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|Posted by Andrew Aziz on September 22, 2014 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
Indianapolis Colts 44 vs Jacksonville Jaguars 17
IND FG A.Vinatieri 48 yd. Field Goal (12-50, 5:23)
IND TD A.Bradshaw 6 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (9-74, 5:46)
IND TD D.Allen 1 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (7-76, 3:27)
IND FG A.Vinatieri 43 yd. Field Goal (6-33, 2:07)
IND FG A.Vinatieri 25 yd. Field Goal (9-73, 4:14)
IND TD C.Fleener 7 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (4-29, 0:31)
JAC FG J.Scobee 41 yd. Field Goal (8-59, 3:07)
IND TD H.Nicks 1 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (10-64, 4:42)
JAC TD A.Hurns 63 yd. pass from B.Bortles (J.Scobee kick) (5-80, 2:02)
IND TD G.Toler 47 yd. interception return (A.Vinatieri kick)
JAC TD C.Shorts 10 yd. pass from B.Bortles (J.Scobee kick) (8-80, 2:40)
What the Colts did Right
A lot went right for the Colts.
The first big performance came from the face of the franchise Andrew Luck as he put up marvelous numbers. He was nearly perfect throughout the game. He didn't force any throws and made the right reads the majority of the time. Luck picked apart this Jaguars defense and was the driving force of this entire offense.
Ahmad Bradshaw had another big game, running and catching the ball. Bradshaw ran with power and his vision was at an all time high. Trent Richardson made some nice runs too and ran hard. The running game was able to amass 144 rushing yards. They were able to effectively move the ball and they established the run as the game went on.
Four receivers had big games: TY Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks and Donte Moncrief. The most surprising of them all was Moncrief, who broke some tackles and got some big yards after the catch. He was perhaps the most impressive of the four. Wayne made some great catches and looked like his usual self. Hilton made some big catches too and was able to get some good yards after the catch. Finally, Nicks had a few nice catches and it was good to see him get involved.
The offensive line had a good day overall. For the most part of the game, they gave Luck protection in the pocket and he was rarely pressured for the first half and for the beginning of the 2nd half. The tackles played well and the interior offensive line held their own, even when the Jaguars' linebackers blitzed the quarterback.
The play calling was fantasic on offense. Last week, they took a lot of criticism from the media, but this week they came back strong. Pep called a great game, going pass heavy early on and getting everyone involved. As the game went on, they got the running game involved too.
On defense, the Colts shut down the Jaguars for the first half. They completely shut down the running game for the entire game. They shut it down early on and the Jaguars were discouraged from using it as they were down big early on. They received great performances from D'Qwell Jackson and Erik Walden who both got pressure on the quarterback and were strong against the run.
In coverage, the entire secondary looked fantastic. Vontae Davis made some big plays, as did Greg Toler. Mike Adams looked good all over the field and Laron Landry made some big plays in the box. It's not often you see an entire secondary look great as a group, but that was the case for the Colts as they completely shut down Chad Henne and did extremely well versus Blake Bortles.
The defensive gameplan was great, they disguised the blitzes well and were great and aggressive in coverage.
Overall, it was a great game from the Colts and it was exactly the game they needed after a collapse and a 0-2 start.
What the Colts did Wrong
When you win a game by 27 points and putting 44 points on the board, there isn't much that went wrong.
On offense, Trent Richardson, with the exception of a 28 yard run, only had 30 yards on 13 carries. Some plays were his fault but most of the broken plays came because of the interior offensive line. There were times during the game where they were weak and allowed a lot of pressure up the middle.
Coby Fleener had himself another bad game. On top of dropping a perfect pass in the endzone, Fleener just couldn't get open. This is 3 bad games for Fleener now and he needs to turn it around or he'll see his snap count numbers diminish.
On defense, the defense didn't look great at times versus Blake Bortles. Bortles was able to rush for 30 yards, with a 20 yard run and make some nice plays with his arm. He was able to move the ball against the Colts, especially on his earlier drives and that just cannot happen.
Other than that, there were a few broken plays, like the Allen Hurns 63 yard touchdown in the 4th quarter. It was garbage time but nevertheless it was a bad play allowed by the Colts defense.
Colts Player of the Game
The player of the game has to be Andrew Luck as he had a dominant performance against this lowly Jaguars defense. He put up a 370 yards, 4 touchdowns and a 79% completion percentage performance and was making a lot of big plays. Luck's great day gave the Colts a great spark on offense, and at the end of the day, were able to get 44 points on the board.
|Posted by Andrew Aziz on September 20, 2014 at 8:15 PM||comments (0)|
The Indianapolis Colts, coming of back-to-back losses, look to get in the win column by beating the lowly Jaguars in Jacksonville. Jacksonville Jaguars got off to a quick start against the Eagles in their first game, but struggled mightily in the last 6 quarters. Which of these teams will get their first win of the year?
What the Colts Need to do to Win
The Colts should be more motivated than ever after last week’s collapse to the Eagles. They need to come out strong and have a relentless attack against the Jaguars. They must regain their confidence and regain their focus.
They will need a mistake free, low risk performance on offense. They need to minimize the amount of risks they take on offense and they need to establish a running game.
Andrew Luck will need to have a much better performance than the one he had last week. He needs to make more plays, he needs to let the ball out quicker, and he cannot force throws. Luck did not do enough last week and relied on his running game to get the job done. Although it’s important to have a focus on the running game, they need more production from Andrew Luck, especially on third downs. Their third down conversion percentage last week was 33%, which is horrible. Luck needs to have a bigger role this game; give him the ball.
In terms of running the ball, it seems like the 2 back attack of Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw works very well. Both played very well last week, with the only knock being Richardson’s fumbling issues. Both can get the job done in this system and both should have an active role running the ball this game if the Colts intend on having a balanced attack.
