Double A Breakdown: Week 12
Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:41 PM
The Colts are coming off the worst loss of the season and now must find their old winning ways. They face off against the Buffalo Bills, and a Bills team that has been playing relatively well as of late. The Colts are finally back in Indy after spending two weeks on the road. Andrew Luck looks to have another good performance at home, and hope to avoid having back to back losses. Should be a good matchup!
What the Colts Need to do to Win
It's going to be an aerial attack. This game probably going ot be a high scoring one, so if you have a run heavy mentality, you won't put up a lot of points. So if you want to put up a lot of points, you're going to have to get your passing game going. The Bills are pretty good against the deep passes as they have the best safety in football right now in Jairus Byrd. Luck must also have less of a relience on Reggie Wayne. He targeted him 18 times last week and didn't even complete half of those targets. He relied on him too much and was picked off three times, and all three of those picks were passes intended to Reggie Wayne. He needs to find his other targets. Find TY, and find Dwayne Allen. heck, even Lavon Brazill is a viable option, he had some big plays last week. If nothing's there, he needs to run. He has to stop forcing so many throws, especially on third down.
Even though it's probably going to be an aerial show, they're still going to need to run it. The Colts had a lot of success running it to the left side last week, so maybe that's the way to go. The Bills aren't as strong on the left side (or their right side), so getting some stretch or trap plays could work well. What I also like to see is to use Brown and Ballard. Both seem to excel when both are playing evenly.
The O-line needs to play well. The Bills have a good D-line with Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus. The interior lineman really need to step up. Joe Reitz, Satele and McGlynn need to have big days blocking, especially in pass protection.
The offensive gameplan should be to to have a pass heavy gameplan, but not an vertical passing game. They Bills do a nice job of taking that away. So, just passes that are under 15 yards. Then, every now (20-24 times in total), the Colts should add in the run.
Now the defense...
The defensive line just needs to create penetration up the middle, just become a menace in the running game. If they can take away the middle, they pretty much take away the inside runs, which is pretty big. You have to realize that this group, especially a group that could be without Redding, isn't going to do much, so with that being known, you need to focus on just one aspect. In this case, it's stopping the run.
The linebackers are going to be the most important players on defense. Because they're dealing with an offense that can beat you many different ways, you're going to need versatility from your linebackers. Mathis and Freeney need to stick to getting pressure on the QB. They have to generate pressure, or the Colts can be in some trouble. As for Freeman and Conner/Angerer, it would be ideal to have one blitz the QB and one watch the running back. Conner is the faster of the two, so it would be better if he watches Spiller. Even having Tommy Z watching Spiller could really help too. As for Freeman, blitzing is his thing. He's shown that he could be a very good blitzer. Now, the Colts need as much pressure as they can, because as we saw last week, no pressure equals no chance. As for matchups, if they go up against Chandler, who's huge, jamming him on the line is perfect. If they could delay him for even a second, that's huge, because Fitzpatrick's not going to wait for Chandler unless he's the number 1 option on that particular play. So, the linebackers must pressure the QB first, watch Spiller second, and play against the tight ends in coverage third.
Finally, we have the safeties. Antoine Bethea should just play his usual role of playing in coverage and being that "last line of defense." That's where he excels. Tommy Z should be used in a number of different ways. He could be used in coverage, to contain the deep passes. He could be used in the box, to help prevent the run. He could also be used to matchup against a slotback or Scott Chandler.
The defensive gameplan should be to blitz Fitzpatrick, get pressure on him and play man-to-man on the receivers, excluding Stevie Johnson (play zone against him, with even some safety help). Having a linebacker watching the running back is also key. Can't let Spiller have a monster day.
It's going to be a crazy game, so every play needs to be ready to play a lot of roles.
What the Bills Need to do to Win
On offense, the Bills have a lot of playmakers. CJ Spiller is a stud, and can do everything. He's a great runner, can catch very well and is a pretty good blocker. With the Colts having an iffy defense, especially in the pass defense area. If the Bills want to win, they need to use CJ Spiller, and even Fred Jackson, who is similar to Spiller, a lot. Use them in screen passes and in safety valves. Target them and use them as often as you can.
Then, there's the other guys in the passing game. The Colts' secondary has been awful recently, well, actually, it's been like that almost all year. This means that they should target Stevie Johnson and Donald Jones, as they have favorable matchups. Donald Jones should be looked at on the deep plays and Johnson more on the short to intermediate. This way, you're playing to their strengths. There's also one more guy that should be used a lot in the passing game, and that's Scott Chandler. The Colts looked terrible against Gronkowski. Yes, Gronk is much better than Chandler, but if you look at the matchups that Gronk had last week, those are matchups that Chandler could beat too. Freeman lined up against Gronk around 55% of the time. Freeman is 6'0, and Chandler is 6'7. Chandler wins. Then there's also Kavell Conner who lined up against him about 30% of the time. Conner is also 6'0. Then there was Bethea, who's 5'11. Get it, Chandler has at least half a foot on these guys. Target him in the redzone.
The O-line needs to come up big. The "Freethis" is healthy and are playing at home, where they both excel. Cordy Glenn needs to step up big, or it could be a long day.Then on defense, they're going to need to have an aggressive style. I've learnt this year that sending more guys in coverage doesn't stop Andrew Luck. The way to beat him is to do exactly what the Patriots did, and kind of what the Jets did. They rushed 4 or 5 guys the majority of the time, and then played a zone defense. In the Pats game, they really watched Reggie Wayne and didn't let him do much, and he didn't. He only had 8 catches out of 18 targets, which is very good. So, the Bills should try and follow that kind of gameplan. In coverage, they have to play contain, and not allow any deep passes. Get Jairus Byrd to play deep and then (if Reggie's on the Colts' right side, and Byrd is playing the Bills' left side, like he usually does) get the other safety to help over the top.
Worry about the pass, and put more emphasis on the pass. If this is a high scoring game, then they should be passing the ball 40+ times.
The most intriguing matchup has to be Bills secondary vs Colts wide receivers. Reggie Wayne is a matchup nightmare, so it's going to be interesting to see how the Bills matchup against him; do they double team or bring safety help? Also, the Colts posses two deep threats in TY Hilton and Donnie Avery. Will the Bills play contain against or play man coverage against those guys? The winner of this matchup is the winner of the game.
The winning team (I believe the Colts) scores a touchdown in the final 3 minutes.
Indianapolis Colts 27 vs Buffalo Bills 23
Writer for: The Montreal Gazette, and various other websites