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Colts snap counts vs. Packers: Week 11

Green Bay Packers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts overcame a 14-point first half deficit to defeat the NFC leading Green Bay Packers in overtime. There were big contributions in each phase of the game, including contributions from rookies and backups.

Starting right tackle Braden Smith missed the game, signaling a huge blow to an offensive line that has enjoyed incredible continuity. Losing Smith alone could have changed the outcome but the Colts were able to get important contributions from young linemen throughout the game. Defensive end Kemoko Turay saw limited action, a great sign for the Colts pass rush down the stretch.

Let’s take a look at how things broke down.


OFFENSE

Philip Rivers continued his recent efficient streak against a quality opponent. He threw for 288 yards, along with three touchdowns and one tipped interception. He has started to cede snaps to backup Jacoby Brissett, particularly in short yardage situations. Brissett has been effective running quarterback sneaks and has superior mobility, creating something different for defenses to game plan around. It will be interesting to monitor how this time-share develops late in the season and if Brissett’s usage on sneaks and runs sets up a big passing play at some point in the future.

P Rivers QB 77 92%
J Brissett QB 7 8%

True to Colts form this season, a different running back led the way. This time, rookie Jonathan Taylor received the lions share of opportunities and put up a productive day that included 90 rushing yards on 22 carries, a 4.1 yards per carry average, and four receptions on four targets for another 24 yards. An offensive holding call negated what would have been a touchdown.

The Colts came into the game planning to lean on Nyheim Hines. This may be due to his strong performance in Nashville but it should be noted that it shouldn’t have been difficult to project that Taylor would be the more effective back in this one — or at least that he would need to be for the Colts to have the best chance of winning.

J Taylor RB 47 56%
N Hines RB 28 33% 3 10%
J Wilkins RB 9 11% 8 26%

Michael Pittman Jr. scored his first touchdown and continues to display incredible athleticism. He is quickly establishing himself as the best receiving option in Indianapolis and can be used to impact the game in a variety of ways. One of the most impressive characteristics for Pittman is that he is not only a dangerous weapon with the ball in his hands, he is likely the team’s best run blocking wideout.

Rivers continues to target T.Y. Hilton but has struggled to find success. Hilton caught three passes on six targets for 36 yards, and most of his production came on one deep throw down the left sideline. Perhaps things will open up as Pittman Jr. pulls attention from safeties.

M Pittman WR 67 80%
Z Pascal WR 51 61% 5 16%
T Hilton WR 51 61%
M Johnson WR 38 45% 6 19%
D Harris WR 16 19% 6 19%

While this was a relatively quiet game for the tight ends in the air, that changed in the red zone. Both Trey Burton and Jack Doyle scored for Indianapolis. All three had at least one reception. It’s fair to call this group well rounded but to also acknowledge that none of the trio has broken out as a primary weapon in the passing game.

J Doyle TE 45 54%
M Alie-Cox TE 43 51%
T Burton TE 24 29% 2 6%

The offensive line will be credited with one of the sloppiest games I can remember, in terms of holding penalties. There were at least five accepted holding penalties and two that were called but declined in the game. In the last Colts offensive series in regulation, the holding calls gifted the Packers tons of time and saved a timeout. While it is reasonable to acknowledge that the officiating was ridiculous in this one, it’s also reasonable to point out that the Colts must find a way to be more disciplined and to not give the zebras an excuse to throw a flag.

One interesting note is that Le’Raven Clark started the game at right tackle for the injured Braden Smith but Chaz Green took over and didn’t look back. Clark has failed to capitalize on numerous opportunities in his young career to establish himself and Green passing him up could foretell the end of his tenure in Indianapolis.

A Castonzo T 84 100% 7 23%
M Glowinski G 84 100% 7 23%
Q Nelson G 84 100% 7 23%
R Kelly C 83 99%
C Green T 62 74% 7 23%
L Clark T 22 26% 7 23%
D Pinter G 2 2% 7 23%


DEFENSE

DeForest Buckner plays on the defensive line. He played in all but five defensive snaps. Defensive linemen don’t do that kind of thing. It’s no wonder he was the one to recover a fumble in overtime that led to a game winning field goal. Tyquan Lewis filled in for Denico Autry, who missed the game on the COVID-19 list, and has continued carve out a more prominent roll as the team enters the stretch.

It was good to see rookie Rob Windsor get his first defensive snaps, especially in a tight game against such a quality opponent. Kemoko Turay also get a chance to get back into game action and Cassius Marsh has found ways to impact games in his short run with the team, including causing a special teams turnover.

D Buckner DE 55 92% 12 39%
T Lewis DE 49 82% 5 16%
J Houston DE 39 65%
G Stewart NT 32 53% 12 39%
A Muhammad DE 31 52%
T Stallworth DT 12 20% 6 19%
C Marsh DE 10 17% 16 52%
K Turay DE 10 17%
R Windsor DT 2 3%

This linebacker group remains incredibly talented. While Darius Leonard may not have had the type of game that catapulted him to the top of Aaron Rodgers’ list of feared opponents, he certainly turned in another solid performance that included a pass deflection and fumble recovery.

D Leonard LB 60 100% 5 16%
B Okereke LB 39 65% 7 23%
A Walker LB 25 42% 8 26%

Kenny Moore led the team with 10 tackles - a ridiculous number for a nickel corner, especially at his size. Rock Ya-Sin made an important interception but was also called for a pass interference penalty to end the first half, which led to another Packers touchdown.

The issue with the penalty is that while casual fans will easily recognize that Ya-Sin grabbed Marquez Valdez-Scantlin’s right arm — an obvious interference call — they don’t as easily see that had Ya-Sin not grabbed his arm, he would have been pushed away from the play and given up an easy touchdown. When both players have infraction-worthy actions, often the best call is no call - particularly given the Ya-Sin did make a play on the ball as well.

What is perhaps most frustrating is that the same officiating crew than ignored what was clearly an interference or holding call on T.Y. Hilton in the back of the end zone. All we’re looking for is consistency.

K Moore CB 60 100%
X Rhodes CB 60 100%
R Ya-Sin CB 56 93% 11 35%

This group has quickly become one of the strongest on the team. Julian Blackmon’s forced fumble in overtime led to a recovery by DeForest Buckner and a game-winning field goal. Khari Willis continues to make big plays, particularly in the run game.

J Blackmon FS 60 100% 5 16%
K Willis SS 60 100% 2 6%


SPECIAL TEAMS

Defensive end Cassius Marsh was activated for the Packers game and was responsible for a forced fumble on a kickoff in the fourth quarter. This was right after a field goal by rookie kicker Rodrigo Blankenship tied the game. The ensuing drive resulted in another field goal and gave the Colts their first lead of the game with just under nine minutes remaining in regulation. While the Packers would tie the game and send it into overtime, Blankenship hit a game winning 39-yard field goal to give the Colts a big win.

This is a big game for Blankenship and was the most pressure he’s been under in his young NFL career. A great performance from the special teams unit for a second consecutive week.

J Glasgow LB 24 77%
T Smith CB 24 77%
Z Franklin LB 24 77%
T Carrie CB 22 71%
G Odum FS 19 61%
R Sanchez P 17 55%
T Wilson SS 17 55%
E Speed LB 17 55%
L Rhodes LS 9 29%
R Blankenship K 7 23%