Charting A Drive: Too Many Replacements

 Kasey Klipsch’s back with his regular column.

After a week when the defense saved the day, it would be easy to cover one of their many dominant drives.  There were several compelling defensive story lines, such as good play from an injury-depleted linebacker corp., a dominant d-line performance, d-line replacement player sightings, or even bad play by defensive backs.  Instead, on re-watching this game the drive that stood out to me was the last offensive series of the first half.  This drive was a perfect example of all that is holding the offense back.  Terrible line play and a reliance on replacement players turned what normally would have been a touchdown drive into only 3 points.

1-10-IND-17

Play: Manning in shotgun, short pass left to B. James for 12 yards.  Manning is able to step up.  The two Bengals CBs both follow Wayne on an out route leaving James open underneath.

Cin Formation:  Nickle

Ind Formation:  3 WR (1 wide left, 2 right)/1 TE (slot right)

- Diem has a good block on the RDE.

- Linkenbach good block on the RDT, gets help from Saturday.

- Devan is pushed back a bit, but handles the LDT ok.

- CJ does a good job with the LDE.

1-10-IND-29

Play: Manning in shotgun, short pass left to B. James incomplete.  Manning over throws James on an out route.  Looks like a bad pass by Manning but could be James is in the wrong place (or is too short).

Cin Formation: Nickle (1 LB showing blitz)

Ind Formation: 3 WR (1 wide left, 2 right)/ 1 TE (right LOS)

- Tamme goes into a pass route and takes the RDE with him.

- Diem & Linkenbach double the RDT.

- Saturday stones the blitzing LB.

- Devan gets pushed back a touch, but continues to block LDT.

- CJ does a good job with the LDE.

2-10-IND-29

Play: Manning in shotgun, short pass middle to D. Brown incomplete.  Under intense pressure Manning throws an awful over arm pass.  It is almost intercepted.

Cin Formation: Nickle

Ind Formation: 3 WR (1 wide left, 2 right)/1 TE (slot)

- Diem is run by.

- Linkenbach gets completely juked by the RDT such that he falls down.

- Saturday/Devan double team holds the LDT for a second, but as Manning moves up he sheds both of them (they fall to the ground).  He hits Manning.

- CJ actually handles his guy ok.

3-10-IND-29

Play: Manning in shotgun, deep pass left to B. James for 17 yards.  James makes a great back shoulder catch.  Wayne was in the slot left and takes the CB and safety help with him.

Cin Formation: 3-3-5 (linebacker showing blitz at LOS)

Ind Formation: 3 WR (1 wide left, 2 right)/1 TE (slot)

- Blitzting LB follows D. Brown into a route.

- Diem stones RDE.

- Linkenbach has no one to block.  Chips RDE late in the play.

- Saturday has no problem with the NT.

- Devan has no one to block.

- CJ easily blocks the LDE (who has the worst pass rush of all time).

1-10-IND-46

Play: Manning in shotgun, short pass left to B. James incomplete.  A quick inside route by James, who has position on his man.  James needs to catch this pass.

Cin Formation: Nickle (LB showing blitz)

Ind Formation: 3 WR (1 wide left, 2 right)/1 TE (slot)

- Diem is able to slow his guy down (but it seems like it is mostly a consequence of a quick pass).

- D. Brown picks up the blitzing LB.

- Linkenbach/Saturday double team the RDT.

- Devan gets a great block on the LDT.

- CJ barely slows the LDE.  He is a step from hitting Manning when the pass comes out.

2-10-IND-46

Play: Manning in shotgun, deep pass right to J. Tamme incomplete.  Pass interference for 19 yards.  Tamme runs a seam route and Manning over throws him.  Tamme looked a little slow (and was interfered) or it could just be a bad pass.  Tamme takes a vicious hit at the end of this play.

Cin Formation: Nickle

Ind Formation: 3 WR (1 wide left, 2 right)/1 TE (slot)

- Diem slows his guy enough (but again, it seems mostly due to the quick release).

- Linkenbach/Saturday redirect their guy outside right of the pocket.

- Devan does a great job with the LDT.

- Charlie Johnson is run around.  Manning steps up past the LDE.

1-10-CIN-35

Play: Manning in shotgun, short pass left to B. James incomplete.  James just drops the bubble screen.

Cin Formation: Nickle

Ind Formation: 3 WR (1 wide left, 2 right)/1 TE (slot)

- Diem doesn’t need to do anything with his guy as the play is so fast.

- Linkenbach, Saturday, & Devan let their guys go as part of the play.  Saturday has a great move to knock his guy to the ground.

- CJ cuts his guy (legally).

- D. Brown and Reggie get great blocks on their guys.  If James would have caught this it would have been a long gainer.

2-10-CIN-35

Play: Manning in shotgun, short pass middle to R. Wayne for 10 yards.  Manning gets some time and makes an easy throw to Wayne who stretches out for the first down.

Cin Formation: Nickle

Ind Formation: 3 WR (1 wide left, 2 right)/1 TE (slot)

- Diem has a good block on the RDE.

- Linkenbach gets a block on the RDT who disengages and stunts to Devan, who handles him.

- Saturday gets a great block on the LDT.

- CJ blocks his guy (with possible chip from D. Brown which I can’t verify with the TV coverage).

1-10-CIN-25

Play: Manning in shotgun, deep pass left to B. James incomplete.  Looks like just a bad pass from Manning.  It is possible that B. James screwed up the route and didn’t run hard enough to the post.

Cin Formation: Nickle

Ind Formation: 3 WR (1 wide left, 2 right)/1 TE (slot)

- Diem barely handles his guy.

- Linkenbach, Saturday, & Devan handle the RDT and a stunting LDT.

- CJ pushes his guy off the straight line to Manning.

2-10-CIN-25

Play: Manning in shotgun, sacked -4 yards.  Both Diem and CJ end up on their backs.  Diem is destroyed on this play.

Cin Formation: Nickle

Ind Formation: 3 WR (1 wide left, 2 right)/1 TE (slot)

- RDE just hammers Diem to the ground.

- Linkenbach, Saturday, & Devan handle the DTs quite well, unfortunately Manning is getting sacked behind them.

- CJ gets bull rushed and the only reason he isn’t the cause of this sack is that Diem is already on the ground.

Time is about to expire so the Colts kick a field goal.

Impressions:

It is hard to tell from the television coverage but I assume that the Bengals were rolling all of the coverage on Wayne, Garcon, and Tamme leaving Manning to prove that B. James could be an effective receiver.  He couldn’t.  At least 2 of his targets were clearly catchable.  Another 2 were routes that we have seen Manning and his receivers make 1000 times before.  I will withhold judgement on whose specific fault they were, but it at least shows that 6th string receivers are not the best option for high power offenses.  The offensive line was atrocious.  The only thing that made CJ look decent was how bad Diem was.  I normally don’t like to judge offensive line play as it is so subtle, but we have to have some of the worst starting tackles in the NFL.  I’m not sure what the difference has been on the games when we had good offensive line play and the games when we didn’t but the Colts must figure it out by next Sunday or it is not going to be pretty in Foxbourough.

About The Author:

Kasey Klipsch (kasey_junk@myrealbox.com) has no football experience above the grade school level.  He grew up in Indianapolis rooting for the Colts and is a season ticket holder.  He comments around the Colts blogosphere as kasey_junk.  He also writes a weekly picks column for The Fantasy Ninjas (www.thefantasyninjas.com) under the nickname “The Real KC”.

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