Surprisingly, this unit was the worst of all of the Colts’ units. Special teams actually cost them the win in this one in a disappointing opener.
The special teams were a unit that not many people were concerned with coming into the season. Even though I thought the kicking game was in trouble, I never thought it would be as bad as it was on Sunday. Here are the grades for each aspect of the special teams.
Coverage on kickoffs wasn’t a problem. They were able to do what they needed to do and didn’t allow any large returns. It was a surprise that Rigoberto Sanchez allowed some kickoffs to even be returned, but this unit did a fairly decent job. Nothing too bad.
Now the punt coverage did do a good job on one play. After the Chargers muffed a punt, the Colts were able to jump on it and give themselves good field position. They did a pretty good job at also making sure the Chargers didn’t return any punts very far.
Unfortunately, Sanchez did have a punt blocked after rookie safety Khari Willis got beat badly on the outside trying to block. That blocked punt gave the Chargers excellent field position and they eventually scored points on. That can’t happen in any game.
The kicking game was an unmitigated disaster on Sunday. First off, Denico Autry got called for roughing the snapper on a field goal attempt for the Chargers. That gave them the ball back and they got a touchdown instead of a field goal. It cost the Colts 4 points.
Speaking of costing points, Adam Vinatieri had the worst game in his career. He missed two field goals and an extra point. That’s 7 total points he cost the Colts, and they could have won this game in regulation with just one of those field goals going in.
It might be time for the Colts to consider getting another kicker. Vinatieri’s last two games have been a problem. He’s 46 yers old, and it looks like the decline is on its way. Frank Reich said after the game he wasn’t worried about Vinny, but I sure am.