Play call on 4th and 4 late in the game
With the Colts facing 4th and four yards to go with less than two minutes remaining on the Packers’ 36-yard line, Reich made the correct call and decided to go for it. If the Colts convert, you get in field goal and force the Packers to use all 3 of their timeouts, and leave just a little over a minute on the clock. Frank called a beautiful pass play that left Hines wide open for a 13-yard gain, and a first. The flags after that ruined what should have been the game clinching play.
Riding Jonathan Taylor
Reich said it himself, the Colts will ride whoever is hot at running back. On Sunday it was rookie Jonathan Taylor who had the big game on the ground, racking up over a hundred combined yards and breaking several tackles. Taylor is finally starting to get over his slump, as his performance has been improving over the last couple of games.
Defensive adjustments at the half
My main knock on Eberflus coming into this season was that when his fastball (soft zones, force the opposing quarterback to make mistakes) was not working, he failed to make the proper adjustments, allowing quarterbacks like Carr, Minshew, or Brees to post absurd completion percentages over 90%. This year, that narrative has definitely changed. Against the Packers, the Colts allowed 28 points in the first half and were getting effortlessly torched by Rodgers. After the half, the Colts defense allowed just 3 points, and in overtime they got the crucial fumble recovery that ended up getting Indy the win.
Lack of safety help on obvious deep shot situations
There were two situations where a Colts defensive player was left one-on-one with MVS and seemingly without any safety help over the top. Now we don’t know yet whether this is on Eberflus or on Blackmon/Willis, but against a quarterback that can sling the ball as well as Rodgers and with a receiver as fast as MVS that was inexcusable.
One instance was with the Packers running the two-minute drill, and without any more timeouts, Rodgers just tossed it up to MVS who was matched up with Ya-Sin on single coverage. Ya-Sin grabbed the Packers’ receivers right arm, drawing a flag and ultimately gifting the Packers 7 points.
The other occasion was with the Packers facing 3rd and 10 on their own 6-yard line. For whatever reason, MVS was matched up on Bobby Okereke, who is fast for a linebacker but not nearly enough to hang in with a receiver like Scantling on a go route. MVS burnt him, Blackmon was late, and the Packers got a 47-yard gain as a result.
Runs out of the shotgun on 2nd and long
This trend has really been getting on my nerves this season, as Reich just keeps on doing this even though it has never worked this year. I will have to look up the entire season’s numbers, but yesterday the Colts ran the ball out of the shotgun formation on 2nd and long four different times, resulting in -3, 3, 1, and 0 yards respectively. Please Frank, just stop.
Lack of adjustments on refs’ questionable calls
First of all, the refs were definitely calling stuff just one way. It does not bother me when the refs suck but mess up the calls both ways. When it is just one isolated play where the refs got it wrong, that can definitely happen and it is a part of the game. What really bothers me is when the refs don’t apply the same criteria both ways and call one team for a hold and then let the other team get away with something even more blatant.
Now that I got that out of my chest, Reich should have probably taken into account that the refs were without a doubt trying to rob us the game and perhaps call some different plays that don’t require the same level of aggressiveness or complexity on the offensive line. Or perhaps just tell your linemen to keep it simple, as all the Colts needed were a couple yards and the clock to keep moving.