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Colts snap counts vs. Titans: Week 12

NFL: NOV 12 Colts at Titans

Losses like the one the Colts suffered at home to the Titans, with control of the AFC South Division on the line, sting for days. They sting even more when there are reasons to feel that so much of what occurred Sunday afternoon was the result of an ongoing pandemic and its impact around the world, as well as an uncharacteristic surge of injuries at the worst possible time.

This pandemic and injuries resulted in one of the oddest snap counts of the season. With any luck, it will look completely different again in six days.


OFFENSE

Philip Rivers was asked to do a lot on Sunday afternoon. He was going to have to deliver big if the Colts had hopes of overcoming so many missing pieces on defense. While his final numbers don’t indicate a horrible outing, there were too many missed opportunities and at least one gift when a sure-fire pick six was dropped.

Jacoby Brissett has been gradually worked into Indy’s game plan in short-yardage situations. Brissett has been very strong on quarterback sneaks and has greater mobility to keep plays alive outside of the pocket. In his one offensive drive to end the game, he threw the ball more decisively but struggled with accuracy.

P Rivers QB 64 86%
J Brissett QB 10 14%

With Jonathan Taylor out due to COVID-19, the Colts were forced to lean on Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins. As with their previous outing, Hines got the bulk of the work and led the team with eight receptions on 10 targets out of the backfield. He finished second to T.Y. Hilton in receiving yards with 66.

Neither back was particularly efficient behind an offensive line that included a first-time rookie starter at center and a backup at left tackle for much of the game.

N Hines RB 48 65% 4 13%
J Wilkins RB 26 35% 5 16%

Perhaps one of the best takeaways from the game is that the Colts relied more heavily on Mo Alie-Cox. He caught both passes his way for 19 yards but was heavily utilized no matter the circumstances. He out snapped Trey Burton and Jack Doyle, who continues to have an off year. Burton caught three passes on six targets, including an impressive touchdown grab. Doyle failed to bring in his only target.

M Alie-Cox TE 38 51% 2 6%
T Burton TE 27 36% 5 16%
J Doyle TE 22 30% 1 3%

After big weeks for Michael Pittman Jr. back-to-back, he didn’t have a lot of success on Sunday afternoon. He had two receptions on nine targets and at least two big drops. With Pittman Jr. making little impact, the offense had to rely primarily on running backs and T.Y. Hilton who caught four of his five targets for 81 yards and his first touchdown of the year.

This group won’t work without big contributions from Pittman Jr.

M Pittman WR 64 86%
T Hilton WR 54 73%
Z Pascal WR 53 72%
M Johnson WR 26 35% 8 26%
D Harris WR 11 15% 1 3%

The streak has officially ended for the Colts offensive line. While there have been some missed practices and even some missed time in games, having Ryan Kelly miss a start, after Braden Smith missed one last week, and then losing Anthony Castonzo to injury has put the Colts in the one position the team couldn’t afford. It asked Indianapolis to rely on offensive line depth that is non-existant. It sure would be nice to have Joe Haeg and Josh Andrews about now.

M Glowinski G 74 100% 2 6%
Q Nelson G 74 100% 2 6%
B Smith G 74 100% 2 6%
D Pinter G 74 100%
L Clark T 55 74% 2 6%
A Castonzo T 19 26% 1 3%
C Green T 1 1% 2 6%


DEFENSE

Speaking of testing depth, with DeForest Buckner out of the game and Denico Autry missing his second in a row, Matt Eberflus had to piece something together. What the Colts came up with was Taylor Stallworth starting at 1-tech and Grover Stewart starting in place of Buckner at 3-tech.

The results were not inspiring. Buckner and Autry are the best 3-tech defensive linemen on the team - particularly to help stifle opposing running game. Stewart playing out of position and without Buckner generating attention, made him look more pedestrian. This group got bullied all game long and was heavily responsible for Derrick Henry running wild.

G Stewart NT 65 90% 8 26%
T Lewis DE 55 76% 9 29%
T Stallworth DT 53 74% 7 23%
A Muhammad DE 46 64% 1 3%
J Houston DE 32 44%
C Marsh DE 15 21% 22 71%
K Cline DT 12 17% 6 19%
R Windsor DT 7 10% 2 6%
K Turay DE 4 6% 1 3%

While missing Buckner and Autry may get most of the attention, the loss of Bobby Okereke was also glaring. Okereke has been a solid run defender who uses his athleticism to meet rushers in lanes. He also is the team’s best linebacker in pass coverage. Without him, the short passing game was wide open for Ryan Tannehill and the Titans offense. The Colts can ill-afford to have him miss more time.

A Walker LB 72 100% 10 32%
D Leonard LB 72 100% 7 23%
Z Franklin LB 32 44% 27 87%
E Speed LB 1 1% 19 61%

The secondary was primarily stout, as it has been for much of the season. However, Rock Ya-Sin was picked on throughout the game. He was responsible for numerous penalties that led to Titans points, including one that wiped out a sack by Al-Quadin Muhammad and bailed Tennessee out of what would have been a field goal attempt.

K Moore CB 71 99% 3 10%
X Rhodes CB 58 81%
R Ya-Sin CB 27 38% 5 16%
T Carrie CB 25 35% 24 77%

Outside of a big Khari Willis hit on Derrick Henry, this was a quiet game from the safeties. Julian Blackmon has earned a reputation for making big plays, as he forced a fumble in overtime against the Packers just a week ago. He didn’t have much of an impact in this one and neither he nor Khari Willis could stop A.J. Brown from scoring a long touchdown that led him down the middle of the field.

J Blackmon FS 72 100% 9 29%
K Willis SS 60 83% 5 16%
T Wilson SS 13 18% 16 52%


SPECIAL TEAMS

Very little came from the special teams unit in this one either. This group was credited for having a big role a couple of weeks ago on Thursday night in Nashville. This week, Rigoberto Sanchez displayed a big leg and Rodrigo Blankenship hit his two extra points. Otherwise, no big returns, no splash plays, and the only onside kick was easily returned for a touchdown.

Woof.

J Glasgow LB 28 90%
G Odum FS 23 74%
T Smith CB 23 74%
A Dulin WR 17 55%
M Adams LB 11 35%
R Sanchez P 8 26%
L Rhodes LS 7 23%
R Blankenship K 6 19%