After a hard-fought win on the road in one of the toughest venues to play and against one of the best teams in the NFL, the Colts are cruising into their bye week and leaving everyone with no doubt that they can take on any and all comers. The combination of the juggernaut offensive line, the running attack of Marlon Mack, the stout defensive play, and the ability of Jacoby Brissett to effectively run Frank Reich’s brilliant offense, led to a prime time game that had the Chiefs stymied. Their lone touchdown of the game came more as a function of Patrick Mahomes’ brilliance than of a mistake the Colts made.
So through five weeks, who is this team exactly? It seems that at the national level, no one is quite sure either. They have moved up across the board, but the matchup against the Houston Texans in week 7 will go a long way to determining if this team is for real in the minds of many. Here’s how they stack up according to national rankings.
The Colts are leaning heavy on Mack to lighten quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s workload. Mack hasn’t disappointed so far, as two of his six career 100-yard rushing games have come this season. Mack is coming off a game in which he had a career-high 29 carries for 132 yards against Kansas City to bring his season rushing total to 470 yards. He is on pace to be the 1,500-yard rusher owner Jim Irsay envisioned he would be a couple of years ago.
Justin Houston got the revenge in Kansas City that Khalil Mack could only dream of. Now it’s time for Indy to heal up following impressive win.
”We came into their home when nobody expected us to beat their ass.” Those were the blunt postgame words of Justin Houston, the former Chiefs star who returned to Arrowhead as a visitor and ended the night celebrating a huge road win. Consider it yet another reminder of the resilience and toughness of these Colts, who may no longer have Andrew Luck but can still fight it out with anybody in the AFC. Indy was undoubtedly aided by the ankle injury that slowed reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes, but Frank Reich’s team beat the Chiefs in the trenches. This was most apparent on a 14-play, 35-yard Colts drive that produced just three points but chewed up more than half of the fourth quarter. The undermanned defense did the rest, led by Houston, whose fourth-and-1 stop of Damien Williams with 5:02 left served as the biggest play of the game.
Good luck figuring out the Indianapolis Colts.
In Week 4, the Colts came out flatter than a pancake against the Oakland Raiders, fell behind 21-7 at home in the first half and lost, 31-24.
One week later, the Colts traveled to arguably the hardest place in the NFL to play and physically dominated the Kansas City Chiefs. The Colts battered the Chiefs on the ground and held the league’s most dangerous offense in check—without their starting safeties and best linebacker.
Sobleski is officially confused.
”The Colts are the NFL’s most confounding squad,” he wrote. “A week after losing to the Raiders, Indianapolis posted the year’s most impressive win against the previously unbeaten Chiefs. The Colts defense held Patrick Mahomes and Co. in check. If Frank Reich’s squad doesn’t shoot itself in the foot, as it did against the Raiders, it’s the team to beat in the AFC South.”
After a week off, the Colts play host to the 3-2 Texans in Indianapolis.
The winner of that game will take control of an AFC South that may be the league’s most competitive division in 2019.
Sunday night’s Colts win might end up as the most impressive victory a team gets this season. Not many teams will win at Kansas City (or New England) this season. Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is becoming an interesting figure. NFL teams want to hire offensive coaches. But Eberflus sure looks like a good head coaching candidate.
AFC South Rivals
USA Today: 18
Bleacher Report: 10
USA Today: 21
Bleacher Report: 20
USA Today: 22
Bleacher Report: 23