The Indianapolis Colts went into Sunday’s game on the back of a dominant win, having beaten the New York Jets in week 3. The Colts came up against a team who had just changed their starting quarterback but were still coming off a three game winning streak. and were undefeated for the year. There were a lot of strong showings during the 19-11 win, and a few poor ones, as well.
Justin Houston was a monster coming off the edge for the Colts this Sunday. Houston was signed by Chris Ballard to be the dominating veteran edge presence in the Colts front four. Houston balled out Sunday and was part of the reason the Colts kept the Bears offense to only 11 points. Houston produced 4 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 2 QB hits and a sack. The Colts need consistent pressure from the front four for their defense to be dominant and Houston is a big part of that and why they are producing so well.
The Colts had just lost their starting safety for the season to a torn achilles and were in dire need of someone to step up and assume the starting role. Julian Blackmon has done more than step up in the absence of Malik Hooker he has shown he belongs in the Colts defense now and moving forward. In his first two games Blackmon played only around 60% of the teams defensive snaps but was on a snap count and still managed 3 tackles and 2 passes defended. Against the Bears Blackmon had no snap count and played 100% of the teams defensive snaps and was super effective producing a tackle, 3 passes defended and an interception.
Rigoberto Sanchez is a weapon for the Colts on special teams. Sanchez has proved this year already he’s a top punter in the league. He has only had to punt 6 times this year, mainly due to great offensive 3rd down production, but out of the 6 punts he has kicked 4 of them have pinned the opposition inside the 20 yard line. Sanchez high level punting has been such a big weapon for the Colts in putting the opposition consistently on the back foot.
The entire Colts offense had a subpar performance and it all started up front. The Colts Offensive Line had a very below average game against the Bears defensive line. The Colts offensive line looked to be continually beaten or pushed back by the Bears defensive line. Considering the Bears defense was allowing over 4 yards a carry in run defense heading into the game, the Colts offense only managed 105 yards rushing for an average of just over 3 yards a carry. If the Colts want to improve their offense then they need to improve up front in the trenches first.
Philip Rivers was signed to come in and be the teams quarterback and be an improvement over Jacoby Brissett and he has been just that. However, Sunday was a game to forget for Rivers, he consistently looked off and the offense suffered because of it. Rivers throws were either off the mark or under thrown even when it looked like he was stepping into his throws. Rivers needs to get back to his play of the first three weeks of the season and the Colts should be hoping Rivers play Sunday was an outlier not the beginning of a decline.