2. Focus on the fundamentals
The game against Atlanta was the first time we have really seen this Colts team fail in the fundamentals department. The first noticeable issue was the missed tackles. They missed multiple tackles on the ground, and they could not bring down Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier.
We saw the choppy secondary that was bending, finally break. While the numbers weren’t eye popping, the Falcons out coached Indy in every facet and specifically against Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. His unit got absolutely man handled and Bradley (again) refused to make in game adjustments. We saw this last year with Frank Reich and seeing that Gus Bradley was hired with Frank Reich, the ghost of his staff still haunts us today.
The defense was burned by Taylor Heinicke (again, like last year) and Bradley refused to adjust. Bradley and his scheme is known for minimal blitzing and a Cover 3 protection. While the defense is meant to prevent the deep ball and keep the coverage underneath with short passes. That is exactly how we got beat this week. Bijan Robinson was able to not only beat us on the ground but also in the air. Robinson was the leader in not only receptions with seven but also targets with 10. The longest reception was a 24-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Pitts in the first quarter.
On the offensive side of the ball, Indianapolis could not capitalize on the great opening drive that was a 13-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off with a Jonathan Taylor rushing touchdown. After that, they only scored one more field goal and zero touchdowns. Shane Steichen was unable to adjust the gameplan with the worst performance from the offensive line. Gardner Minshew was pressured all game long and when that happens, it’s hard to get anything going.
Looking ahead to Sunday, the Colts will need to get Jonathan Taylor in space more and really figure out a gameplan if Michael Pittman Jr. is out again this week. The team must correct the sloppy fundamentals with proper gameplan and must be willing to adjust especially on the defensive side of the ball. Bradley may need to bring some blitz into the plan this week and really try to confuse this Raiders team. Lastly, the defense must get back to forcing turnovers (zero against Atlanta) or they will have no chance against this pesky Raiders team.