While the Indianapolis Colts enter half time with the lead and will get the ball to start the second half, there were some missed opportunities in the first half that need addressing. For the second straight week we’ve seen Colts defenders try to “do too much” to either create or secure a turnover. When Denico Autry sacked Marcus Mariota and the ball squirted out to the 15-yard line, defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammed attempted to scoop the ball and score. He should have just jumped on the ball to secure possession.
On one offensive drive, right guard Mark Glowinski was called for a blatant hold on a player who had no chance of impacting a 22-yard run for Marlon Mack. This resulted in a loss of yards and took the momentum away from the Colts offense. These kinds of mistakes are back-breakers and in the post-Luck world, Indianapolis can’t afford them.
While the Colts defense has performed relatively well, it is difficult to ignore how weak the Titans offense looks overall. Marcus Mariota has missed wide open receivers at least three time in the first half and his leaping attempt to keep a drive going is the type of play that leads to the injuries that have defined his career.
One final note, the Colts have been very shy about getting the tight ends involved in the offense. I don’t have a great explanation. Perhaps Frank Reich thinks he will surprise the league by keeping it guessing? After all, last year the tight ends were a huge part of the game plan.
Whatever the reason, it needs to stop. Staring down receivers on the outside and forcing throws deep when tight ends could more methodically move the ball down the field appears unnecessary. Maybe the Titans linebackers and safeties are just that good covering tight ends.
If Reich and Sirianni can put together a successful opening drive in the second half, the Colts should be in a good spot. If they don’t, Adam Vinatieri’s missed extra point puts the game in jeopardy.
Denico Autry has been dominant and Pierre Desir has done well. Much of the rest of the defense has been relatively quiet. It would be nice to see Justin Houston secure a sack in the second half and to see Darius Leonard flash his big play nature.
It’s time to get the tight ends involved in the game plan. The first couple of offensive series were brilliantly called. Indianapolis had the Titans defense on its toes and hadn’t even started to grind things out on the ground. Since then, the offense has become more predictable. Let’s hope that changes in the second half.
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FINAL INJURY REPORT
DE Kemoko Turay (neck) has been downgraded to OUT for #INDvsTEN.— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 14, 2019
COLTS TEAM ROSTER