The Indianapolis Colts got a crucial division win against the Tennessee Titans as they finally broke two streaks. Indy got its first home win in seven tries and broke the five-game winning streak the Titans had over Indy. This was the most complete game we have had from Indianapolis so far this season.
The Colts contained Derrick Henry (who has been their kryptonite) and they were able to control the line of scrimmage and the clock in the fourth quarter with an seven minute, 14-play drive that secured the win over Tennessee. Hard to find a lot of error this week but let’s talk about the good and the bad from the Week 5 win.
Things the Colts did good in Week 5
Running back Zack Moss
The final week of Zack Moss as RB1 did not disappoint. He finished with 165 yards on 23 carries with 2 touchdowns. He also broke off a 56-yard run for an early touchdown that set the tone for the game. That tone was running the football often. In a game where we expected the return of Jonathan Taylor to be the forefront it was Moss who delivered the best performance. Moss will continue to be the sidecar to Taylor for the remainder of the season once Taylor is back up to speed. Don’t expect to see Moss’ workload reduce too much, as he has been the MVP of the season so far.
What an absolutely dominating performance, even without starting left tackle Bernhard Raimann, as rookie Blake Freeland got his second career start. Not only did they allow huge lanes for Zack Moss, they had some of the best protection of the season by only allowing one sack. Really liked what I saw from Will Fries this week, as it appears the coaching staff we had this year is far superior to what we had last year. Ballard told us it was the coaching he felt was lacking and regressing last year and he appears to be spot on so far this season on his assessment of the offensive line. They seem more prepared this season to handle different defensive looks as well.
Josh Downs has shown flashes of greatness all season but Sunday was his best performance of the season. Downs caught all six of his targets for 97 yards. He led all receivers in yards and receptions and was able to keep the Colts in the game with some really timely catches. Downs appears to be grasping the concepts of this offense much faster than we all anticipated. Credit to wide receivers coach Reggie Wayne for Downs’ blossoming development.
Things the Colts did bad in Week 5
Anthony Richardson’s durability
We are five games into the 2023 season and Richardson has completed one game from start to finish. Richardson was playing well too, completing 9-of-12 passes for 98 yards in the first quarter of action. He landed awkwardly on a designed run and came out of the game with a shoulder injury. The level of concern is starting to rise amongst the fan base as the injuries begin to pile up for Richardson.
This time it appears (reportedly) that he has suffered a Grade 3 AC Joint Sprain and could miss up to two months. It raises the question of whether he will come back this season if Minshew gets us going on a playoff run. I am inclined to say yes but it could potentially be a huge debate heading towards the end of the season. This is Anthony’s team, but the franchise has their foot firmly on the gas at the moment and what they decide to do when he’s healthy will be very telling.
I’m getting nit-picky for the sake of content here, as there wasn’t much to complain about this week. Cornerback JuJu Brents was given the monumental task of taking on Titans star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins, for the most part, got the best of him, hauling in eight of his eleven targets for 140 yards. The latest edition of the Colts struggling against top tier wide receiver talent.
Brents is a rookie so he is going to get a bit of a pass this season but the experience he is getting now will be helpful as he continues to progress through the season. Jaylon Jones wasn’t a factor, but it was mostly because Hopkins and tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo were the main targets for Ryan Tannehill on Sunday. It won’t get any easier next week for the secondary, as Indianapolis travels to Jacksonville to deal with Calvin Ridley, who dominated the first meeting.