This is not the way the Indianapolis Colts wanted to start the 2011 season. Two early fumbles lost deep in their own territory allowed the Texans to have a significant advantage on the scoreboard in a hurry. Once that happened, the Texans never looked back and the Colts defense had to play with its back against the wall.
It was clear that all of the changes on the offensive line left the group unprepared for their first regular season test. Some of the blocking assignments, particularly when Dallas Clark was one-on-one with Mario Williams, did not make sense.Even though there were some runs that were ineffective, there were also some signs of offensive linemen getting to the second level to lay some blocks and get something going. Joseph Addai had a solid performance and averaged 4.9 yards a carry.
When Kerry Collins had a clean pocket and enough time to scan the field, he typically kept the offense moving. Where he still needs work is on timing with his new receivers. Collins missed on throws to Garcon, Clark, and Addai as a result of either inaccuracy or timing and familiarity issues.
A would-be touchdown pass to Austin Collie was ruled out of bounds. One would have to assume that the reason he was ruled out of bounds is that the official thought the heel of his second foot came down on the line.
There are two issues with this play. One, I don’t see how it isn’t worth taking a closer look at with a challenge. The timeouts were not going to be an issue. Second, I don’t understand why Collie’s heel would need to come down in bounds in the first place.
If a receiver gains possession of the ball falling out of bounds but drags his toes in the field of play, it is a reception and if the player is in the end zone, a touchdown. So… when a receiver catches the ball in the back of the end zone and has both toes down in bounds but his heel then falls out of bounds, why should the outcome be different? Seems silly to me.
The best defensive player for Indianapolis was Pat Angerer. He made plays all over the field and has the look of a player that should be able to take over for Gary Brackett when he is asked to do so. Speaking of Brackett, he went down with an injury after his interception and didn’t return. Hopefully it is nothing serious because Indianapolis cannot afford to lose anyone else.
The Colts have a lot of work to do if they wish to turn things around at home against the Browns.