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I agree that Gronk is going to be the difference in that game. I'm sure he's going to make some killer 3rd down conversions. There is just no way Belicheck misses that obvious of a mismatch. Brady also won't be fooled or rattled by the blitzes.
Now, Belicheck generally doesn't blitz like LeBeau does (or the Giants did last night) so hopefully the O-Line can give Luck some time, but the only way I see the Colt's winning is in a shoot out where Luck plays out of his mind.
3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-40-giants-24.html
I think point 3 is the biggest one. Poor opponents and some impressive blitz designs for the last month have hid how poor this front 7 really is. I'm not as down on Grigson has some folks, but the only successful front 7 moves he has made are Redding and Freeman. Even those guys are just solid complimentary players. Without Mathis, there are no play makers on the front 7. Without improvements there, this defense will never truly be top notch.
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-steelers-51-colts-34.html
Great post, Nate. I agree with pretty much every point.
First, isn't it "burying the lede"? Though, in the case of how last night's game turned out, "burying the lead" isn't far from the truth.
Luck certainly hasn't looked good this first two games. The receivers have not been getting open though, either. I've been disappointed by the receiver play so far this season, I really thought that would be a strong point of the offense. TY hasn't been particularly impressive, and I had hoped to see more out of Nicks. Though, when Jack Doyle is getting more snaps than Nicks...
I can't stand the "we should have run the ball on 3 and 9 and kicked the field goal argument." Kravitz made that one too. As you said, at best that gets you into overtime, but the Eagles weren't going for a touchdown at the end of the game there. They had plenty of time to go for a win if they were down 3 at that point.
Maybe I'm just used to seeing a Dungy-influenced defense, but this current defense seems so unbelievably slow to me. The linebackers and safeties especially. Everyone was saying that the safeties were a problem all often season, and sure enough, they have been. Landry can't cover, takes terrible angles, and can't tackle when he does manage to cross paths with the ball carrier. Adams is pretty much invisible out there. All those long screens and runs should have been cleaned up by the safeties, but they're just terrible.
Since our safeties can't cover, Manusky tries to have LB's cover the athletic tight ends and running backs, which is a disaster due to how unathletic our LB's are. They can't cover anyone man-to-man. They also are completely incapable of generating a pass rush. Werner is easily taken out of plays one on one (as opposed to Mathis who almost always was double teamed). The D-line and corners and this team are solid enough, but with the terrible LB's and safeties, it's going to be a long season...
The other big off-season issue was the interior of the o-line. Mewhort looks like he could develop into an acceptable NFL quality guard, bu Shipley and Throton are useless in pass protection. There have been quite a number of plays where defenders have come straight up the middle untouched this season. That's going to kill pretty much any play. Maybe it will get better when Holmes comes back, but we've seen one single pre-season drive out of him, so that may be wishful thinking. Honestly, at this point, I think I'd rather play Harrison a center instead of Shipley. I think we've seen what we're going to get out of Shipley, it's worth at least seeing if Harrison has some upside based on his pre-season play.
Finally, I came to the exact same conclusion as you did on point 8. This team has played so far this year exactly how they have been designed to play. Running the ball and stopping the run, and they are 0-2. I know you've been banging this drum pretty much since Pagano was hired, but It just doesn't work in the current NFL.
2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-eagles-30-colts-27.html
I'm going to disagree slightly with point 3. Certainly Denver's offense was not clicking as well in the second half, but I do think the Colts D had something to do with it.
It seemed like the Colts got much better pressure up the middle in the second half. It required heavy blitzing, but the Colts were finally able to get in Manning's face, which I think lead to some of the inaccurate throws.
Also, In the first half, the Bronco's were running a lot of short drops and quick throws. Those throws weren't there in the second half, which gave the pass rush more time.There were also not the clear pass coverage mismatches in the second half. I don't know if the LB coverage got better, or the Colts just got better at covering their inadequacy, but either way, receivers weren't wide open.
I think Denver wanted to burn the clock with the run game too in the second half. So, they certainly reigned it in a bit. However, Denver wasn't able to just run the ball down the Colt's throat like New England did in last years playoff game. Now what
part of that is the quality of Denver's running game and what part is the Colt's rush
defense, I don't know, but I do think some of the credit for Denver's poorer second half play should go to the defense.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
@cmccollo The pick and the missed TD were tough plays. I'm not too upset with those plays from Fleener. It was the short 3rd down drops last night that I found most disappointing. Yeah the defensive player was there, but Fleener doesn't seem to have strong hands to hold on to a contested ball and he doesn't have the feel for getting his body between the defender and the ball. Those plays were drive killers.
Not much to add, other than I always love reading this series. Thanks Ben!
3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
With as much heat as Hamilton has gotten this year ( mostly deserved) he should at least get some credit for a solid game plan against Watt in both Texans games. Considering the quality of this offensive line, Watt could have dominated one or both of those games, but was relatively quiet (for him).
11 months, 1 week ago on How the Colts Shut Down J.J. Watt (Hint: double teams)
@Nate Dunlevy I respect your opinion, but I think you are over-valuing a second round pick. A solid starter (certainly not great or shut down, but not terrible) for a 2 is a reasonable value. He was better then the other guys we had on the roster, especially at man coverage. He's certainly not a top 10 corner or anything, but I think expecting that from a late 2nd rounder would be a stretch.
1 year ago on The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Ryan Grigson
If Pep Hamilton calls for a Richardson run on the 1st and goal, and he get's stuffed or loses yardage, I can hear the choruses of "Why do they think we're a running team, we can't run. We should give Luck the ball he's our best player". I don't love Hamilton's play calling all the time by any mean, but I think at this point he can't win with the fans...
1 year ago on WEEK 10 REPORT CARD: COLTS VS RAMS
I needed this article before the Thursday night game. I ended up rooting for the Dolphins, which I think was the right call. The Bengal's loss gives the Colts a better shot at a bye. However, the Dolphins now have the three way tie breaker between the Colts and Bengals. That should only come into play if Miami overtakes the Patriots for the division (or both the Bengals and Colts collapse back to the wildcard) though.
1 year ago on Who to Root For: Week 9
@GregC @colts254fan I read an article in the Star a week or two back that stated there were 17 crews.
1 year, 1 month ago on Monday Morning Moaner: Colts vs Seahawks
I'm not seeing how the play calling was conservative in the second half. By my quick count, even before the last drive, the Colts had called 8 run plays and 13 pass plays. Again, excluding the last drive, on first downs in the second half, the Colts had 3 rushes and 5 passes. On the 3 out drive, it was pass, run, run. But running on 2nd and 3 and 3rd and 1 doesn't seem overly conservative to me. Especially the 3rd down play where they seemed to be trying to quick snap it and catch Miami off guard. On the 5 and out drive, they ran twice and threw 3 times. Again, it doesn't seem overly conservative to me.
Certainly the offense was much less effective in the second half. It seems like the Colts didn't adjust well to Miami clamping down on the wide receivers. I didn't, however, see a lot of evidence that they were happy to try and sit on a 3 point lead.
1 year, 2 months ago on Monday Morning Moaner: Colts vs Dolphins