4 things Colts did well in Week 2 win over Texans and 4 things Indy must improve

The Indianapolis Colts got their first win of the season, defeating the Houston Texans in Week 2. Indy did some things really well but struggled in other areas.
Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans / Bob Levey/GettyImages
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What Colts must improve heading into Week 3

Perimeter defense and secondary

We saw Calvin Ridley burn the Colts secondary last week, and this week, it was Nico Collins, along with veteran Robert Woods and rookie Tank Dell. The three of them combined for 292 yards on 20 receptions. Stroud finished with 384 yards in the air. There were too many completed deep balls to their main receivers. This was evident on the final drive when Stroud was making all Colts fans nervous when they were driving down the ball down the field (with a soft zone coverage) before the Colts defensive line made a stand that led to a missed field goal by Houston to secure the game.

Darrell Baker Jr. seems to be the culprit of this the most. It might be time to get second-round pick JuJu Brents back on the field or rotate some with rookie Jaylon Jones as well. Could this be an opportunity as well to bring back the preseason cut and fifth-round pick Darius Rush back into the fold after he was waived by Kansas City last week? Fans will need to be patient while this group continues to improve.

Cleaning up penalties

Indianapolis committed eight penalties for 42 yards compared to Houston’s three penalties. It seemed like more and many of them stalled drives or helped Houston continue their drives. This is a young team and this typically happens in these instances but these penalties have to be cleaned up in order to compete with teams like the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Rams (Indy’s next two opponents). Steichen’s coaching staff has shown improvement every week with these players and this should be no different. I fully expect them to make this a priority against one of the most physical teams in the league as they take on Baltimore.

Involving Alec Pierce

Another frustrating game for Alec Pierce as he played 100 percent of the offensive snaps and saw only two catches for 28 yards on two targets. We saw Michael Pittman Jr. continue to shine and be the main security blanket for both quarterbacks this week. Along with heavy targets going to the tight end and rookie Josh Downs this week. This may have been some game script as they had the lead the entire game and never really needed to throw the deep ball to get back into the game. It will be interesting to see how Alec Pierce develops for the remainder of the season and if the Colts delve into the free agent market again.

Protecting Anthony Richardson

Let’s clarify this, the offensive line was terrific on Sunday but Richardson’s protection of himself outside the pocket and on designed runs needs improvement. While this does go on the coaching staff to educate him on the importance of longevity, it is ultimately Richardson’s decision on when to take hits and when to either slide or get out of bounds. Richardson took a big hit on the second drive in the endzone where his head hit the turf hard. What the Colts need from Richardson is his availability this early in his career and while Minshew showed he’s capable of handling the snaps when Richardson is out, it is crucial that he learns to slide or run out of bounds when he can.