Thank whoever you’d like to thank that the Indianapolis Colts selected Andrew Luck in the 2012 draft. The Colts rolled over Washington 49-27.
While there was a time this game was close, the Colts benefitted from an awful call by Washington coach Jay Gruden to go for it on fourth-and-short. While the call in theory wasn’t bad, calling a play action was and it led to a Colts defensive touchdown.
The Colts sit at 8-4 and are currently fourth in the play off standings. Were the playoff to start next week, the Colts would host the San Diego Chargers.
Here’s what stood out from Sunday’s game:
- The Bust. Trent Richardson is a bust. He wasn’t worth one first round draft pick, let alone two. If you think he needs more time, I don’t know what else you hope to find. Dan Herron averaged 11 yards per carry, Richardson a paltry 1.5. This is the same time last season the team started using Donald Brown more often. It honestly wouldn’t be a bad idea cut back even further on Richardson’s snaps and give Zurlon Tipton a shot.
- The Ghost. Every week T.Y. Hilton seems to do something more impressive than the last. This week it was catching a dime pass from Luck on a third and long. Only to turn around the next play and snatch a laser of a pass out of the air for a touchdown. His career arc is so similar to Marvin Harrison that its scary. Luck used to look towards Reggie Wayne as his safety blanket, but that role is clearly being filled by Hilton.
- Another Career High. After back-to-back turnover drives to open the game, Luck rebounded be leading the team to touchdowns on three of the next four drives. Four of his five touchdowns came on plays of 30 yards or longer. Luck tied his career high for touchdowns in a single game with five. Luck is just two behind Peyton Manning with 34 touchdowns this season.
- The Rookie. Donte Moncrief has been begging for more snaps lately. Hakeem Nicks saw the field just 17 times. Moncrief? 28. He set career highs in yards (134) and touchdowns (two) for a single game. Its a sign of things to come and a good move by the coaches to get another deep threat on the field (not to mention the far more valuable player).
- Coverage Breakdowns. The Colts linebackers are quite awful in coverage. Colt McCoy racked up 392 total passing yards and 223 of them came from running backs, tight ends, and fullbacks. Some of this is due to the heavy blitzing the Colts are forced to use and some is due to an overall lack of talent at the position. Jerrell Freeman is too easily turned around and doesn’t have great recovery speed, while D’Qwell Jackson is just bad overall. The Colts rank poorly against tight ends and running backs out of the backfield for a reason, and it won’t get any better this season.
- Regression. Bjoern Werner had a stretch this season where it looked like he’d turned a corner and develop into the player the Colts really need. Yesterday, he didn’t show up on the stat sheet. 58 snaps and he didn’t record a sack or tackle. Since playing Cincinnati in Week Seven, he hasn’t recorded a single sack.
- Special-er Teams. The Colts have one of the best special teams units in the NFL, in large part due to Pat McAfee‘s boom stick leg and Adam Vinatieri‘s pursuit of perfection. But adding Josh Cribbs might be a rare stroke of genius by the front office. There should be no doubt that Cribbs can return kickoff or punt for a touchdown before the end of the year. That is, if he can get a return off without a bad penalty.