Week three is in the books for our Indianapolis Colts and they finished the day with a win over the Baltimore Ravens. No one saw this one coming, the Colts were 8 point underdogs nearly all week. But many people who had paid attention said the Colts best chance to keep it close was to make the game ugly and ugly this one was.
Chris Ballard’s insistence on adding to his defensive line year after year is paying off in big ways and if you refuse to acknowledge that, I can’t help you. I know what the box score says but Lamar Jackson is just one of those players that if he wants to rush for 100 yards, he’s going to. What the Colts were able to do rushing him as a passer is ultimately what kept them in the game and gave them a chance at the end.
For the third time in the past 10 tries the Colts have started a season 2-1. The Indianapolis Colts are in sole possession of first place in the AFC South:
Zack Moss had a big day
Moss finished the day with 30 carries for 122 yards. He caught 2 passes for 23 yards and a touchdown as well. This clip was the first play of the game and it really just set the stage for the rest of his day. Moss was an absolute workhorse. At one point he seemed to be dealing with an injury but he fought through it and didn’t seem less effective for his trouble.
In the past I’ve sort of tongue-in-cheek suggested that Zack Moss get an extension, but I’m serious now. You might not break the bank for the guy, but the Colts have to consider giving him a similar deal they gave the guy they traded to get him. He’s shown he can produce, he can carry the load and you can count on him when the moments are big. He’s earned it. The starting quarterback is on a rookie deal, the team can afford it. Zack Moss deserves to get paid, I hope he’s in Indy for a long time to come.
Juju Brents had a great first game as a Colt
We’ve all been wondering when Juju Brents would finally lineup for the Colts in an NFL game and week three was our answer. The book on Brents was that he is a big corner with (freakishly) long arms and is (freakishly) athletic. But I assumed there had to have been a reason the coaching staff was choosing to play Darrell Baker Jr. over Brents.
As it turns out, some things will never be understood. Brents’ effort was unmatched early on, chasing Kenyan Drake down, forcing a fumble and recovering it himself. It was a great play. But more than that, Brents presence in coverage allowed the Colts to play more press man than they have played all year. The tighter coverage allowed the pass rush to disrupt Lamar Jackson and it kept the Ravens from running their offense that they had looked so comfortable in so far this season.
I don’t want to hype up Brents too much. This was his first game. He’s a rookie and there are bound to be tough moments and rough games for the guy, but it’s tough to overstate how much his presence changed the entire complexion of the Colts defense. If Darrell Baker Jr. were out there in this one, the Colts don’t win this game.
People who say that Chris Ballard never does anything in free agency are hilarious.
Ebukam has 8 tackles and 2 sacks in his first 3 games as a Colt.
Alec Pierce is alive
Alec Pierce had a couple of nice grabs and since we’re celebrating that’s all I’m going to say. Hopefully we see more progress from the second year wideout.
Everything Gardner Minshew does, feels like it shouldn’t work. But then sometimes it does and you’re surprised, you’re happy, but totally surprised. Great play by Zack Moss to haul this one in for six.
Taven Bryan with the strip sack
Boy, imagine how good this Colts defensive line would be if Chris Ballard had just signed a free agent or two.
The Colts defensive line had the Ravens offensive line a little jumpy
Sometimes it do be like that.
Weekly E.J. Speed appreciation
E.J. Speed is not a big man. But what he lacks in traditional linebacker size, he makes up for with his athleticism. In fact his name is fitting. The Ravens brought in an almost 400 pound tackle and their 305 pound fullback, announcing they were going to run it straight at the Colts. And all 225 pounds of E.J. Speed just dipped around them and made the tackle for a loss getting the defense off the field on third down. The Colts scouting staff found E.J. Speed at Tarleton State. Amazing.
Brents is a corner, covering Mark Andrews
Mark Andrews is 6’5” 256 pounds and Juju Brents covered him up. The otherwise tight coverage let the pass rush disrupt Jackson and he tried to force a throw to his well covered tight end. Brents made sure the pass wasn’t completed. Another nice play to get the defense off the field.
More Moss Appreciation
Moss sticks this one inside and finds no room, he bounces it out and finds that, kindly, no one has set the edge. Not wanting to be rude, he accepts the defensive invitation for the explosive run and finishes out the third quarter in style.
Zaire Franklin Sack
Zaire Franklin, who leads the NFL in tackles, had 15 more tackles today. The guy is a menace.
It’s nice to have a kicker in Indianapolis again
Free agent addition Matt Gay had an amazing day but he wasn’t done quite yet.
Kwity Paye with a sack
Ultimately this play would push the Ravens out of field goal range, leading to the game going to overtime. Kwity Paye came up big in a big spot.
Michael Pittman Jr.
I’m starting to believe, whoever is playing quarterback, just needs to throw a couple jump balls to Pittman a game. He’s big, he’s tough, he’s mean and I have faith that he’s going to take the ball away from the other guy 99 times out of 100.
I mean, just look at it. It’s beautiful.
Okay, let’s talk about it
Yes, it’s pass interference.
No, we shouldn’t care.
Yes, Ravens fans are justified in being upset.
Yes, other calls were missed.
No, that doesn’t mean this one shouldn’t have been called.
Look, sometimes calls are missed. Often times calls (especially PI) at the end of close games, are missed. It’s a tale as old as time. Right or wrong refs tend to let guys play at the end of games. That said if this had happened to the Colts we would all be upset and rightfully so. But if it had happened to the Colts I would be here, in this article, pointing out that our team squandered several chances to win the game before it got to that point and anytime you’re relying on the officials to not miss a call so that you might have a chance to win a game, well you’ve probably screwed up a few chances along the way.
So Ravens fans are going to be upset and I get it. I’d let them have it. But at the end of the day they got beat by a team that started Gardner Minshew, so are we really going to blame it on the refs?
Matt Gay was worth every penny and if you were crying about overpaying for a kicker in the offseason, you were then and are now a silly person.
Gay went 5 for 5 and is the only kicker in NFL history to hit 4 field goals from 50+ yards in a single game.
Final Thoughts on Week Three
This was an ugly win, but at the end of the year there’s no beauty pageant. Just what’s in the win and loss column. The Colts have stolen two games on the road and will come back home next week to take on a tough Los Angeles Rams team. The Colts will need to be at full strength next week because field goals aren’t going to outscore a Sean McVay offense.
As always, go Colts.