The Simple: Colts allow 33 unanswered points in the 4th quarter
Keep in mind this game was actually a one-score game heading into the 4th quarter, which seems imposible given the Colts lost by 35, but indeed it was. The Cowboys then scored the second most amount of points in a quarter (ESPN Stats & Info) on what was quite literally the worst quarter of football from a team I have ever witnessed in my life. At one point I just started laughing in disbelief, as the hits just kept on coming. It started with a long touchdown drive by the Cowboys, followed inmediately by a scoop and score by former Colt safety Malik Hooker. On the ensuing drive Matt Ryan threw a pick and the Cowboys scored on just three plays after that. Another Matt Ryan interception led to another Cowboys’ touchdown, and then to ice it up Ryan fumbled the ball after a sack and Dallas recovered it. Blame the offensive line, blame the coaching staff, blame the quarterback, blame Chris Ballard, blame anyone, truth is, after a pounding like this one several heads need to start rolling. I don’t think either Saturday or Ballard remain with the team once the season ends, and I am glad it is going to be that way.
The Complicated: Colts turn the ball over 5 times, Cowboys 4-4 on red-zone attempts, Alec Pierce over 75 yards and a score, rookie left tackle Bernard Raimann allowed just one pressure, Chase McLoughlin 2/2 on FGs (one from 52 yards out when it was 0-0)
The Colts lead the NFL in giveaways, and it is not even close right now. Remember when supposedly Matt Ryan was a guy that could take better care of the ball? Yeah, some of those turnovers can be blamed on the offensive line, but I have seen the same boneheaded throws from Ryan that we used to torn Wentz down to pieces for. Colts now have 26 giveaways this year, next closest is the Saints with 21.
Converting red-zone trips into touchdowns is imperative for an efficient NFL offense, and stopping opposing teams in the red-zone is a great thing for a defense to do. Unfortunately, the Colts were not able to do either one of those on Sunday night, as the Cowboys went a perfect 4-4 on their red-zone trips while the Colts were stalled on a drive that started inside the Cowboys’ 20-yard line.
The Colts’ offensive rookies showed up big time on Sunday, as wide receiver Alec Pierce had over 75 yards and a touchdown on what was a much needed slumpbreaker for him, and Bernard Raimann has been surprisingly solid, as it is evident that the Colts have found their left tackle of the future with him. Raimann and Pierce both still need some time before they reach their full potential, but the talent is there.
I know that pointing out the fact that the kicker had a nice day on a game we lost by 35 seems really dumb, but after suffering through Rodrigo “Noodle Leg” Blankenship, it is nice watching a kicker I can trust to make a kick over 50 yards, which is what McLoughlin did.