5 Things Learned: Colts Find Run Game, Play Dominant Defense In Win Over Jaguars

5 Things Learned: Colts Find Run Game, Play Dominant Defense In Win Over Jaguars

Blog > Kevin's Corner > Colts Coverage > 5 Things Learned: Colts Find Run Game, Play Dominant Defense In Win Over Jaguars

5 Things Learned: Colts Find Run Game, Play Dominant Defense In Win Over Jaguars

Joe Robbins | Getty Images


INDIANAPOLIS – No one should judge any Colts fans for celebrating the first multi-score win of the season by doing a keg stand.

That would be fitting after the Colts put together their most complete effort of the season, dominating the second half and beating the Jacksonville Jaguars, 33-13 on Sunday afternoon.

What was learned from the Colts (6-4) responding from a listless performance with a resounding victory at Lucas Oil Stadium?

FIVE THINGS LEARNED

  • Historic Rushing Performance: For several weeks now, we’ve stressed the need for the Colts to have their strength to deliver. That’s the offensive line and a committed rushing attack. Man, did that group show up on Sunday. The Colts gashed the Jaguars up front with 264 rushing yards on 36 carries. For just the fourth time in franchise history, they produced a pair of 100-yard rushers (Jonathan Williams had 13 carries for 116 yards and Marlon Mack had 14 carries for 109 yards). The Colts averaged 7.3 yards per carry with 7 rushes of more than 10 yards. It was the run game doing the heavy lifting on a day when the Colts were down their top three wideouts and the pass protection struggled to hold up early on. This was your strength being just that---something the Colts need right now more than ever with the injuries at wideout. And the Colts finally showed they can win a game without T.Y. Hilton.
  • Dominant Defense: We can debate the level of quarterbacks the Colts have played recently, but there’s zero debating the playmaking this defense provided Frank Reich on Sunday. They had a remarkable 10 passes defensed, 5 quarterback hits, 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss and an interception. How good was the Indy defense on Sunday? Jacksonville didn’t take a single snap inside of the Colts’ red zone all game long. Leonard Fournette was the best running back the Colts have seen in 2019. After Fournette ran for 10 yards on the second play of the game, he had just 13 rushing yards on 7 carries the rest of the way. The individual playmakers are too many to name for the Colts, but the likes of Kenny Moore, Marvell Tell, Rock Ya-Sin and Malik Hooker in the secondary certainly deserve mention
  • Putting A Team Away: It seems like eons ago that the Colts were leading just 10-7 and facing a 3rd-and-19 at their own 24-yard line in the third quarter. Everything changed on a Jonathan Williams 31-yard screen and run, with that drive ending in an unbelievable 4th-down escape and touchdown throw by Jacoby Brissett. When the Colts stopped Jacksonville on a 4th down on the next drive, the Colts began to put away an opponent for the first time all season. Finally, fans of the Colts could relax in the 4th quarter as the defense continued to stop the Jags, with the Indy rushing attack churning out yards and points. It took 2 and a half months into the season for the Colts to finally not play a one-possession game. With the injuries pilling up on Sunday, getting a win was the most important thing, but showing that you could put a team away was the cherry on top. The Colts are tied for the division lead again, with the head-to-head tiebreaker over Houston with 6 games remaining.
  • Adam Vinatieri Does His Job: He won’t make any list for one of the main reasons the Colts won on Sunday. But Adam Vinatieri deserves mention for a perfect afternoon of kicking against the Jaguars. Vinny was 5-of-5 on his kicks, making all 4 extra points, and connecting on a 34-yard field goal in the first half. Entering Sunday, Vinatieri had missed 3 of his 4 previous extra points. The kicks not only went in, but the ball just looked better coming off Vinny’s right foot. Maybe bringing kickers in to work out for a second time this season sparked a little something. Maybe the Colts improved the tempo and timing issue that had been hurting the kicking unit. The Vinny storyline won’t completely go away the rest of the season. He’s been far too inconsistent for that to happen. But he was solid on Sunday, and added to the complete performance we saw from the Colts.
  • Red Flag Injury Watch: The Colts are going to have some key decisions to make this week in regards to their health. Going into a short week against the Texans on Thursday, we already know WR-Parris Campbell (hand) is likely out. You have the iffy statuses for WR-T.Y. Hilton (calf) and WR-Devin Funchess (clavicle), along with CB-Pierre Desir (hamstring) and RB-Jordan Wilkins (ankle), who all were inactive on Sunday. In the win over Jacksonville, the only true negative was the health of the Colts. Running back Marlon Mack reportedly suffered a fractured hand that will force him to miss some time. Rookie cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, who has played the most defensive snaps this season for the Colts, left the game with an ankle injury. Tight end Mo Alie-Cox suffered a right thumb injury. Undrafted corner Shakial Taylor has an ankle injury. Safety George Odum had his left arm in a sling after the game. And rookie safety Khari Willis appeared to leave the game late and not return. Add those up and it’s 11 guys dealing with some ailments on a short week in which the Colts will not practice at full speed. Might one or two of these guys have to go on IR to preserve a roster spot for healthier bodies? This is probably the most banged up we’ve seen the Colts immediately after a game this season, and it comes on a short week, leading into the biggest regular season game of the year.

 

QUICK HITTERS

-Reich Quotable: On the 33-13 win over the Jaguars: “Great win. We needed that one after a two-game losing streak. We felt it all week. There was good preparation. There was an intensity and focus that I think we have all the time, but there seemed to be a little something extra this week. We talked all week that it’s going to start up front on both sides of the ball, run the ball, stop the run and then win the turnover battle. (Those were) really the keys for us and we were able to do all of that.”

-Player Quotable: Running back Jonathan Williams on his career-afternoon of 116 rushing yards on 13 carries: “Throughout the week, every day, even when I wasn’t playing and I wasn’t active, every day in practice I would go as hard as I could to be able to be prepared for the moment, just because you never know what’s going to happen. You see guys go down every game and you never know what’s going to happen. It’s just preparation.”

-Injury Report: The Colts had the following players inactive on Sunday: OT-Le’Raven Clark, CB-Quincy Wilson, QB-Chad Kelly, RB-Jordan Wilkins (ankle) WR-Parris Campbell (hand), WR-T.Y. Hilton (calf), CB-Pierre Desir (hamstring). Running back Marlon Mack (hand) got hurt in the 3rd quarter and was ruled OUT. Cornerback Rock Ya-Sin left the game in the 3rd quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. Tight end Mo Allie-Cox suffered a thumb injury in the 4th quarter and did not return. Cornerback Shakial Taylor was also announced with an ankle injury.

-Key Stat: The Colts rushed 36 times for 264 rushing yards (7.3 yards per carry). That’s the most rushing yards for the franchise since 2004. The Colts had a pair of 100-yard rushers in a game for just the fourth time in franchise history, and the first time since 1985.

-What’s Next: It’s a short week now for the Colts (6-4) as they travel to Houston (6-4) for a massive contest on Thursday Night Football. The Texans got blasted, 41-7, by the Ravens on Sunday.

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