In terms of the receivers and tight ends, all of them will need to have bigger roles. Only Hilton played (relatively) well last week. Wayne will need to be more of factor on third downs. Hakeem Nicks will need to show up on important downs. Dwayne Allen will need to be a reliable pass catcher for Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener needs to be open in the red-zone. Those are their roles and so far this year, they are not fulfilling them. If you own TY Hilton on a fantasy team, this is the week to play him.
The offensive line had a lot of bright spots last week, especially when it came to run blocking. They need to continue this going into this week’s game against the Jaguars. They shouldn’t change anything in between the tackles and go with the similar mindset they had last week (in terms of running the ball). They ran it extremely well in between the tackles. In terms of pass protection, they’ll have an easier task against the Jaguars’ edge defenders. They’ll need to give Luck more time than last week to make his reads and his throws.
The offensive philosophy should be to establish a running game early on, like they did last week, but become more aggressive as the game goes on. They cannot be conservative in the 2nd half, unless their lead is large. The over conservatism will not help them.
On defense, they’ll need to find ways to pressure Chad Henne and they’ll need to find the right matchups. Erik Walden dominated Andrew Gardner, the backup right tackle for the Eagles last week. The Colts should match up Walden against their right tackle Sam Young, as that’s a matchup they could win. The Colts should not be afraid to bring Josh McNary up the middle on a disguised blitz. They should try and bring pressure from every angle with occasional disguised blitzes.
Up front on the defensive line, they’ll need to stuff up the middle. The Jaguars ran about 60% of their runs up the middle and if they can eliminate the in between the tackle runs then they’ll be able to almost shut down their running game. They will need consistent penetration from Ricky Jean Francois and Cory Redding as well as Josh Chapman drawing double teams.
The linebacker unit will have a big role in this game. The inside linebackers should have run responsibilities and be worried about stopping runs up the middle. On top of that, Josh McNary should worry about their tight end, Mickey Shuler. McNary struggled last week but against a guy like Shuler, he’ll have a much better chance. The outside linebackers, as mentioned earlier, will need to get consistent pressure on Chad Henne and set the edge on early downs. Erik Walden needs to play like he did last week, simple as that. Bjoern Werner should have more of a pass rushing focus, and he’ll need to win his battle against Luke Joeckel.
The defensive backs will have the task of covering this underrated Jaguars unit. Cecil Shorts seems like he’s going to be back, Allen Hurns has surprised many and Marqise Lee has the speed and athleticism to be a big play threat. This unit is nothing to sneeze at and one could argue they are more talented than the Eagles’ receiving unit (it’s just that Henne is throwing to them). Davis should go up against Shorts (if he’s playing), and Toler against Hurns or the other outside receiver with Butler in the slot against their slot receiver. As for the safeties, Laron Landry will need to be a more consistent tackler and play in the box. Mike Adams should play all over the field and cover the deep part of the field. If the Jaguasr intend on winning this game, they’ll need to have a lot of big plays, so if the Colts eliminate that threat, they’ll be fine.
The defensive gameplan should be to eliminate the run by having an inside gap approach and stuff the middle. They’ll also need to have a conservative approach in coverage, taking away the deep part of the field and being tough at the line of scrimmage. On top of that, Erik Walden and Bjoern Werner will need to get pressure on Chad Henne and in turn, that should cause mistakes from him. The Colts must capitalize on his mistakes.
What the Jaguars Need to do to Win
The Jaguars need to make a lot of things happen on offense in order to win. They not only need to hit plays but they need to establish a balanced attack. They need to get Toby Gerhart going on the ground. The Jaguars should attack the side where Bjoern Werner is playing. Werner isn’t strong against the run and the Colts are missing Arthur Jones on that side as well. So, getting Gerthart out to the left side should be a point of emphasis in the running game. Even Jerrell Freeman is out, so the right inside linebacker for the Colts is the backup, Josh McNary. In terms of passing the ball, they should target Allen Hurns if he’s against Greg Toler. Toler is great versus deep passes but isn’t always reliable on short and intermediate passes. Marqise Lee should be someone else to target as he has some speed against this Colts defense. If Cecil Shorts is healthy, he’ll most likely go up against Vontae Davis. They should target Shorts, but Henne needs to be aware of his other targets.
On defense, they’ll need to do their best to slow down the running game early, discourage it, and make the Colts start passing the ball. The Colts will intend on doing both, and emphasizing a balanced attack, so if you make them rely on either running or passing the ball, then you have a good start. The Jaguars cannot stop Andrew Luck and the passing offense, but they can take away the ground game. They should stack the box, and have spies on the running backs for the early part of the game. Once they’ve done that, they should then try and focus on limiting what the Colts do in the passing game. This is take away the deep passes, get rushers on the end and get pressure on Luck. The Eagles did this perfectly last week and were able to significantly slow down the Colts’ passing attack.
An intriguing matchup has to be the matchup between Erik Walden and right tackle Sam Young. Young is new to the lineup and Walden had an impressive week last week versus the Eagles’ right tackle. The Colts need to get pressure on the opposing quarterback, and it seems like they’ll need to get a lot of their pressure from Erik Walden. Walden has the best matchup and they’ll be relying on him to get the pressure.
The Colts register 5 sacks.
Indianapolis Colts 27 vs Jacksonville Jaguars 10
|Posted by Andrew Aziz on September 16, 2014 at 9:45 PM||comments (0)|
Here are this week’s rankings with some interesting changes in the top 10.
1. Denver Broncos (Last Week’s Ranking: #2)
The Broncos needed a goal line stand to win the game but they got the big win over their division rivals and take the #1 spot in these rankings.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week’s Ranking: #4)
The Eagles came back against the comeback Colts with 24 points in the 2nd half. This team is resilient and with their weapons on offense, could be dangerous going forward.
