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Steichen’s Best/Worst Decisions: Week 5 vs. Titans

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Best Decisions

Going with Zack Moss as the starter

This one worked to perfection, as even with the return of a fully healthy Jonathan Taylor the Colts leant on the hot-hand going with Zack Moss as the lead back on a key divisional game against the Titans. Moss responded with almost 200 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns, easily claiming player of the match honours in my opinion. It remains to be seen how the workload between both running backs will continue to develop but so far Steichen showed a solid understanding of how to handle the position.

Red-zone defense

The bend but don’t break defense was on full effect against the Titans and Derrick Henry. Despite making it to the redzone on four different occasions they scored only one touchdown, and the Colts got the key turnover on downs in the fourth quarter inside their own ten-yard line. The red-zone defense was on point, and that was the main difference between a win and a loss yesterday.

Quick hitting passing game

The Colts continue employing a quick hitting passing game the majority of the game, with simple, and fast reads for the quarterback to make. Not only does this help the quarterback avoid sacks and pressure, but it also eases a lot of the load for the offensive line, with all members having a bounceback year.

Worst Decisions

Designed run for Anthony Richardson

Of course, hindsight is 20-20, but even if Anthony Richardson had not been injured on that play it was a bad call. The guy is your present and your future, and the most valuable asset the franchise has at this point. He already missed time because of a concussion, and now was injured on a first down run to start a drive. The issue here is not the call to run the ball, but the moment where it was called. I am all for using AR’s ability as a runner, but perhaps I would use it in more important situations, and also give scheme it so he has the chance to go out of bounds easily, at least until he better learns to take care of his body. Otherwise, stuff like this happens and luckily it was just an AC joint sprain this time, instead of yet another concussion or even a broken collarbone. Not only does Richardson need to do a better job of avoiding hits, but Steichen needs to take care of his quarterback too.

Call to go for it near the end of the first half

4th and 1 in the Titans’ 5-yard line with 15 seconds left in the second quarter and no timeouts remaining, the Colts went for it and failed to convert. This is not based on the result of the decision, as even if the Colts had converted that fourth down it would have been a bad decision to go for it. Your past two games went to overtime, Minshew does not give you the same versatility as AR in the red-zone, and even if you do make it you have no timeouts remaining so it’s not like you would have had 3 extra shots to make the endzone. The Colts still won the game, but imagine the scenario if the Titans had managed to drive down the field and take the game to overtime?