Hello everyone! First of all, I just wanted to say how great it is to be covering the Colts once again, and how happy I am to be back with you, as writing for this page is among the most enjoyable things I do, and reading your comments and interacting with you makes it even greater. Throughout this series we will be looking at two stats that played a big part in the game, one number perhaps more complicated than the other.
The Simple: Colts fumbled the ball 5 times
Sloppiness was a big reason the Colts tied with the Texans yesterday, and no stat encapsulates being sloppy more than fumbles. The Colts fumbled the ball an absurd 5 times, and for several different reasons: botched snaps, strip-sacks, and muffed punts. One of the five meant the Colts turned the ball over in Houston’s territory in third and short, while the other three by Ryan costed Indy plenty of yards, and what is even worse is that most were unforced errors. The muffed punt by Nyheim Hines near the end of the fourth quarter could have easily costed the Colts the game had it not been for a game-saving play by Isiah Rodgers (Honestly Hines should at least get Rodgers a cool watch for that save).
The Colts Week 1 issues have been talked about a lot, which was why managing to win this game was so important. Of course a tie in Week 1 is not nearly the end of the world, and there is still plenty of football left to be played, but watching what is supposedly a playoff team come into a game so unprepared should definitely be a reason for concern, especially when it is not the first time stuff like this happens.
The Complicated: Redzone efficiency (Colts 40% - Texans 100%)
Remember last season, where we were constantly talking about the Colts inability to turn redzone trips into touchdowns? Well guess what, we are doing that once again to kick things off this year! Indy got into the redzone 5 times against the Texans, and only managed to come up with two touchdowns. Having the best running back in the NFL, a superstar wide receiver, and two tight ends that are over 6’5’’, those numbers are inexcusable. Reich has to do a better job in the redzone, and put his players in a position to succeed. The Texans reached the redzone just one time, and they came away with a touchdown.
Before you start saying “Well if Pierce makes the catch then this whole narrative is different” I want to say that the Colts had 3 other plays in that sequence, and that once again as last season, Reich got too cute on 4th down near the goal line, and the Colts once again left with their hands empty. This is not the first time this happens, and it is not the first time that the Colts leave easy points on the board only to lose (or tie in this case) by the smallest of margins. When a mistake happens once, I understand blaming the players, but once a mistake becomes systematic, it is time to start blaming the coaches...