3. Seattle Seahawks (Last Week’s Ranking: #1)
The Seahawks take a step back with the loss to the Chargers, but it was a close loss and they competed hard on the road.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week’s Ranking: #5)
The Bengals got a dominating win against the Falcons and showed that they could be a force to be wrecking with going forward.
5. New England Patriots (Last Week’s Ranking: #6)
The Patriots got back on track with a dominating win against the Vikings with every part of their team clicking.
6. San Francisco 49ers (Last Week’s Ranking: #3)
The 49ers had their game in hand but with miscues on defense and mistakes on offense, they blew their lead and let the Bears beat them at home.
7. Green Bay Packers (Last Week’s Ranking: #8 )
The Packers were behind by a lot of points early, but they marched back and got the big win thanks to a great performance from Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson.
8. Arizona Cardinals (Last Week’s Ranking: #11)
The Cardinals came back again, this time on the road, against the Giants
9. Atlanta Falcons (Last Week’s Ranking: #12)
The Falcons got beat badly against the Bengals on the road, and now need to regroup and get some players back.
10. New Orleans Saints (Last Week’s Ranking: #7)
The Saints trailed early, but marched back but a last second field goal puts them in the loss column and 0-2 on the season.
11. Carolina Panthers (Last Week’s Ranking: #13)
The Panthers continue to surprise many people. After last week’s win, they come back and put up a great performance against the Lions.
12. Indianapolis Colts (Last Week’s Ranking: #9)
The Colts drop back after suffering a bad collapse. They allowed the Eagles to get back in the game, and the coaches were weak in the loss. They are now 0-2.
13. San Diego Chargers (Last Week’s Ranking: #15)
The Chargers picked up the huge win against the Seahawks at home and got a huge performance from the old man Antonio Gates, who had 3 touchdowns. If they can close out games, which they did, they're dangerous.
14. Chicago Bears (Last Week’s Ranking: #17)
The Bears marched back in the game in the 2nd half and got a great performance from Kyle Fuller and Brandon Marshall. They won against the 49ers and picked up some valuable spots in these rankings.
15. Baltimore Ravens (Last Week’s Ranking: #19)
The Ravens, after all the stuff they dealt with the past few weeks, got the huge win against the Steelers, where they shut down on offense and wore them out on defense.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week’s Ranking: #10)
The Steelers drop down 6 spots because of their bad performance against the Ravens. Roethlisberger was getting killed and they received no help from any of their impact players.
17. Houston Texans (Last Week’s Ranking: #21)
The Texans are 2-0 with two great performance from their defense. Arian Foster is playing well on offense as well, making this team a surprise candidate going forward.
18. Buffalo Bills (Last Week’s Ranking: #23)
The Bills got a big win against the Dolphins at home and were motivated by Jim Kelly's return. The Bills are 2-0 and with the way their defense is playing, they could get a few more wins in the coming weeks.
19. Miami Dolphins (Last Week’s Ranking: #14)
The Dolphins drop back due to the bad loss against the Bills. The Dolphins have trouble staying consistent and they proved it this week with weak performances on both sides of the ball.
20. Detroit Lions (Last Week’s Ranking: #16)
The Lions were handily beat by the Panthers but that offense is always dangerous. They just need to improve their efficiency on defense and once they do, they'll be creeping towards the top 10.
21. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week’s Ranking: #18 )
The Chiefs, well actually Alex Smith, tried real hard to get the win against the Broncos but they fell just short but this team, despite the injuries, is a team to watch out for.
22. Dallas Cowboys (Last Week’s Ranking: #25)
The Cowboys got the nice win against the Titans with a surprisingly good performance from the defense, an error free performance from Tony Romo and a big day on the ground from Demarco Murray. They'll win a lot of games like that.
23. New York Jets (Last Week’s Ranking: #20)
The Jets had the big lead early on but they failed to hold onto it and a dumb error from the coaching staff at the end of the game killed any chances of a comeback.
24. Cleveland Browns (Last Week’s Ranking: #29)
The Browns pulled off the shocking win against the Saints, thanks to a great performance by Brian Hoyer. This team made plays and considering how they played in the 2nd half of Week 1 and the game against the Saints, this team is something to watch going forward.
25. St Louis Rams (Last Week’s Ranking: #28 )
The Rams pulled off a last second victory over the Bucs on the road. Even without Bradford, this team can still find a way to win which is a testament to their coaching staff.
26. Washington Redskins (Last Week’s Ranking: #30)
The Redskins destroyed the Jaguars at home and that was with Kirk Cousins at the helm. RG3 may be more talented, but Cousins is the better quarterback for this offense.
27. Tennessee TItans (Last Week’s Ranking: #22)
The Titans did not look good against the Cowboys and it was rather disappointing considering how they dominated the Chiefs the week before. On top of that, they lack an indentity.
28. Minnesota Vikings (Last Week’s Ranking: #24)
The Vikings were absolutely demolished by the Patriots and Matt Cassel laid an egg. They should not hesitate to put in Teddy Bridgewater. This team needs Adrian Peterson.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week’s Ranking: #26)
The Bucs lost on a last second field goal to the Bucs. For a team with a lot of hype, the Bucs have been very disappointing and look to be at the bottom of the NFL for another year.
30. New York Giants (Last Week’s Ranking: #27)
The Giants were playing well against the Cardinals, but their defense allowed Drew Stanton and that offense to take the lead and eventually win. They fail to remain consistent for 4 quarters.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week’s Ranking: #31)
The Jaguars couldn't get anything going and took their first snap in Washington territory in the 4th quarter. They need to put in Blake Bortles and fast.
