Tale of the Tape: Miscellaneous Notes from Week 4

After focusing on the running backs for yesterday's post, here are the rest of my notes from the Monday night loss to the Buccaneers. Enjoy.

  • On the first drive of the game, Curtis Painter was hitting some very tight windows with his throws. If it wasn't for a drop on a perfect throw by Pierre Garcon (First play of the game) and a tipped pass at the line (11:17), Painter would have been 3/4 on the drive for 36 yards, with two of them being third down completions. Painter started out very well behind this "healthy" offensive line, and the result was a field goal to give the Colts their first lead.
  • Speaking of the of the offensive line, they performed quite well in the beginning of the game, as did the defensive line. But both units gradually wore down throughout the game, and it didn't help that both units were severely hampered by injuries (Castonzo, Ijalana, Foster, Nevis).
  • Terrence Johnson played a great game last week, but was equally horrendous this week. He was missing tackles, struggled in coverage (giving up a 3rd quarter TD), and was just plain bad. He was like a worse-tackling version of Jacob Lacey. The giant cushion given by players like Lacey isn't a product of the receivers. It's a product of the system, which is not going to work with this group of cornerbacks.
  • Speaking of corner backs, why the heck is Kevin Thomas not active for this game? Is Chris Rucker, who got extensive playing time, really that much better than Thomas? From the preseason, it seemed fairly obvious that Thomas was performing better, but this coaching staff seems to have a very odd way of evaluating cornerbacks.
  • The missed pick by David Caldwell was a killer. It just was. Those are the opportunities that the defense HAS to take advantage of. It was at least a seven-point mistake, and Caldwell knew it.
  • Two of the biggest errors, from a playcalling standpoint (IMO), were the LB's playing too far off and running on second and ten. Last week, the linebackers were playing close to the line, and the Steelers were getting big plays by throwing over them. To counteract that this week, it seems that Larry Coyer had his guys playing farther back. But it was too far, and TB ran the dink and dunk to 24 points, tiring out the defense with long, time-consuming drives. Also, the Colts continued to pass on first down, and run on second and ten pattern that was maddening. I hate the call of running on second and ten. It's one thing when Peyton Manning is quarterback, but when Painter and Collins are the quarterback, it's stupid to put them in long third downs. Running on second and ten (especially when you're running behind the weakest side of an injured line) invites long third downs.
  • The look on the players' faces after Foster went down says everything about the severity of the injury and the effect Foster has in the locker room. Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney, and Tyler Brayton especially had painful grimaces displayed, and it was depressing to see.
That's all for now, let me know if there's anything I missed!
Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.