There wasn’t a whole lot of balance last night from the Colts offense, and it cost them a victory. They fell 20-17 in Houston.
They ran the damn ball, that’s for sure. But they didn’t pass the damn ball. They didn’t pass it with any downfield efficiency at all, and that’s why the Colts came up short 20-17. It brings up some questions about the future of this team as well.
Jacoby Brissett was efficient, completing 64% of his passes. But he was never a threat to throw the ball down the field. He had 16 completions for only 129 yards. The Colts had zero plays that went for 20 yards or more, and the passing game is a large reason for that.
This is the 5th game this season in which the Colts have had less than 200 yards passing. Brissett seems to do well against man coverage but not against zone, not unlike his counterpart Deshaun Watson. He did have a rushing touchdown and didn’t turn it over, so that counts for something. But he has to be better. There’s no other way around it.
Once again, the running game was the focal point of the offense. It was still really good. Jonathan Williams had his second straight 100+ yard game as he ran for 104 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown. Nyheim Hines added 9 carries for 51 yards as well.
Williams also got a lot of passes thrown his way. He had 3 catches for 17 yards and Hines had 2 catches for 10 yards. The game plan was clearly to get the running backs involved. Unfortunately, they didn’t get enough other players involved.
The run blocking was great once again for the offensive line. They were able to move the Texans off the line of scrimmage and create holes to run through. Late in the game though they couldn’t open up those same holes. Also the pass blocking wasn’t great. Braden Smith continues to look foolish with speed rushers and gave up another sack.
Eric Ebron actually led the team in receiving, catching 4 passes for 44 yards. The only ball he didn’t catch was a wide open throw that Brissett missed him on. Jack Doyle was second in receiving with 3 catches for 28 yards. Doyle did a good job run blocking while Ebron did not.
This was the worst performance of the season by the wide receivers. They couldn’t get open, and when they did they couldn’t take advantage of their opportunities. T.Y. Hilton was on a snap count in the game and didn’t make the most of his snaps. He had two big drops on consecutive third downs that ended drives in the 4th quarter.
Hilton only mustered 3 catches for 18 yards. Clearly the calf was still affecting him. But those drops were inexcusable. Chester Rogers was the only other receiver to catch a pass, and he only caught one for 12 yards. It was just a pitiful day for this group.
The Colts now have a mini-bye week before their next game. They have to get the passing game figured out. Hopefully Hilton will be more healthy, and they might get Devin Funchess and Parris Campbell back as well. All I know is something needs to change.