32. Oakland Raiders (Last Week’s Ranking: #32)
The Raiders remain at the bottom thanks to their abysmal performance against the Texans. They lack effort and that blame goes out to Dennis Allen. In the words of Charles Woodson: "We suck".
|Posted by Andrew Aziz on September 16, 2014 at 2:30 AM||comments (0)|
Philadelphia Eagles 30 vs Indianapolis Colts 27
PHI FG C.Parkey 31 yd. Field Goal (11-69, 3:45)
IND TD A.Bradshaw 1 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (9-72, 4:30)
IND FG A.Vinatieri 46 yd. Field Goal (11-44, 5:58)
PHI FG C.Parkey 23 yd. Field Goal (12-58, 3:41)
IND TD J.Doyle 2 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (10-58, 5:23)
IND FG A.Vinatieri 27 yd. Field Goal (10-62, 3:45)
PHI TD L.McCoy 1 yd. run (C.Parkey kick) (7-80, 2:11)
PHI TD D.Sproles 19 yd. run (C.Parkey kick) (5-26, 1:42)
IND TD A.Bradshaw 7 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (12-80, 5:55)
PHI TD J.Maclin 6 yd. pass from N.Foles (C.Parkey kick) (5-76, 1:43)
PHI FG C.Parkey 36 yd. Field Goal (4-42, 1:56)
What the Colts did Right
On offense, the running game carried the offense. It has been a long time since we have been able to say that the running game carried the offense, but against the Eagles, they did. Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw combined for almost 150 yards on the ground and ran with authority up the middle and outside the tackles. The Eagles' defense had no answer for those guys. It was refreshing to see the interior offensive line work in sync with each other and open up holes for the running backs.
TY Hilton managed to have a good game, but he was the only good receiver out there. Hilton made some big catches and was able to keep drives alive with his play after the catch.
The offensive line, as mentioned earlier, had a great game in terms of run blocking and did very well in the 1st half protecting Andrew Luck. The interior offensive line was extremely impressive with Mewhort, Shipley and Thornton. All three were in sync and they look like a good group to have going forward.
The play calling was good for the 1st half on offense. I like what Pep Hamitlon did in the 1st half with his direction and he made some great play calls. He was a big reason why they had that big lead going into halftime.
On defense, the Colts did a great job of slowing down the Eagles' offense in the first half and their redzone defense was oustanding, holding them to 3 field goals (missing one of them). This was thanks to great gang tackling and endless pursuit. They didn't let McCoy do much and they took away the big plays. As a matter of fact, they took away the big plays for the Eagles all game, which is something that is crucial in order to succeeding against the Eagles.
Erik Walden had a great game for the Colts. In Mathis' absence, he was able to get pressure on Foles and consistently found himself in the backfield for the Colts. He made a lot of plays and deserves a lot of credit. Josh McNary also filled in admirably for Jerrell Freeman and has proven that he deserves some playing time even with Freeman in the lineup.
Overall, the cornerbacks played extremely well. Vontae Davis, outside of one costly penalty, had a great game and shut down the man he went up against (whether it was Maclin or Cooper). Greg Toler made one of the plays of the week with his great interception and Butler made some nice plays as a nickelback. Despite 331 yards passing from Foles, only 70 of those yards came from the receivers and that's a testament to this squad.
The defensive play calling was great early on. They mixed it up with some nice disguises and some good, well timed blitzes.
What the Colts did Wrong
The latter portion of the 3rd quarter and the entire 4th quarter was atrocious for the Colts. The fact that the Colts play only one good half of football each game is terrible and that falls on the shoulders of Chuck Pagano. Pagano has been weak this season and for the majority of last season as he fails to get his team to play consistent football and that's why they find themselves down going into the 2nd half. It just happened that in this game, they had the lead but blew it (other way aroudn from what they are normally used to).
Andrew Luck did not have a good game. It may say that he had 3 touchdowns, but all were within the 7 yard line and Luck failed to make any big plays with his arm or his leg. Luck forced a lot of passes as well and just was not in sync with his receivers. His off night was a big reason why the Colts lost.
Despite the good overall game from Trent Richardson, he did fumble twice and one of those fumbles was recovered by the Eagles at a crucial moment in the game. He has a bad habit of doing that.
The offensive line struggled at times, especially in pass protection. They couldn' give Luck enough time to make his reads and his throws. The offensive tackles were man-handled on some plays and Fletcher Cox had a very good game inside. They needed to step it up in the 2nd half, but rather, they got worst and it hurt the production of that offense, as they were only able to get 10 points on the board in the 2nd half.
As described earlier, Pep Hamitlon had a great first half where he was a big reason why the Colts were able to have a big lead. Well, Hamitlon was a big reason why the Colts blew that lead. His conservative play calling and the fact that he didn't give Luck the ball when it mattered showed his indecisiviness.
On defense, most of their troubles came in the 2nd half. The major issue was stopping Darren Sproles. I think Indianapolis will celebrate when this man retires, because he has torched this team many times over the years; more than any other team he has faced. He had over 150 receiving yards and one 19 yard rushing touchdown against the Colts. They couldn't tackle him. He and McCoy (but more Sproles) single handedly destroyed the Colts' defense in the 2nd half.
After Arthur Jones left the game, the run defense was weak. Their tackling was weak and they failed to do to the simple basics of tackling (breakdown, wrap and drive), but instead, tried to launched themselves at two of the most elusive runners in the game. That just won't work.
Laron Landry had a very weak game with many missed tackles and missed assignments in coverage. Bjoern Werner was silent, but he went up against Jason Peters, so it was expected.
