The Indianapolis Colts dominated the New York Giants on the home field last night. The Colts left a lot of points on the field, but still managed to keep the game one sided on the way to a 40-24 final.
While it seemed like a slow start, scoring 16 (and holding the home team to three) on the road in a half is pretty good. If you averaged that out, it would mean you can score 32 on the road which will more than likely win you the game.
Here’s what stood out from last night’s game:
- The defense is alive. The Colts definitely performed better on this side of the ball, and avoided costly coverage breakdowns. We learned two important things: 1) Ben Roethlisberger is much better than Eli Manning; and 2) the Giants receiving corps are hot garbage (they look an awful lot like the Colts did following Reggie Wayne‘s ACL tear last season). We did see some flashes from a few players:
- Josh Chapman finally had a good game, his first of the season. There are plays that stand out to show you he could be a dominant nose tackle, but injuries have stunted his development at a tough position.
- Jonathan Newsome is also on the bright future train. The strip sack to kill any hope of a rally by the Giants was Mathis-esq but not as impressive as splitting a double team to drop Manning.
- Sergio Brown has to be the starting safety going forward. Yes, the Colts activated LaRon Landry today, but Brown proved that he’s better and more valuable player.
- The ridiculous standard. Were holding Andrew Luck to an insanely high level, its one that he himself (and his predecessor) set. During the first half, tweets were flying about Luck not playing well and leaving a lot of throws on the field. It happens, but at the end of the day he threw four touchdown passes and continues to make plays (like the touchdown to Wayne) that very few QBs in the NFL can make. Colts fans are horribly jaded and spoiled when it comes to quarterback play.
- More on Luck. For the second straight game, Luck was under fire for most of the night (more on that later). But he handled the pressure better as the game progressed. The Giants blitzed on 29 of Luck’s 49 dropbacks. Luck was 17-for-29 for 258 yards and two touchdowns.
- The offensive line shuffling needs to stop. Lance Louis started in place of Hugh Thornton last night, but it appears that this was a disciplinary move. Thornton was benched for being late to team meetings. That incident aside, the Colts have made bad moves that are causing Luck to take a lot of unnecessary hits. Jonotthan Harrison might be the center of the future, but he has not played better than A.Q. Shipley in the slightest. Its probably too late to go back, but it defies logic to let a
- Vontae Davis continues to play shutdown corner. 12 passes sailed Davis’ way, and of them just four were caught for 49 yards. He’s the highest rated cornerback per Pro Football Focus and has allowed a catch rate of just 42-percent. His All-Pro season soldiers on.
- The Ghost know where the weight room is. T.Y. Hilton is tearing apart secondaries across the NFL. His receptions were down last night, but his touchdown should have made every highlight reel. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie might want to a few extra reps after little Hilton (all 5-9 and 178-pound of him) took away an interception and turned it into a touchdown. It broke the Giants and gave the Colts firm control of the game.
- What was Tom Coughlin doing? His team was down 30 points, and he insisted on drawing the game out like they were down three. He’s lucky that no one on either side of the ball was hurt during that stretch. It seemed petty and smacked of poor sportsmanship. Coughlin is a Hall of Fame coach, but this should probably be his last season in New York. The team has turned on him and even with two Super Bowls in the past six years, the Giants continually underperform between playoff runs.
The Colts will have the Bye Week to prepare for the New England Patriots. After hosting the Pats, the Colts schedule eases up considerably.