Colts fans and Stampede Blue readers can submit their Colts questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Q&A.
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Let’s jump straight into this week’s questions:
Lucky Jock Strap (Stampede Blue Comment): In your opinion should Eberflus be replaced at the end of the year? His defense has regressed every year, despite adding more talent. Should Ballard admit another mistake and move on from the outdated Tampa 2? You would think Frank Reich would want an attacking defense to compliment his offense.
Answer: Matt Eberflus is definitely under the microscope especially seeing as his defense regressed down the line last season and has not started well at all this season having a poor showing on the road against the Jaguars last Sunday. One thing we need to look at though is the fact that the scheme is sound, the Tampa 2 defense may be the base of the defense but Eberflus plays a mix up of coverages and doesn’t stick to the zone coverage all the time that the Tampa 2 defense is predicated on. The defense’s issue is more players not making the plays, the defensive line was poor Sunday not creating the consistent pass rush the defense needs and the back end had huge miscommunication issues which didn’t help. Eberflus and the defense need to improve though there is no doubt it that.
Voting Machine (Stampede Blue Comment): Why was the running game so ineffective against Jacksonville? The O-line is supposedly a strength of the team, but the running backs only had 76 yards on 20 carries. 3.8 ypc is pretty bad.
Answer: The running game was effective at times but wasn’t consitently productive when it needed to be. The offensive line did not have its best game at all and did look below its normal standards in run blocking. The running game also didn’t really have a chance to get going as the Colts defense couldn’t stop the Jaguars offense and put the Colts offense in a position where it had to be in a shoot out and lean on the passing game instead of being a run heavy team. Frank Reich even admitted he went away from the run which he regrets. The run game isn’t something to be worried about just yet.
Bolt Dawg #1 (Stampede Blue Comment): Do you think TY Hilton is quickly regressing as a WR?
Answer: TY Hilton is the Colts wide receiver one and the best wide receiver on the team. Yes he had a down year last year mainly due to injuries. He also didn’t have the best first game of this year but still managed 4 caches for 53 yards. The disappointing part of his game was the two drops in the 4th quarter when the team needed him most. Hilton is not regressing as a receiver in my opinion but he is becoming a part of a changing team where he isn’t needed to be the main guy/only option anymore.
HamBoner 13 (Stampede Blue Comment): Why do you think we saw so much of Nyheim Hines instead of Jonathan Taylor early on until Marlon Mack went down? I was thinking we should stick with the 1-2 punch of Mack and Taylor with Hines being the PR and KR specialist.
Answer: The Colts leaned more on Hines instead of Jonathan Taylor early on Sunday for a few reasons; Taylor is still a rookie and had never played a single NFL snap before last Sunday whereas Hines is in his 3rd year in the league and knows the offense a lot more. The Colts went pass heavy in the game against the Jaguars and that is where Hines works best, in the screen game, receving out the back field and on runs where the defense is expecting pass. Finally Hines knows the pass protection scheme a lot better than Taylor does so throwing a rookie running game into a game where the team is pass heavy and will be asked to pass protect isn’t the smartest of ideas. The Colts will go ahead with Taylor as the starter with Mack heading to injured reserve but expect to still see a heavy dose of Hines and a sprinkle of Wilkins too.