INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
The Colts had an offensive explosion in playing that rare primetime game on Thursday night.
What was the good and bad from the Colts (4-5) beating the Jets, 45-30, in Week 9?
-Offensive Line: Thursday was easily the finest performance we’ve seen from this offensive line group in 2021. With the OL starters intact for a second straight game (until Braden Smith left with a triceps injury in the third quarter), the run blocking was tremendous. Per ESPN, the Colts averaged 7.0 yards per rush before contact on Thursday. That’s the highest number since ESPN first began tracking that stat in 2009. Carson Wentz was hit just 3 times and sacked once, which are extremely small numbers for what has been the norm this season.
-Big Plays In The Run Game: It was a franchise-setting night on the ground, with the Colts averaging a mouth-watering 8.7 yards per carry. And the big runs spearheaded it all. You had Jonathan Taylor scampering for touchdowns of 78 and 21 yards. Nyheim Hines showed off his own 4.3 40-yard dash speed with runs of 34 and 25 yards. Plays like these are why the Colts coveted both of those guys in their respective drafts. Putting this on film should aid the Colts passing game seeing some more favorable situations.
-Taylor Stallworth: Well, duh, everyone had Taylor Stallworth as the Colts defensive lineman getting the team’s 2 sacks on Thursday night. On a night when the pass rush should have created even more pressure, with all the obvious passing situations for the Jets, major kudos to Stallworth for dialing up interior rush. With Tyquan Lewis out, the Colts are expanding the roles for Dayo Odeyingbo, Stallworth and Isaac Rochell. Not only did Stallworth have two sacks, but it was his paws that iced the game with a deflection leading to Bobby Okereke’s game-clinching INT to avoid an onside kick that no one saw coming with the Colts leading 42-10.
-Pass Defense: Stop me if you heard this before, a random QB will be adding tons of highlights against the Colts to his career reel. That will be the case for Josh Johnson. This pass defense continues to be an issue, no matter the QBs. Mike White and Josh Johnson combined for these numbers on Thursday: 34-of-52 for 412 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. That’s Mike White and Josh Johnson, folks. Whenever this season ends for the Colts, the pass defense will be the biggest issue why the off-season vacation is starting up.
-Two Injuries: The Colts did suffer two injuries to note in Thursday’s second half. Braden Smith left the game in the third quarter with a triceps injury. Early X-rays showed something of note that alerted doctors wanting further evaluation on Smith. Xavier Rhodes left the game in the third quarter with a calf injury. While Rhodes has certainly struggled this season, the depth at cornerback (and in the secondary) is not something that makes you sleep well.