Hits And Misses: Eric Ebron, Zach Pascal Step Up In Win Over Texans

Hits And Misses: Eric Ebron, Zach Pascal Step Up In Win Over Texans

Blog > Kevin's Corner > Colts Coverage > Hits And Misses: Eric Ebron, Zach Pascal Step Up In Win Over Texans

Hits And Misses: Eric Ebron, Zach Pascal Step Up In Win Over Texans

Let’s take a look at the good and the bad from the Colts (4-2) beating the Texans (4-3) in Week 7 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Joe Robbins | Getty Images


INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1070TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.

The Colts (4-2) are back atop the AFC South, following their impressive 30-23 win over the Houston Texans (4-3) at Lucas Oil Stadium.

What was the good and bad from the Colts returning from their bye with a huge divisional victory?

Hits

 

-Winning In Another Way: We saw the Colts evolve against a quality opponent in Sunday’s win. Marlon Mack averaged just 2.4 yards per carry and the Colts didn’t have a single first down come via a rush (which is astonishing). Yet, they still found a way to score 30 points and earn the victory. Jacoby Brissett deserves the game ball for what he and the passing game did to the Texans. It’s early in 2019, but the Colts have shown they can win away from home with a strong ground game and win at home behind a high-powered passing attack. That’s what you need to play after the New Year.

 

-Zach Pascal, Eric Ebron Step Up: The support was there for T.Y. Hilton on Sunday. It was Zach Pascal having a career afternoon with 6 catches for 106 yards on 7 targets. It was Eric Ebron bouncing back with 4 catches for 70 yards and a touchdown, on 5 targets. The unsung Pascal has emerged from an inconsistent wideout group behind T.Y. Hilton. Ebron needed this sort of outing. His one-handed, TD grab, was incredible, and came on an important third-down, keeping the Colts perfect in the red zone on Sunday, whereas the Texans sputtered inside the 20.

 

-Defense Stepping Up In Critical Moments: Deshaun Watson threw for 303 yards on 23 completions and the Texans didn’t have a single three-and-out. But the Colts defense still delivered in some massive moments. Houston entered Sunday as the top third-down team (51.3% conversion rate) and the best red-zone offense (71.7% efficiency) through the first 6 weeks of the season. Against the Colts, the Texans were 4-of-12 on third down (33%) and 2-of-5 in the red zone (40%). And then Darius Leonard clinched the game on the final drive. You knew you weren’t going to entirely neutralize Houston’s potent offense. But when the biggest plays came, the Colts more than won their fair share of them.

 

-Playing Time For Khari Willis: If the playing time from Sunday is any indication moving forward, Khari Willis won’t be leaving the field anytime soon. With Malik Hooker out, the Colts rotated 3 main safeties (with other safety Rolan Milligan used mostly as a nickel corner). That was Willis playing all 65 defensive snaps, then Clayton Geathers (started, but played just 38 snaps) and George Odum (27 snaps) splitting the rest of the safety work. When Hooker returns (possibly/probably this week), it’s looking like Willis will be keeping that starting job.

 

-Pierre Desir Playing: This is not a praise of Deisr ‘shutting down’ DeAndre Hopkins, like he did late last season. Hopkins finished Sunday with 9 catches for 106 yards. But Desir deserves credit for simply playing on Sunday (every single snap!) after not practicing all week, and allowing the Colts to use a necessary game plan against the Texans. Desir still made a couple of really important stops, but his ability to just shadow Hopkins all afternoon long, even in the slot (once Will Fuller exited), offered the Colts the opportunity to commit more resources to the blitz/pressure/run game against Deshaun Watson.

Misses

 

-Offense Finishing The Game: Even with a very quiet run game, the Colts offense produced 28 points in the first three quarters on Sunday behind Jacoby Brissett’s right arm and great red zone play. But the unit was beyond sluggish in the final quarter. The Colts had 4 real drives in the final quarter. Those 13 plays resulted in 1 first down and 25 net yards. Three of the four drives lasted a minute or shorter. It wasn’t what the Colts needed with a lead. Frank Reich wants to keep the foot on the pedal, but he’s got to find a better balance there with high percentage throws, where the clock can still eat.

 

-Another Quiet Afternoon For Deon Cain: It’s been such a head scratcher to see how quiet Deon Cain has been since the opener, when Devin Funchess went on injured reserve. Sunday was another outing of that, with Cain not being targeted in 32 snaps. Since Week One, Cain has played 199 snaps, with just 2 catches for 17 yards, on 10 targets. Clearly, the trust level is not completely there between Jacoby Brissett and Cain. Frank Reich has mentioned that development in Cain’s route running was an area where the young receiver needed to continue to grow. The Colts could really use Cain’s vertical presence getting involved in the offense.

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