The Colts offense has become an absolute disaster at this point. They are unable to get anything going, they are relying entirely on the relationship between Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton to have any chance, and self-inflicted wounds have put the team in a horrible position heading into the half. A bad snap from Ryan Kelly recovered for a touchdown and a strip sack turnover deep in their own territory have allowed 14 of Houston’s 21 points.
The defense simply will be unable to win football games alone. Chris Ballard and Frank Reich better figure things out quickly or the wheels will fall off on the hope for 2018.
Pester Deshaun Watson
On Houston’s first drive, pressure from Denico Autry and Darius Leonard impacted Watson’s efforts to get the ball out. Autry came up to pick up his first sack in Indianapolis after falling into zone coverage. Leonard came around the end and picked up a sack that was incorrectly called on the field. Rather than use a challenge, Frank Reich allowed the incomplete pass to stand and forced the Texans offense to face a 3rd and 20.
As the half was approaching its end we saw a coverage sack from Anthony Walker and a devastating edge rush from Jabaal Sheard and Kemoko Turay. These were key plays that gave the offense a chance to cut into the Texans first half lead and keep the Colts within reach before the half.
Red Zone Efficiency
This has gone the opposite direction. The Colts need to find a way to actually get to the red zone before they can worry about efficiency. Right now Indianapolis is seeing its offensive line struggle with the Houston front. The receivers are dropping passes and leaving Andrew Luck with only T.Y. Hilton as an option to get the ball moving. Frank Reich is going to need to come up with something during the half if the Colts are going to get an important early season win.
Andrew Luck’s Decision-Making and Accuracy
There have been a couple of passes that were slightly inaccurate today but from an arm strength perspective, Luck has really looked good. He hasn’t had a lot of help from his receivers who have allowed the ball to bounce off of their hands throughout much of the game but Frank Reich will need to find ways to get the ball out fast or get the ground game going if Luck is going to be able to do real damage.
Frankly, there isn’t any. The Colts have failed to create any threat of a running game and are having to rely entirely on Andrew Luck. This has allowed the Texans to pin their ears back to generate pressure. It is unlikely that life will get any easier in the pocket if Reich can’t manufacture a way to move the ball on the ground.
Slow Down the Texans Pass Rush
A bad snap resulting in a defensive touchdown and a sack allowed by Le’Raven Clark for Jadeveon Clowney. Two sacks for J.J. Watt are starting to give him confidence against Denzelle Good. No offensive balance, no offensive rhythm, backup offensive linemen? Recipe for disaster in the second half if there aren’t some major changes.