Quick All-22 Film Review – The Colts
By Sean Lester Durham
Andrew Luck looked nothing like a rookie last week vs the Packers
The Indianapolis Colts are coming off an impressive come from behind victory over the Greenbay Packers last Sunday, a game in which the Colts needed a 14 play 80 yard drive in the final minutes of the 4th to take the lead and score the eventual game winning TD pass. The game winning drive was as impressive as advertised as Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck basically played pitch and catch with Colts veteran WR Reggie Wayne as Luck threw for 362 yards. In his career-high 212-yard performance last week, Reggie Wayne was trailed all afternoon by the Packers’ Pro Bowl cornerback duo of Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson but it seemed as if neither was capable of containing Wayne who pretty much had his way and did it at the most crucial times in the game. Andrew Luck completed 12 of 22 (54.5 percent) passes traveling more than 10 yards downfield Sunday, including four completions on the final drive. That was the difference in the Colts winning and losing this game on that final drive.
For the most part during the game vs the Packers the Colts mixed up their formations but had the majority of their success when operating out of the “bunch” formation and their athletic TEs DeWayne Allen and Coby Fleener tend to have more success out of this formation than any other formation and considering the Colts don’t have a GREAT WR corp, this type of offensive scheming is certainly a smart one.
Let’s just focus on the Colts final drive and I’m doing this for one reason only. The Colts presented the Packers with their BEST shot because they were down, backs against the wall and they need a TD to win it, NOT a FG. So what better to analyze than a drive in which the Colts had to have been at their absolute BEST in crunch time in order to win?
First, it needs to be stated that this final Colts game winning drive is indicative of how potent this Colts offense CAN be and how dangerously efficient it can be if Luck is given time and that organization starts bringing it TOP talent at the WR position to help Luck, NOT that he needed that help against the Packers since the Packers must’ve forgot who Reggie Wayne is. And YES It certainly helps when opposing CBs have difficulties staying with their assignments no matter what the reasoning is. Against the Packers on that final game winning drive, the Colts utilized the “bunch” formation because it seemed to confuse the Packers defense. The Bunch formation no matter WHAT side the bunch set was set on, the Packers Cover 2 defense was no match for it.
-The Colts were down 27-22 with 4:30 to go in the game.
-After a 4 yard gain with a quick pass to Fleener on an out from the bunch formation, the Colts suffered a false start penalty.
– On 3rd and 9 on that final drive, both Wayne and Fleener, who were “bunched” to the left of Luck, ran quick in cut routes and were almost in the same location in the field except Wayne ran his route about 5 yards deeper and managed to get a step on FS Morgan Burnett and Luck went over Fleener’s head to find Wayne in stride to garner the 1st down.
The Packers played ALOT of Cover 2 on this final drive and Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne made them pay for it.
-On 3rd and 12, the Packers still in Cover 2, put a bit more pressure on Luck as Clay Matthews actually gets his hands on Andrew Luck but Luck manages to shake Matthews off and find Reggie Wayne, who was defended by Charles Woodson, for 12 yards for the 1st down. Wayne simply was utilizing veteran WR moves on a veteran CB in Woodson and Wayne was winning. Luck at this point is ACTIVELY searching for Wayne and consistently FINDING him due to the fact that he’s consistently getting open on Woods and Williams.
Packers CB Charles Woodson had a terrible day defending Colts WR Reggie Wayne last week.
-3rd and 7 on the Packers 11 yard line and Andrew Luck takes advantage of the Packers defense once again sitting in Cover 2 and rushes for 8 yards for the 1st down.
-On the go-ahead TD, Wayne is being defended by Tramon Williams but Luck hits Wayne with a quick strike that is too tough for Williams to defend that close to the endzone and Wayne makes him pay by reaching over the goaline for the go-ahead score.
Rookie QB Andre Luck looked anything BUT a rookie on that final drive and took advantage of every hole that the Packers gave him. The Colts offense isn’t a flashy, high scoring, quick strike offense. They are simply coached well and though Luck and this offense makes their share of mistakes, they tend to capitalize on what the opposing defense gives them. As SOLID/GOOD as Luck has been, he still tends to make rookie mistakes as his interception in the 4th quarter shows. 13:10 to go in the 4th, the Colts were trailing 21-19. Luck in the shotgun formation, stares Reggie Wayne down the ENTIRE time and it was SO noticeable that rookie CB Casey Heyward IMMEDIATELY utilized good techniques by using the sideline to his advantage and TURNING his head to make the interception due to the fact that he had already been cognizant of Luck starring down Wayne before turning to run with Wayne. Not a HORRIBLE interception but a rookie mistake nonetheless that veteran CBs will feast on.
