The Indianapolis Colts went into Sunday’s game on the back of a dominant defensive win, having beaten the Chicago Bears in week 4. The Colts came up against a team who were the number one rushing offense in the league and were coming off a three game winning streak. There were some strong showings during the 32-23 loss, and a few poor ones, as well.
The Colts were in desperate need for a linebacker to step up with Darius Leonard being out with a groin injury. Anthony Walker did exactly that and more against the Browns. Walker was all over the field Sunday, Walker managed 7 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 1 interception and 2 passes defended. Walker was the leader in the linebacking core and on the defense and was a big reason why the Colts had such a good showing especially in the second half.
Bobby Okereke broke his thumb against the Bears in week 4 and ended up needing thumb surgery. Okereke managed to play but needed a cast on his thumb to play. The Colts needed Okereke especially with Darius Leonard out injured and he came to play. Okereke managed 10 tackles, 1 interception and a pass defended against the Browns and showed off some great coverage plays with tight coverage that needed the Browns receivers to make spectacular catches to beat him. Okereke is a huge bright spark on a young defense and should continue to develop and turn into a top tier linebacker.
The Colts offense had just turned the ball over when Philip Rivers had thrown a pick-six and looked to have let the game slip through there hands. The team was in dire need of a jolt of momentum. Up step Isaiah Rodgers! On the ensuing kick off the Browns kicked it straight to Rodgers and that was a mistake on the Browns part. Rodger caught the ball one yard deep in the endzone and returned the ball 101 yards to the house for a touchdown. Rodgers touchdown was exactly what the Colts needed after the deflating interception. Rodgers was a exciting return man in college and has carried on where he left off in college.
The Colts offense scored 16 points on Sunday, 1 touchdown and 3 field goals. Phillip Rivers gave the Browns defense 9 points, a pick-six interception and an intentional grounding penalty turned safety, on Sunday which ended up being crucial. Rivers was one of the main reasons why the Colts lost on Sunday instead of being the reason why they could have won. Rivers was brought in by the Colts and Chris Ballard to be the difference from the 2019 8-8 team and a playoff contender however he didn’t show that at all on Sunday. Instead of being a difference maker he was a hindrance. Rivers could only manage 21/33, 243 yards, 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
The Colts went into Sunday’s matchup against the Browns without their left tackle Anthony Castonzo and needed a strong showing from the Offensive Line. Le’Raven Clark started in place of Castonzo and had to face off against the one of the best, if not best, pass rushers in the league in Myles Garrett. Clark did not fair well when matched up against Garrett and was beaten consistently by Garrett all game. The Browns schemed the defense well putting Garrett lined up against the Colts left tackle Clark which was a match up favoured highly by the Browns. Unfortunately the Colts didn’t scheme the offense as well as the Browns defense did. The Colts came out throwing the ball quickly and trying to negate the Browns pass rush but it did not last. Garrett took over the game and ended up being a huge factor. Frank Reich left Clark one on one with Garrett far too many times and it untimately cost the Colts.