ESPN analyst and former Colts center Jeff Saturday made his weekly appearance on The Fan Morning Show with Jeff Rickard, Big Joe, and Kevin Bowen to breakdown another Colts win, this time a 36-7 rout of the New York Jets.
In the win, the Indianapolis defense outscored the Jets offense with two pick-sixes off of Quarterback Sam Darnold. Xavier Rhodes got the Blue and White on the board with his 44-yard interception in the first quarter, while T.J. Carrie took his pick to the house in the third quarter making it 31-7. In the fourth quarter, veteran Justin Houston brought down Darnold in the end zone for a safety. Houston’s big play marked the second straight week the Colts defense has had a safety.
That's now 16 points for the defense if you are keeping track at home.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 27, 2020
On the show Monday, Saturday brought up four key points that he took away from the Week 3 win.
1) Defense Continues to Dominate
The Colts have now given up just 18 points in the last two weeks to Minnesota and New York combined. That’s after allowing 27 in the week one loss at Jacksonville.
“So often we think of possession as being an offensive driven stat, but when the Colts defense is doing what they are now, they’re earning it themselves,” Saturday mentioned.
2) Hard-Nosed Mentality
Philip Rivers threw for his 400th career touchdown in the win over New York, becoming just the sixth Quarterback ever to do so. The milestone came on a second quarter strike to Tight End Mo Alie-Cox.
Career Passing TD No. 400 for Philip Rivers! 👏
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 27, 2020
The workload for Rivers seems to be balancing out with the run game as the weeks go on after he threw the ball 46 times in Week 1. Rivers was an efficient 17-for-21 for 217 yards on Sunday, while Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, and Jordan Wilkins took a combined 29 carries. It marked a win for the offensive line as well, as the Jets did not pick up a sack. Opposing defenses have only sacked Rivers twice in three games.
“What the Colts have done the last two weeks should be the mentality they go play with every game,” Saturday said. “Ultimately, the offense should go through the run-game, then play-action, and after have the defense go win some games.”
3) Take Care of Business No Matter the Opponent
After three weeks of this unprecedented NFL season, the Colts opponents in Jacksonville, Minnesota, and New York are a combined 1-8. But Saturday says that shouldn’t be looked at as a bad thing.
“You can’t win the division in the first four weeks, but you can put yourself behind the eight-ball,” Saturday explained. “I don’t think any teams knows who they are quite yet, and there are about two more weeks to go until guys figure out exactly who they are.”
4) Looking Ahead to a Matchup with an Old Friend
Next Sunday’s showdown with the Chicago Bears in The Windy City will feature a chance for the Colts to face their former Head Coach Chuck Pagano. Pagano, now the Bears Defensive Coordinator, coached in Indy from 2012-2017 and went 53-43 before being let go. But for Jeff, he says that the Colts can’t worry about who is on the other sideline.
“When you look at the Colts, this is a game they should go win,” he said. “Even with the Bears Quarterback switch to (Nick) Foles, you have to go out and execute while not worrying about who coached where or played where.”
Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM Sunday at Soldier Field.
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