Colts Player of the Game
There is a tie between Ahmad Bradshaw and Erik Walden. On offense, Bradshaw was able to effectively move the ball in between the tackles and was able to snag two receiving touchdowns which put the Colts up big in the earlier part of the game. On defense, Walden took advantage of the weak right tackle Andrew Gardner and had a great night for himself with 3 tackles and many pressures. Both players were crucial for the Colts tonight.
|Posted by Andrew Aziz on September 14, 2014 at 4:20 PM||comments (0)|
The Indianapolis Colts play their home opener Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are coming off a victory against the Jaguars, in a game where they scored 34 unanswered points. The Colts came up short against the Broncos, but were very close to tying it up late. Both teams have highly efficient, fast paced offenses and you can expect this game to rack up a lot of points.
What the Colts Need to do to Win
The Colts have never lost back-to-back games in the Luck/Pagano era, so their intensity should be at a high.
On offense, the offense will need to be much more consistent than what they were last week. They have to be within 7 points of the Eagles at halftime in order for them to have a strong chance of winning; they cannot go down by 24 like they did last week. Last season and in this year’s preseason, the Colts got off to quick starts by going on pass heavy, no huddle drives and they effectively got the ball down the field. This is what the Colts should do in this game, they should come out with a bang and pass the ball 7 out of every 8 plays. This will eventually soften up the Eagles defense and then the Colts can establish a running game (as the game goes on). They need to have a quick start; it’s almost crucial in this game.
Andrew Luck needs to reduce the amount of risks and mistakes he makes. Luck needs to use his legs as well and he needs to gain yards with his feet. What he likes to do is force passes, even when there is a running lane open. He needs to stop taking risks and start utilizing his running ability more often.
In terms of the running backs, both Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw should see the field an equal amount of times. Both played well last week and their different skill sets compliment each other well, making it tough for the Eagles’ defense to predict. I’d like to see Trent Richardson on third downs, as he caught passes last week and blocked well. He’s the better option on those downs, but Bradshaw is good in short yardage situations and on early downs.
The receivers need to have a big game. Last week, only Wayne had a good game, with Hilton and Nicks having off nights. All three need to be on the same page tonight and they’ll need more of an impact from TY Hilton. Hilton had a crucial drop and didn’t have any impactful plays. He needs to be open down the field and needs to come up on crucial third downs. He needs to take some pressure off of Reggie Wayne. Hakeem Nicks doesn’t need to have a huge game as the #3 receiver but he needs to show up at times and he needs to make plays when the ball is coming his way; that is his role with the team.
Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener need to show up in the redzone. Allen played well last week but Fleener was horrendous and made some crucial errors. The Colts were close to winning the game and Fleener’s mistakes attributed to the loss, so he cannot have another week like that.
The offensive line will have a tough task against the Eagles front 7. Trent Cole is a tough player to handle, but Anthony Castonzo should do well against him. The issue is up the middle. Fletcher Cox can do some damage up the middle and the Eagles can get sacks from everything. They (and Andrew Luck) need to be wary of the blitzes the Eagles bring from every angle.
The offensive gameplan should be to come out and pass the ball a lot early on, and then as the game goes on, start to establish the run. In the 2nd half, they should obviously adjust to what happened in the first half but come out with a pass heavy attack. They need to get everyone involved.
On defense, they’ll need to get in Nick Foles’ face and make him make mistakes. He looked very bad in the first half last week against the Jaguars and that was due to the Jaguars getting great pressure on him and making him force passes.
The defensive line will be crucial in terms of stopping the running game. The Eagles have one of the best running games in the NFL with Lesean McCoy and Darren Sproles and they’ll need to slow down any runs up the middle. They’ll need to clog up holes and need to make McCoy second-guess his choices. That’s only half the battle with him, once he’s stuttering in the backfield; he needs to be wrapped and tackled, which is easier said than done with him. Getting to and swarming McCoy is crucially important to hindering their running game. They need to clog up the middle.
The linebackers are responsible for taking care of the running game and getting pressure on Nick Foles. Jerrell Freeman is out and Josh McNary will replace him. McNary played well last week and could do a good job as a starter. They should use him in blitz packages and let him penetrate the offensive line. He needs to get pressure up the middle and cover the tight ends. Jackson should worry about the running game and the running game only. He is not good in coverage. Bjoern Werner needs to try and get some pressure on Foles, but he’s going up against Jason Peters, so he should have a quiet game. That means that Erik Walden will have to get some pressure on the outside while setting the edge. He will be an important player for the Colts.
The secondary must eliminate the deep threat posed by the Eagles offense. The Eagles love to go deep and they do it often, so the safeties must eliminate that threat by playing extra deep on obvious passing downs and even on some early downs. They must play jam/man coverage on the line and they need to play the safeties over the top. If they can limit this passing offense, they’ll have a good chance of winning, because the Eagles offense thrives on those big plays. Jeremy Maclin needs to be watched as he can be a threat down the field or on quick, short passes.
The defensive gameplan should be to get pressure up the middle and to swarm Lesean McCoy and the running game. They should be cautious in coverage and completely eliminate any deep passes.
What the Eagles Need to do to Win
On offense, the Eagles need to stick to what they do best: wear down defenses with their fast paced offense. They need to have a balanced attack, and they need to make sure that they establish a running game. What the Eagles did so well was that gave McCoy the bulk of the carries, but they weren’t afraid to ride with Darren Sproles and give him carries when he was hot. The Eagles should ride the hotter back. In terms of passing the ball, Nick Foles needs to have a mistake free game. It will be tough with some of his offensive linemen out, but if the pressure is getting to him, they should establish a short, conservative passing attack with a fierce ground attack. If the Eagles can stay mistake free, establish a running game and keep Foles upright, they’ll be able to put up a lot of points on offense.
