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Colts snap counts vs. Texans: Week 15

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images


Veteran Philip Rivers continued his recent streak of efficiency on Sunday. He went 22/28 (79%) for 228 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Despite his stellar play, Frank Reich chose to keep Jacoby Brissett on the field for a first down pass that was well off-target, which was partially responsible for Indianapolis settling for a field goal.

Brissett is a locker room favorite and a great human being. He’s a solid backup quarterback in the NFL but let’s hope Reich will let Rivers control the offense outside of the short-yardage packages.

P Rivers QB 51 94%
J Brissett QB 3 6%

Both Jonathan Taylor and Hyheim Hines had productive days on the ground against the Texans. This isn’t particularly surprising given that Houston has one of the worst run defenses in the NFL this season. Neither was especially productive in the passing game though, as the Texans focused on keeping the short passing game in check.

J Taylor RB 38 70%
N Hines RB 16 30% 2 9%

The tight ends continue to get targets and opportunities on a weekly basis. Which gets the most opportunities changes by week but their primary job remains as blockers for the running game. It is for this reason that Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox see the field more often than receiving specialist Trey Burton.

J Doyle TE 41 76% 5 22%
M Alie-Cox TE 25 46%
T Burton TE 19 35% 2 9%

With the recent surge of Zach Pascal, the Colts could be establishing a solid starting rotation at wide receiver. The only thing keeping that from happening officially is that Michael Pittman Jr. hasn’t had much of an impact recently, which will need change if the Colts are hoping to keep their dynamic offense going.

Z Pascal WR 47 87% 4 17%
M Pittman WR 45 83% 4 17%
T Hilton WR 35 65%
A Dulin WR 4 7% 13 57%

The Colts offensive line finally returned to normal. Five players, every snap. This group blocked for a backfield that averaged nearly six yards-per-carry and allowed only one sack. This is a really important occurrence as the Colts make a final push to get into the playoffs.

M Glowinski G 54 100% 5 22%
A Castonzo T 54 100% 5 22%
B Smith T 54 100% 5 22%
Q Nelson G 54 100% 5 22%
R Kelly C 54 100%


Khari Willis had another productive game from the strong safety position. He had nine solo tackles and a forced fumble. His impact on games has been growing down the stretch while Julian Blackmon has been quieter as the season has progressed. There are likely numerous reasons for this, including the possibility that teams aren’t throwing at Blackmon as much. Still, it’s good to see both Willis and Blackmon making key contributions this season.

K Willis SS 69 100% 6 26%
J Blackmon FS 69 100%

Quiet an impressive day from the Colts’ linebackers. Darius Leonard led the team with 12 tackles, including nine solo, and forced the fumble that ended the game late in the fourth quarter. Bobby Okereke had seven tackles including six solo and one tackle for a loss and was responsible for recovering the fumble caused by Leonard to seal the game. Anthony Walker Jr. saw considerably fewer defensive snaps but fixed with six tackles, including five solos. Walker has been a tackling machine when he is on the field and it’s been impressive to see him do so much work with fewer opportunities.

D Leonard LB 69 100% 4 17%
B Okereke LB 48 70% 4 17%
A Walker LB 22 32% 6 26%

While there are a variety of reasons for Deshaun Watson’s big day through the air, the play of Colts’ cornerbacks has to be held heavily responsible. One scoring play included a complete breakdown in coverage, where it appeared that Xavier Rhodes went with his man one-on-one to the middle of the field and left his zone wide open. This isn’t the first time this secondary has had communication issues this season and it will need to clean things up if the Colts are hoping to do damage in the playoffs.

K Moore CB 69 100%
X Rhodes CB 69 100%
T Carrie CB 45 65% 14 61%
R Ya-Sin CB 23 33% 8 35%

The snap counts tell the story, Matt Eberflus had every intention to put pressure on Deshaun Watson. When Kemoko Turay gets more snaps than Grover Stewart, it should be rather clear that stopping the run wasn’t a big strong concern. While it was good to see Turay get so many opportunities, it was clear that he still has work to do to get back to the same level he was playing before his injury last season.

D Autry DE 51 74% 4 17%
J Houston DE 43 62%
T Lewis DE 35 51% 5 22%
D Buckner DT 35 51%
K Turay DE 33 48%
A Muhammad DE 32 46% 1 4%
G Stewart NT 31 45% 10 43%
T Stallworth DT 12 17% 5 22%
B Banogu DE 4 6% 6 26%


Until the Colts break another big return or force a special teams’ turnover, the story will be with the specialists. Rigoberto Sanchez returned to the lineup after recently having surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. He didn’t hit one of his punts as well as he would have liked but did get a nice roll inside the 20-yard line. Rodrigo Blankenship finished the day perfect, including his longest field goal of the season at 53 yards. This was a big moment for Blankenship as his only other attempt of 50 yards hit off of the cross-bar and created concern that his leg strength could come into play at some point this season.

G Odum FS 18 78%
M Adams LB 18 78%
Z Franklin LB 18 78%
R Sanchez P 13 57%
E Speed LB 11 48%
T Wilson SS 10 43%
J Wilkins RB 9 39%
I Rodgers CB 9 39%
L Rhodes LS 7 30%
C Green T 5 22%
R Blankenship K 5 22%
D Pinter G 5 22%
M Johnson WR 2 9%