It has been daunting to come up with positive takeaways for my “best and worst” moments on the Indianapolis Colts performance this past Sunday. Facing the Dallas Cowboys this week, the Colts had many disappointing moments that began with the first snap and seemed to overwhelm Indianapolis throughout.
While the Colts nearly got shutout for the first time in 21 years, Tony Romo had a near perfect game for Dallas. Many were wanting to see the Colts play well against a playoff caliber team, yet unfortunately the result was nothing short of total embarrassment.
I could go on and on about the bad moments from Sunday but I’ll keep it concise with my worst two moments of the game that occurred during each team’s first possession. The Cowboys first possession of the game was a big key in the game.
On a third down play, Jerrell Freeman made a great play hitting Lance Dunbar for a four yard loss. What should’ve been a punt for Dallas turned into an automatic first down for the Cowboys after Freeman was flagged for taunting. Calling taunting has been inconsistent for referees but when a player stands over another player looking down on him they’re taking a risk of it being called.
The Colts first possession of the game was equally as bad really setting the tone for the game. The first play was a run by Dan Herron for a loss of five yards. Indianapolis ran the ball two more times gaining four yards back making it fourth-down and 11 yards to go. On their own 19 yard line the Colts ran a fake punt and a perfect pass thrown by Pat McAfee was dropped by a wide open Dewey McDonald.
The Colts got the right look on the fake punt and McDonald was as wide open as one can be in the NFL. I just wonder, why be so conservative and then aggressive within the same possession? Indianapolis ran the ball two plays in a row with 15 and 14 yards to go for a first down. When the Colts first possession ended McAfee had thrown the ball more than Andrew Luck.
That single possession wasn’t going to lose the game for the Colts but when Romo threw a touchdown pass the next play it put them in a big hole to dig out. Luck started his second drive down 14-0 and hadn’t thrown a single pass.
I wouldn’t say that this matchup contained a “best moment” for the Colts but there’s a couple of things that you can be optimistic about going forward. Hakeem Nicks put together another solid performance with the absence of T.Y. Hilton. Nicks made some really nice plays and had some difficult catches. He ended up with a team high nine catches and 72 yards.
Laron Landry also played a good game and has played much better since coming back from suspension. One of the best rushing teams in football finished with 3.2 yards per carry. Landry finished with seven tackles, one for a loss.
Indianapolis will be looking for their third straight season with 11 wins when they travel to Tennessee next weekend to face the Titans. Neither team will have much to play for in the final week of the season. The Colts will be looking ahead to a playoff matchup in two weeks.