They held Lewis to 2.4 yards per carry and he wasn’t a factor in the passing game.
Darius Leonard on the other hand had what would normally be a ridiculous day for a rookie, but for him is relatively standard. All he did was notch 7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 QB hit, 1 forced fumble, and 1 pass defended, and an interception. Apart from that, he and Lewis basically had an equal impact on the game.
Frank Reich vs Mike Vrabel
Mike Vrabel may turn out to be a fine head coach. I suspect he will. However, this was no contest from the opening bell. It went about as well for Vrabel as Apollo Creed’s bout with Drago. Or for all you kids out there, the Hulk’s fight with Thanos. That’s the end of me comparing Frank Reich to villains who will ultimately face their downfall.
In all seriousness, this was not close in any regard. Reich had his offense humming at every level and Vrabel’s defense had no answers for it. Certainly, losing DC Dean Pees early on was a major blow that had both a mental and a logistical impact on the game.
This simply looked like two coaches at different levels. Reich was playing chess while Vrabel was playing Yahtzee. If this is indicative of the potential of this coaching staff and the team at large, the Colts are going to be a team no one wants to play down the stretch.