Today’s 30-10 win over Jacksonville, besides matching their win total from last season, also showed that this team could dominate a bad team the way a playoff team should heading into the playoffs. Just a few weeks ago many analysts were wondering if this team was a “One and Done” playoff team, now this team is looking more and more playoff ready.
The offense was extremely productive today, scoring fourteen points in the first quarter, something not done in this season. Luck was able to pick apart the Jaguars defense, utilizing short passes that receivers were able to add YAC effectively.
T.Y. Hilton had a tremendous game; 11 catches for 155 yards. It seemed he was a step faster today, not sure if he is finally healing up, but he seemed to be faster than some of the previous games. He was getting past defenders, gaining extra yards, and he seemed to play fast on the field- something that has been absent. Luck was efficient (26/37, 282yds., 1TD) today, especially from the no huddle offense. He was protected relatively well behind the offensive line and only had a few errant throws.
Coby Fleener made a few good plays but also had a drop (although he probably should have had it, the Jaguar defenders had a lot to do with him dropping the catch). Fleener has greatly improved this season, so it shouldn’t be scrutinized too much. Griff had another great touchdown reception and held on after getting hit hard. Whalen is really showing why he deserves a roster spot next season.
The Colts were able to run in two touchdowns by Brown (12 att./31 yds, 1 TD) and Richardson (8 att./25 yds, 1 TD). Choice (5 att./ 18 yds.) came in on mop up duty, ran hard, and should get some more looks in post-season. The team did not run all that well, but that’s okay, they ran just about the right amount. The power running game still doesn’t seem to be working, however shotgun formation seems to produce the best results. Again, I’m not complaining, I’ll take the run to pass ratio again.
The defense stepped up again and produced another good outing. Robert Mathis was, well, Robert Mathis. He notched up another set of sacks and nearly got a strip as well. Jerrell Freeman played great and Bethea had a pick thanks to Freeman knocking a pass on blitz and also picked up a sack as well.
The coaching was surprisingly good today. Pep called another good game, and seems to finally be adjusting to the personnel on the field instead of sticking with the power running game that many of us became frustrated with. I’m not sure if it was Pagano or not, but the changes implemented seem to be paying dividends. I was also glad to see Chuck go for the touchdown instead of settling for the field goal.
All in all, another great team performance by the Colts. It’s been great to see them gaining some momentum heading into the playoffs. What once looked like an early exit from the playoffs now looks to be a team coming together at the perfect time; and hopefully a deep run to New Jersey in February.