On defense, the Eagles will need to get pressure on Luck and they need to blitz up the gut. Their interior offensive line is weak and they’ll need to exploit it. They need to get Luck on the move and make him feel uncomfortable. In terms of coverages, Reggie Wayne needs to be watched over the intermediate part of the field and the safety need to play deep on obvious passing downs to eliminate the deep threat posed by TY Hilton. They need to have extra guys in coverage on passing downs, and get extra pressure on Luck to force him outside the pocket.
When you have two high flying offenses, you can expect to have some intriguing matchups at the skill positions, and that seems to be the case in this game.
The first big battle is between the Colts’ front 7 and the Eagles’ offensive line. The Eagles’ offensive line is banged up and the Colts don’t have Robert Mathis, meaning they’ll need to get pressure from other guys. If the Colts intend on slowing down their offense, they’ll need a stout pass rush.
Another big battle is between the Colts’ receivers and the Eagles’ secondary. The winner of this battle will have a big say in who wins the game. The Colts rely on their passing offense, and if the Eagles do a good job in taking away the Colts’ receivers, they’ll hinder what the Colts can do on offense.
No interceptions are thrown in the game.
Indianapolis Colts 26 vs Philadelphia Eagles 24
|Posted by Andrew Aziz on September 10, 2014 at 12:25 AM||comments (0)|
Here are this week's rankings, with some big drops and some big rises.
1. Seattle Seahawks (Last Week’s Ranking: #1)
The Seahawks put on a dominant performance against the Packers and keep the top spot in the league.
2. Denver Broncos (Last Week’s Ranking: #2)
The Broncos had to hold off a Colts comeback, but they got the win and got some big performances from their star players.
3. San Francisco 49ers(Last Week’s Ranking: #3)
The 49ers put on a great show in Dallas, demolishing them on both sides of the ball and making Tony Romo look terrible.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week’s Ranking: #8)
The Eagles jump up a lot of spots thanks to a great 34 point 2nd half performance against the Jaguars.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week’s Ranking: #9)
The Bengals got the nice win on the road against the Ravens and had a nice performance on both sides of the ball.
6. New England Patriots (Last Week’s Ranking: #4)
The Patriots suffered a tough loss agianst hte Dolphisn on the road, but it's merely a bump in the road for what should be a great Patriots team.
7. New Orleans Saints (Last Week’s Ranking: #5)
The Saints lost a tough one in overtime against the resilient Falcons, but the team looks great overall, but the defense must get better.
8. Green Bay Packers (Last Week’s Ranking: #6)
The Packers suffered an embarassing loss to the Seahawks and looked horrendous on both sides of the ball.
9. Indianapolis Colts (Last Week’s Ranking: #7)
The Colts made a great comeback to make the game very close, but the Broncos were able to hold on. The Colts need to get off to better starts and stop falling behind early.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week’s Ranking: #12)
The Steelers jumped out to a huge lead early but let the Browns get back in the game and needed a last second field goal to win. They showed a lot of potential but they can't let teams get back into games.
11. Arizona Cardinals (Last Week’s Ranking: #14)
The Cardinals needed a big 4th quarter to beat the Chargers, but they need to perform better on offense to have a chance of beating elite teams.
12. Atlanta Falcons (Last Week’s Ranking: #17)
The Falcons pulled off the gutsy win against their rival Saints and got a career day from Matt Ryan. They'll need a better performance on defense, but this is a good sign of things to come for them.
13. Carolina Panthers (Last Week’s Ranking: #15)
The Panthers didn't have Cam Newton and many were expecting a loss, but Derek Anderson came in and they won a big game on the road. This team finds a way to win.
14. Miami Dolphins (Last Week’s Ranking: #20)
The Dolphins got one of their biggest wins in the past few seasons but demolishing the Patriots in the 2nd half to win by 13 points. Their defense rose to the occasion and Knowshon Moreno had a huge day on the ground.
15. San Diego Chargers (Last Week’s Ranking: #10)
The Chargers could have won in Arizona, but they blew it. If they cannot win games in the 4th quarter, they won't be a playoff team.
16. Detroit Lions (Last Week’s Ranking: #22)
The Lions demolished the Giants thanks to a booming day from Calvin Johnson. He may have to carry this team again.
17. Chicago Bears (Last Week’s Ranking: #11)
The Bears lost in overtime to the Bills (at home). This is beyond disappointing and they'll be in big trouble if they continue to play poorly.
18. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week’s Ranking: #13)
The Chiefs got killed at home versus the Tennesee Titans and Jamaal Charles was not given the ball often and their offense suffered because of it.
19. Baltimore Ravens (Last Week’s Ranking: #16)
The Ravens put up a good fight against the Bengals, but they came up short. Now they need to deal with this Ray Rice sage, which should not help their team.
20. New York Jets (Last Week’s Ranking: #21)
The Jets were far from impressive, but they got the win at home and that's all that matters. This is a big year for them.
21. Houston Texans (Last Week’s Ranking: #25)
The Texans had a great performance on defense and got a nice day from Arian Foster and a mistake free day from Fitzpatrick. If they can continue to stay on this path, they could contend for the playoffs.
22. Tennessee Titans (Last Week’s Ranking: #27)
The Titans shocked everyone by demolishing the Chiefs on the road and received a great game from Jake Locker, who if healthy, can be a good player in this league.
23. Buffalo Bills (Last Week’s Ranking: #29)
The Bills had a great day against the Bears and got the win in overtime on the road. Let's see if they can keep these good times rolling.
24. Minnesota Vikings (Last Week’s Ranking: #28)
The Vikings impressed with a dominant performance and Matt Cassel had a nice game. They have some playmakers on both sides of the ball. This was a great start to their year.
