#1: Defense sticking to man coverage
The Colts cornerbacks are clearly better off playing man rather than zone. In the first 4 games of the season, Indy struggled a lot against the pass, until the KC game changed the game plan. Now, using more man-to-man coverage, the Colts defense has been stepping up as of late, also finally giving the D-Line enough time to get to the opposing quarterback.
#2: Sticking with the hot hand at receiver
Zach Pascal has been having himself a breakout season at receiver. Yesterday, he posted a career game with over 100 yards and two touchdowns. It’s not only his impact in the passing game that matters, however, as he is also an excellent run blocker and one of the key members of the special teams unit. I predicted that Cain would have a breakout game against a banged up Houston secondary. Instead, it was Pascal.
#3: Giving Willis the job at starting safety
Once Malik Hooker returns from his knee injury, I fully expect Khari Willis to be starting alongside him. Reich was not afraid to play the rookie out of Michigan State against one of the best passing attacks in the NFL, and Willis played on all snaps on defense and had a solid overall game, despite missing a few tackles here and there.
#1: Using an injured Desir to shadow Hopkins.
Desir is a very good cornerback, and he was lights-out against Hopkins, perhaps the best receiver in the NFL, last season. Desir did not practice in the week leading up to the game and was clearly not at 100 percent, so the decision to have him shadow Hopkins has to be labeled “questionable”. An argument can be made that since the Colts were so thin at cornerback, there was no better choice, which is why I’m putting this as “questionable” and not “bad”.
#1: Going for it on 4th and 1 early in the second quarter.
Yes, the Colts have been excellent on 4th and short situations, but going for it from your own 45 with 3 quarters remaining is borderline stupid. Instead of pinning the Texans deep, Reich decided to run a toss that got completely bottled up and left the Texans just a first down away from scoring position. Not a good call.
#2: Last drives to finish the game.
The Colts defense came up huge in the 4th quarter, forcing a turnover on downs and an interception. However, the Colts offense went 3 and out on both drives after the defense got the ball back, and only used up a combined 1:41 off the clock. That is simply inexcusable, the Colts have to get better at icing games.