The Colts pass defense is probably the team’s achilles heel at this point. The secondary was very fortunate that Aaron Rodgers had an OFF day or it could’ve made for a very bad day for the Colts defense. Colts have allowed 8 passing TDs this season and are ranked 13th against the pass surrendering 225 yards per game and opposing QBs have an average QBR of 102.6 against the Colts defense this season and that’s “good” for 6th worst in the league.
Rodgers threw for 235 and 3 TDs against this Colts secondary but believe it or not, it should’ve been for more as the holes were there the entire game, Rodgers just seemed to miss open WRs and overthrew and underthrew WRs when the plays were there. Very un-Rodgers like indeed but the Colts aren’t complaining.
How Do The Jets Attack That Colts Defense and Contain Their Offense?
Jets are reportedly getting TE Dustin Keller and rookie WR Stephen Hill back from hamstring injuries that have sidelined them for the past 3-5 games. If these 2 targets are indeed returning and healthy, then the plan of attacking this Colts defense is totally different than what it would be if they aren’t. All indications are that they will be playing so we’ll just scheme accordingly.
-As stated before, the Colts defense, particularly their pass defense is playing pretty mediocre right now and they consistently leave A LOT of plays on the field every week. Though the Colts aren’t good in coverage, nor are they especially aggressive with blitzing, they simply don’t have to be, they can get pressure rushing just four, though that COULD be a bit difficult this week with LB Robert Mathis out for a few weeks due to injury.
– Colts had problems defending Greenbay WR Randall Cobb who was targeted 4 times, for 82 yards and 1 TD. That’s a 20 ypc average Cobb had vs that Colts defense. Look for the Jets to utilize WR Jeremy Kerley the same way Greenbay used Cobb to find the holes in the defense.
-Colts mostly still play 2-deep, but look like they’re using more man coverage and are jamming receivers at the LOS something rookie WR Stephen Hill struggles with but something WR Jeremy Kerley is getting better at countering. It might be tough again for the Jets passing game if Stephen Hill is still allowing opposing CBs to handle him at the line. Jets need to run some short patterns and get Sanchez in rhythm first before trying longer passes for bigger plays. This type of defense from the Colts is ripe for a “Dustin Keller” day as he is as good as any WR let alone any other TE at finding the holes in cover 2 defenses and exploiting them. Sanchez needs to get Keller established early and often not only to get Keller in rhythm but to get himself in rhythm as well.
– Colts DE Cory Redding is excellent in the middle for IND, he blows up running plays almost singlehandedly. They’re pretty stout in the middle for it being their first year switching to a 3-4. They still also use a good amount of 4-3, mostly in an over shift. It’s going to be pretty tough for Greene and Powell. GB should have run out the shotgun more on counters or draws, as that seemed to work pretty well against IND from the shotgun. The Jets should do this as well and get more screens worked into the game plan as the Colts tend to over pursue and get comfortable rushing 4 and leaving opportunities for big play screen passes. The Jets don’t call enough of them and I think they need to start utilizing them more consistently.
-As noted earlier, Luck can tend to stare down his primary receiver, as is customary with rookie QBs. He does get the ball out very, very quickly though – by the time his back foot hits on a 3 or 5 step drop, the ball is out. Also, he has plenty of arm and a quick release, so the ball gets there fast. He needs to watch this week or Cromartie who has stepped his game up will make him pay more times than not.
-“Bunch” formation is the formation I believe the Colts will try to attack the Jet with because it allows them to send TE Coby Fleener on quick out routes to take advantage of the Jets slow linebackers.
-Jets will look to stop Reggie Wayne, who leads the league with 126.5 receiving ypg. He showed how and why against the Packers.
– The Jets are ranked 5th in the league in passing yards given up per game. They are averaging 199 yards surrendered per game and managed to do a VERY solid job against Matt Shaub and Andre Johnson last week in holding Johnson to 1 catch. Jets CB Antonio Cromartie has been nothing short of stellar since Revis went down and will need another great performance this week against a confident Reggie Wayne who made Pro-Bowl CBs Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams look bad.
-Colts love to mix up their formations and though the Jets are facing a rookie WR, they aren’t facing a rookie offense. This is far from an elementary offense the Jets will be facing as this Colts offense knows exactly what it is doing but still looks shaky at times and are primed to make mistakes every now and then. This is a game where CB Kyle Wilson may be tested a lot by the Luck and his offensive coordinator if they see they can’t have success on Cromartie.
-The Colts offensive line has been solid thus far this season and the Jets D-line has been subpar thus far this season. Luck isn’t skiddish in the pocket at all and is poised so if the Jets are to get to him they will have to work for it.