25. Dallas Cowboys (Last Week’s Ranking: #17)
The Cowboys laid an egg at home against the 49ers, but I don't know what's more embarassing: Tony Romo's bad game or the fact that the amount of 49ers fans outnumbered the amount of Cowboys fans.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week’s Ranking: #18)
The Bucs had the home field advantage as well as the fact that the opponent's starting QB wasn't playing, yet they still lost and blew the game in the 4th quarter. This team disappointed many people.
27. New York Giants (Last Week’s Ranking: #23)
The Giants got killed on Monday Night and Eli doesn't look good. Could he be past his prime? Either way, that team is a mess.
28. St. Louis Rams (Last Week’s Ranking: #24)
The Rams are missing Sam Bradford and now they could lose Shaun Hill the backup. The Rams are heading in a downward spiral.
29. Cleveland Browns (Last Week’s Ranking: #30)
The Browns made a resilient comeback in the 2nd half but they came up short. Surprisingly, they have some good players on that offense even without Josh Gordon.
30. Washington Redskins (Last Week’s Ranking: #26)
The Redskins limited RG3 to what he can do and that's what ultimately killed them. Had he been able to do what he does best (run and make plays based off his instincts), they could have won.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week’s Ranking: #31)
The Jaguars got out to a big lead early on against the Eagles on the road, but completely blew in the 2nd half and allowed 34 unanswered points. They just can't do that.
32. Oakland Raiders (Last Week’s Ranking: #32)
The Raiders stay at the bottom even with the close loss to the Jets. It's obvious though that Derek Carr is the answer at quarterback.
|Posted by Andrew Aziz on September 8, 2014 at 11:05 PM||comments (0)|
Denver Broncos 31 vs Indianapolis Colts 24
DEN FG B.McManus 21 yd. Field Goal (16-77, 6:35)
DEN TD J.Thomas 3 yd. pass from P.Manning (B.McManus kick) (8-54, 4:00)
DEN TD J.Thomas 35 yd. pass from P.Manning (B.McManus kick) (9-83, 5:24)
DEN TD J.Thomas 5 yd. pass from P.Manning (B.McManus kick) (7-71, 3:13)
IND TD A.Luck 9 yd. run (A.Vinatieri kick) (8-80, 1:38)
IND FG A.Vinatieri 25 yd. Field Goal (11-60, 5:58)
DEN TD M.Ball 3 yd. run (B.McManus kick) (6-48, 3:31)
IND TD D.Allen 41 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (7-80, 2:08)
IND TD H.Nicks 9 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (5-45, 0:49)
What the Colts did Right
The resilience of the team is something to admire. In any situation, against any team in any stadium, they can come back from a 20+ points down and make the game very, very close. That's exciting.
Andrew Luck was relatively good for the most part. His play in the 2nd half was beyond good and he was making some great throws. He also ran well with the ball.
Trent Richardson... wrong section? Nope, he had a good game. Richardson had a limited amount of carries but ran well and hard when he got the ball. He blocked well and was a good receiving option in the backfield. The Colts were down early and went to a pass heavy attack but when they established a running game, Richardson played well.
As for the receivers, Reggie Wayne was the only impressive receiver. Nine catches for 98 yards is a very impressive game, and he made some big catches. He's still a great security blanket for Andrew Luck. Dwayne Allen made some nice plays and had a nice touchdown catch and run late in the game to keep the Colts in it.
The offensive line had its moments during the game. The offensive tackles, especially Anthony Castonzo, were impressive and they held their own against a tough Broncos defensive line. The interior line held its own at times and looked sharp in the 2nd half.
The offensive gameplan and the play calling was consistent and Pep called some great plays throughout the match. The majority of the calls he made were correct calls.
On defense, the Colts played extremely well in the 2nd half. The defensive line had one good performer and that was Arthur Jones. Jones made some nice stops and got good penetration. Ricky Jean Francois played relatively well also.
Josh McNary proved to be a quality linebacker in this game. Jackson was struggling and McNary came in and played a great game. Freeman also played well, especially when in the box and playing against the run.
In the secondary, Vontae Davis and Darius Butler performed extremely well and made some big plays. Both of these guys are consistent performers and it seems like they play well in these big games.
On special teams, Pat McAfee was fantastic as always and Griff Whalen was pretty good on punt return (although Moncrief is probably better). Whalen provided the play of the game with his extremely slow punt return touchdown that was called back due to his knee hitting the ground. It was funny to see him run because he's very slow; everyone was walking out there, yet it seemed like they were going as fast as Whalen.
What the Colts did Wrong
Although Luck's game was good overall, he did make some questionable calls and some poor decisions. Luck forced a lot of passes and he just can't do that.
TY Hilton and Hakeem Nicks were weak at receiver. Nicks was invisible for most of the night and Hilton didn't make plays and even had a crucial drop. These guys were weak and this cannot happen again going forward. Coby Fleener had a very weak game and looked lost out there. He had a crucial drop as well and as a receiving tight end, he let the Colts down.
The offensive line did have some bad moments.
The defense was atrocious in the first half and they had no chance against Julius Thomas. He was too big for their cornerbacks and too fast for the linebackers, even Jerrell Freeman. He completely picked them apart. Their offensive line completely outworked the Colts' defensive line and they had no opportunities in the first half.
D'Qwell Jackson had a very bad game as did Laron Landry. Both missed plenty of tackles and looked lost at times. For the love of God, do not put either of them in coverage as well or they'll get killed.
Greg Toler was the weak link at cornerback and was beat several times and took stupid penalties.
I also need to call out the defensive coaching staff and Chuck Pagano. They didn't have a good gameplan on defense and they were destroyed in the first half. Pagano has been a weak game-planner during his Colts career and it's why the Colts are weak at the start of games. They seriously need to come in with smarter gameplans.
