The Colts are going to have to rebound from an embarrassing performance against the Jags. Colts had a bad showing on both sides of the ball, giving up 518 yards on defense, and only gaining 232 yards on offense. While the Jags have a great defense, the offense is not one you would call a world-beater. Watching them go up and down the field on the Colts had to hurt the fan base, especially Blake Bortles throwing for 280 yards. Let’s look at what went wrong this week.
Defense Struggles against the Run
The defense has struggled all year, and this game was no different. The worst part was losing Malik Hooker to a year ending MCL injury. The struggles have mostly been against the pass, but this week they could not stop the run at all. The Colts allowed 188 yards rushing at 5.1 yards per carry. The Jags had gaping holes all day, but none bigger than the 58-yard run by TJ Yeldon. In the play above, the Jags are running inside zone. On the inside zone, the runner aims for the outside hip of the offensive guard. Post-snap, Al Woods made this read easy for Yeldon by using a swim move to beat the center. This allows the guard, Patrick Omameh, to execute his combo block easily. He gets to the linebacker quick displaying good hand placement and gains leverage on Antonio Morrison. Yeldon easily beats Woods to the hole when he over-pursues, reads Omameh’s block correctly, gives a fake like he’s going right to confuse Mattias Farley, and shows a good burst to take off for the touchdown. This play definitely shows Malik Hooker’s importance in the back end.
Time to give Mack more Carries
With the Colts being 2-5 on the season, I still don’t understand why Frank Gore is getting all these carries. Gore is averaging only 3.4 yards per carry and should be used more as a goal line back at this point in his career. Marlon Mack has had big runs and catches in every game this season. He averaging 4.9 yards per carry, and turns check downs into first downs. On the play above, Colts are running power with the guard and center executing duo blocks. Doyle will be pulling into B-gap, picking up Jack with a good block. Constanzo puts a great block on the edge rusher pushing him outside to open the hole. Mack finds the hole quickly, bursting into the second level for the 20-yard gain. Mack needs to be at least 15 touches a game at this point. He only had nine touches last Sunday, but we should hopefully see that rising in the upcoming weeks.
Andrew Luck is not going anywhere
The Andrew Luck trade rumors are ridiculous, and this game was a reminder for fans. The Jags have the best pass defense in football. Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are the best corner tandem in football. The secondary helps the front pressure the quarterback by causing quarterbacks to hold the ball longer than the play is designed for. Jacoby Brissett struggled to move the ball against the Jags all game. His offensive line did not help, but there were moments in the game where he held the ball too long leading to unnecessary sacks. The play above was a key moment in this game. The Colts are down 14-0 at the beginning of the second quarter at the Jaguars 39. They line up in 11 personnel, with trips to the strong side of the field. Ty Hilton in the slot will be running an out route, Doyle will motion to run a quick drag, Rogers to his right running the dig, and Moncrief running the go route at the top. Post-snap, first read is Hilton but he is locked up by Ramsey. Brissett then goes to his second read which is Rogers, who has beaten the corner on the dig route. Brissett freezes and doesn’t pull the trigger. He is then pressured and gives up the sack, losing the chance for a field goal. This is where a star quarterback like Luck makes a difference. His awareness and ability to move in the pocket would allow him to convert this same play into a first down. Brissett has been solid, but he is no Luck.