Reich and his staff did an excellent job at bouncing back after a tough Week 1 loss versus Jacksonville where plenty of mistakes were made.
#1: Running the Damn Ball
It is no secret that this offense will go as far as it’s running game takes it. At this stage of his career Rivers can not be asked to carry the offense, but if he has a stable running attack behind him his play drastically improves. After Parris Campbell’s injury Reich was forced to put the ball on the ground a lot more but it certainly worked as the Colts managed to control the pace and keep the defense fresh throughout the game.
#2: Adjusting through injuries
Reich lost his top two cornerbacks, starting slot receiver, and starting safety but managed through it wonderfully. T.J. Carrie and Julian Blackmon stepped up on defense and his altered offensive game plan was effective, though the red zone struggles continued.
#3: More aggressiveness on defense
I’ll have to watch the All-22 tape to corroborate this, but I detected less free releases at the line for opposing receivers and more stunts by the defensive line. In turn, the Colts managed to keep Cousins in check all game long. Indy does well against quarterbacks that tend to hold the ball longer but struggle a lot versus quarterback with quicker releases. It will be interesting to see how this defense does against Minshew, Tannehill x2, and Derek Carr.
#4: Kicking the field goal on 4th and 1
There was no point in going for it on 4th and 1 at the Minnesota 20 yard line with just 24 seconds remaining. Even if the Colts convert, which has not proven to be as easy this season, they have 20 seconds to put the ball in the end zone. Reich made a good call on turning a Vikings turnover into points and went into halftime with an even bigger lead.
#1: Riding Taylor so hard in the first half
It is really hard to find bad calls on a game where the Colts dominated as they did but I did not like how Reich did not rotate his running backs in the first half. Taylor certainly seemed a little bit gassed in the second half. Wilkins has proven he can be absurdly efficient and just needs 8/10 carries a game. I also was surprised to see Hines being a no-factor in the game.
#2: Having the roof open
Again, just trying to find something here as I am not sure if this is Reich’s decision but I just can not wrap my head around why it is a good call to have the roof open and having the sun become a factor. It also might have cost the Colts a touchdown on T.Y Hilton’s drop in the endzone. As Chris Blystone tweeted...
The only time the roof of Lucas Oil Stadium should *ever* be open for a football game is if Peyton Manning and the Broncos are coming to play you for a night game in December.— Chris Blystone (@chrisblystone) September 21, 2020