At the end of the day all that matters is that the Indianapolis Colts finish each game with a score at least one point higher than their opponent. With that said, this one was ugly. Really ugly.
Frank Reich will probably take some heat, as will Jacoby Brissett as neither man, on the surface, seemed to have the best day. With that said, a lot of credit has to be given to the Denver Broncos defense. Vic Fangio has taken a very talented defensive roster and put them into a position to maximize their abilities. Reich and Brissett are the type of guys to take their criticism and never say a word otherwise, good leaders always do, but I don’t have to abide by those limitations. The Denver Broncos defense will make better offenses than our Colts look bad, all season long. In the end, it didn’t matter and I know I’m ecstatic that these Colts are sitting at five and two.
Things started well
E.J. Speed had a nice block that really opened things up on this return.
Adam Vinatieri, didn’t have a great day
The guy jumping over the line probably didn’t help his concentration but this one wasn’t even close.
Chester Rogers, anyone?
I could have picked up 5 yards on this play pic.twitter.com/ynU13WRgCd— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 27, 2019
I just want to give some love to Chester Rogers on this play, watching it now I’m amazed he wasn’t flagged for holding but he did a great job getting to the safety and getting in front of him so the back could gain a few more yards on this one.
Von Miller is nice
Von Miller is really good. He played this perfectly. pic.twitter.com/e2w9WAkTSy— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 27, 2019
Miller did a great job pressing the offensive line to ensure the man blitzing off of him would be able to get pressure. You tend to see this kind of awareness from running backs trying to set up defenders, if I’m Vic Fangio, I might try Miller on offense. What does he have to lose?
Setting the edge
If you listen to the Stampede Radio podcast you’ve heard me drone on about the importance of setting the edge on defense and this is why. Here the Colts do a great job forcing the receiver back inside toward the bulk of the Colts defenders ready to help.
If you see anyone complain about Chris Ballard’s lack of activity in free agency, remind them about Justin Houston. Meanwhile most free agent signings league wide end up as busts for their new teams, Houston is playing at a high level for our Colts.
Rock Ya-Sin didn’t have a good day
Ya-Sin had a bad day against a very, very good young wide receiver in Courtland Sutton. With that said I believe the officials reviewed his tape and made a point to target the rookie every chance they got. I believed that this holding call was weak, I thought it was justifiable, but weak.
jAcoBY BriSseTT iS A gReaT AtHLEtE
Brissett goes from 0 to 60 in 2.5 days pic.twitter.com/50WIM0mfTW— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 27, 2019
Brissett shows consistent ability to make the first pass rusher miss but I would pay good money to watch him race Quenton Nelson in the 40 yard dash. It really could go either way.
And I thought the last one was weak
This call was terrible. Truly awful. Ya-Sin was targeted by this officiating crew.
You should Tweet at Justin Simmons
Nice run, hope his arm is alright. pic.twitter.com/jnEKTyh7F6— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 27, 2019
Tweet at Justin Simmons for the bush-league roll while holding Marlon Mack’s arm after the play. Before that happened, Mack was able to bounce this one outside and pickup a few more yards than he would have otherwise.
My favorite part of this play was what the announcers said about it. They gave the credit to Mark Glowinski and Braden Smith. I won’t bury either of them, but they weren’t what made this play go.
Joe Flacco was more mobile than he should have been
The Colts defense didn’t do a great job of getting to Flacco for most of the day. Most weeks Flacco looks like a statue and this week he looked a little like a concussed, old Steve Young. Alright, he didn’t but the defense didn’t do a great job keeping him pressured in the pocket. Here Darius Leonard was able to chase him down and I believe this is technically a sack for all-pro.
Vinny’s career long is 57 yards
It was a rough day for Vinny overall but at 46 years old he hit multiple 50 yard field goals including this one at the end of the first half.
Not a lot of highlights but we scored points so that's cool. pic.twitter.com/926Fu7Iuns— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 27, 2019
The Broncos started the third quarter by driving down the field and scoring their only touchdown on the day. The Colts answered by sending Vinny out again.
There wasn’t much to cheer for before this
The Indy offense has to make the most of this gift. pic.twitter.com/6cXPx6tZVj— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 27, 2019
The Broncos gave our Colts a gift and it felt like it was now or never.
I experienced a wide range of emotions on this play
All’s well that ends well, right?
The Broncos bite
The Colts dialed up a great play to convert on third and one. Jack Doyle turned it into a big gain.
Really nice play against a light box
Marlon Mack using blockers and setting up defenders. Really nice execution. Let's focus on this, not the PAT... pic.twitter.com/afi1WmflbC— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 27, 2019
The Colts got the Broncos moving laterally before Marlon Mack cut up field and used his blockers well to get in for the Colts’ lone touchdown on the day. Also, as I was posting this video to Twitter Vinny missed yet another PAT.
Seriously didn’t like the officiating crew today
I just wanted to show that these refs could throw a flag for holding on the Broncos offense. pic.twitter.com/MCniCc1wyn— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 27, 2019
Ultimately I don’t think the score would have been much different but these officials were very bad.
Ya-Sin’s day was really rough
This flag was completely deserved.
Flacco with the assist
The play before, the Broncos were called for offensive pass interference and took them out of field goal range which led to this play from the offense. We didn’t know it at the time but this play could have decided the game.
Ben Ban-I need to figure out how to spell this. pic.twitter.com/crq3TJUoBg— Chris Shepherd (@NFLscheme) October 27, 2019
Ben Banogu had a great day and getting his hand on this ball was huge.
Say what you want about Brissett
But the young passer has been good about not turning the ball over. This play was the opposite of that. He still hasn’t lost the team any games with a big turnover but this was a close call.
Turns out this was a penalty
In an amazingly rare occurrence this no-call was overturned and kept the drive alive for our Colts. Vic Fangio did a good job limiting T.Y. Hilton. He finished with two catches for 54 yards, but the second catch was something else.
Colts defense came up big
When the game was on the line Matt Eberflus’ unit came up big, time after time.
Brissett didn’t have a great day
This play was nothing short of amazing. It started by scaring me to death and ended with unfettered excitement.
I’m sure most people are going to criticize Reich for playing it conservative with the game on the line but I don’t see it that way. I believe Reich was trying to burn clock while trusting his struggling 46 year old kicker to hit a game winner from 50+ yards. You can criticize the decision all you like, but given the circumstances it hardly seems like the conservative choice.
Reich’s trust was well placed.
I’ve learned how to spell Banogu
The Colts were ahead on the scoreboard for the first time all day but they still needed to make one more stop and the rookie from TCU came up big as Ben Banogu hit Flacco from behind and forced the fumble. Time ran out and the Indianapolis Colts are five and two.
It wasn’t pretty but it didn’t need to be. The Colts are in the easiest stretch of their schedule and will see winnable games against the Steelers, Dolphins and Jaguars in the next three weeks and have a very real chance to be 8-2 heading in to week 12. If you tell me this is where you believed the team would be after Andrew Luck unexpectedly retired I will absolutely call you a liar.