Colts Player of the Game
I gave Vontae Davis consideration, but Andrew Luck was the best player for the Colts. The team relies on him (which is not a good thing actually), and he can make magic happen at any time. Luck made some big plays in the 2nd half and rallied this team when they were down by 24 points. The team is in good hands.
|Posted by Andrew Aziz on September 7, 2014 at 12:25 AM||comments (0)|
The Indianapolis Colts will open the season on the road against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Last season, the Colts defeated the Broncos in Indianapolis thanks to a 3-touchdown performance from Andrew Luck. Both teams have improved on both sides of the ball and it should be an exciting battle between two of the AFC’s powerhouses.
What the Colts need to do to Win
The Colts are on the road. Getting off to a quick start is something they’ll need to do. They cannot fall behind to the Broncos because if they do, that gap will be almost insurmountable. The Colts need to have a very strong showing on offense and their defense will need to show up at key times.
If the Colts intend on winning, it will need to be behind Andrew Luck and his great arm. Luck played extremely well and was efficient the last time they played the Broncos. He had a great passer rating, threw 3 touchdowns and no interceptions; that’s perfect. He needs to have the same efficient game and needs to make just as many plays. Luck will need to make plays with legs and must keep drives alive. If he isn’t able to extend drives, then this team will struggle.
The running game should be established early on. If the coaches truly believe in Richardson’s abilities, then they should try to give him the ball early on. If they can establish a running game (and balanced attack), and keep Manning off the field, that would be a huge advantage for the Colts. For the early portion of the game, Trent Richardson will need to come up big. The Colts should not be hesitant to put Ahmad Bradshaw in the game. He has more big game experience and could even be a better option, especially if Richardson is struggling.
As for the receiving options, the Colts have 3 receivers who can make big plays happen at any time and field one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. Despite the improved Broncos secondary, the Colts receivers should have no problems with their unit. Luck will have his options to choose from and he does not have to be aggressive. One of Luck’s major (and maybe his only major) flaws is that he gets overly aggressive and starts staring down his targets.
The offensive line will be the most important unit of the entire team. They must give Luck time to throw passes, and stop pass rushers like Von Miller and Demarcus Ware from consistently getting to the quarterback. Castonzo and Cherilus having good games is a must in order to have a good game. They cannot be beaten consistently. The interior line will also have some problems with Terrence Knighton bursting up the middle every play. They’ll need to do their best in double-teaming him and taken him out completely every play. If needed, the Colts should have a blocking running back on obvious passing downs.
The offensive gameplan should be to have a balanced attack early with a focus on establishing a running game. As the game goes on, the Colts should start focusing on passing the ball and establishing a pass heavy attack. As the game gets tighter and the plays get more important, the ball should be in Andrew Luck’s hands.
As for the defense…
They need to bring the heat all game long. Last year, the Colts did a great job of getting to the quarterback and that was thanks largely to the play of Robert Mathis. Mathis will not be playing this week and the Colts will need to find a way to fill that void. It will be up to Bjoern Werner, Erik Walden, Cory Redding and Arthur Jones and even Jerrell Freeman to get consistent pressure on Manning. The Colts (Greg Manusky specifically) should not be afraid to blitz Manning and get 5+ guys after the quarterback. Getting pressure on him is a must. The front 7 will be the most important unit on defense. They will be responsible to stop Montee Ball in the first half and to get consistent pressure on Manning throughout the game, but especially in the 2nd half. The team that finishes the best in this game will win, so the Colts must finish strong.
The secondary will also have a stiff challenge. It helps a lot that Wes Welker is out for the game, but the Broncos still have 3 great receivers in Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas. All three can beat you at any time. Thomas is always dangerous and the Colts should place Vontae Davis on him for most of the game. On obvious passing downs, the Colts should play their safeties deep and cover the deep passes. The Broncos love to drive the ball down the field, so taking away those deep plays on obvious passing downs are important. Laron Landry could also be used in the box, especially on short yardage plays. The Colts should then place Greg Toler at the other cornerback position, opposite either Emmanuel Sanders or one of their rotational receivers.
The defensive gameplan should be to be aggressive, blitz Manning and to stack the box on early downs to discourage the run early on. They need to make Manning throw a lot and when he does, they should blitz him and make him feel uncomfortable.
What the Broncos need to do to Win
On offense, the Broncos will need to make a very limited amount of mistakes and they will need to drive the ball down the field, but with a balanced attack. They cannot go pass heavy all game; they need to get Montee Ball involved. If they can open up their running game, they’ll be able to keep Luck and the Colts offense off the field and drive the ball effectively. They’ll need to give Manning time to find his targets, and if he’s able to scan the field, he should be able to pick apart this Colts defense. In short, if they give Manning time, keep Luck off the field by establishing a running game and take an early lead, they should take this game.
Defensively, their main worry is obviously Andrew Luck. The Colts should have a pass heavy attack, so getting pressure on Luck is a must. This means almost constant blitzes on 2nd and 3rd downs and making him feel uncomfortable. If you get Andrew Luck out of his rhythm, he’ll make mistakes and cough up the ball. They need to force turnovers and the best ways to do that are getting multiple guys going after Andrew Luck. If they can make Luck uncomfortable and the offense can get going, this should be an easy victory.
There are a few intriguing matchups in this game. The first one is TY Hilton vs Aqib Talib. Both should be lining up against each other for the majority of the game. If Hilton, who may be the #1 receiving option on the Colts, can consistently beat Talib and get behind, the Colts could be in business. If Talib can shut him down, it will force Luck to find other options.
The other big matchup is Anthony Castonzo vs Demarcus Ware. Ware is still an elite pass rusher and Castonzo will have his hands full. Castonzo will need to shut down Ware or Luck will have little time to throw on big third downs and other passing downs.
One receiver (from either the Broncos or the Colts) will have over 200 receiving yards.
Denver Broncos 39 vs Indianapolis Colts 29