While the Indianapolis Colts clearly won the first half, the scoreboard isn’t as lopsided as it should be. While it seems silly to fault Frank Reich for his aggressiveness on fourth down, it is fair to question the thought process behind his call. On fourth-and-one inside their own territory, the Colts dialed up a pitch to Marlon Mack.
Let’s get this clear, this wasn’t a first down play call. This was an aggressive, big play opportunity type of call. The success of the call was contingent on fooling the Texans defense. If they did, they have a long run. If they don’t, they fail on fourth-and-one.
In my view, it’s fine to be aggressive in short yardage but the play calls should reflect the gravity of getting it wrong. Two plays that makes sense there are 1) QB sneak for one yard up the gut behind Kelly/Nelson and 2) hand-off to Jordan Wilkins up the gut. The play call was unnecessarily risky and rewarded the Texans with 3 points.
The second gift was given by Jacoby Brissett, when he unnecessarily took his eyes off of the ball for a shotgun snap. He was too quickly looking to his target and coughed up a ridiculously costly fumble deep into his own territory.
Frankly, it is amazing the Colts have the lead right now. Kudos to the defense for playing really stingy football in the red zone, forcing the Texans to settle for field goals. This could easily be a 17-14 first half lead for Houston. Let’s not take that for granted as the team prepares for the second half.
The first series play-calling and both red zone passing touchdowns were examples of Frank Reich’s genius as a play-caller. If he can figure things out coming into the second half, the Colts can build some momentum. A touchdown drive to start the second half would put a lot of pressure on the Texans. Anything less and it gives Houston life.