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Could just call this "The Grade" Week 1 grades Defense, C: 62 plays, 344 yards, 20 first downs (13 passing, 3 rushing, 4 from penalty), 4/12 on third down, 2/3 in the red zone, 1 turnover, 20 points; held us in the game until the last ten minutes Defensive front: Not a lot of pass rush again, but the Jets went quick rhythm passing most of the game to keep Fitzpatrick clean. That was helped by our lack of coverage, but I'll get to that in a minute. Fitz's average time to attempt was 2.14 seconds, so there weren't a lot of opportunities, but even when there were, we didn't quite get to him. Anderson was awarded a sack on a scramble play where he shoestringed the QB. There were a couple other hits and a few pressures, but not much. The run defense on the other hand was outstanding, aside from two carries late in the game. Kind of disheartening that we couldn't stay tough when there was actually a shot of snatching the momentum, but the defense had been asked to hold tough for a long time to that point. Short yardage was locked down most of the game. Anderson is really good, and Parry played really well also. Langford and Winn both looked good. The run support from ILBs and safeties was good, and Freeman and Jackson bounced back from ugly games in the opener. B-, give me some pass rush, and we'll be in business Pass defense: Tough night, as we were missing our projected #2-4 corners, and then #1 got hurt. Even before Vontae went out, though, he was having a little bit of a rough game. Two penalties (legit calls, IMO, but I've seen a lot worse not called), and then he got picked for the TD to Decker (first TD allowed in 27 games, and it came on a play he couldn't have prevented unless he were superhuman). Still good plays from him, including the tip on the INT, and then the quality of coverage went waaay down once he left. Had to play a lot more zone than we usually do, and it left some guys open right away and up the seams. When the QB can find a guy right away, he doesn't have to hold the ball, and it undermines any of our pass rush opportunities. But our hands were tied. Manusky went back to more man later in the game, and that didn't work either, so I don't know what else we could have asked for, given the personnel. Some unfortunate cross-matches, with Jackson getting beat by Decker in the slot. Other than that, the ILBs and safeties were decent. I think Geathers is getting better every game. Give us back our corners and maybe this is a different outcome, but they went pretty conservative in the second half, kind of sensing that our offense was going to be awful all night. Their passing game was just efficient enough and made just enough plays to put the game away at the end. C, very average, but with scout team personnel Offense, D+: 61 plays, 343 yards, 17 first downs (11 passing, 4 rushing, 2 from penalty), 6/14 on third down, 0/2 in the red zone, 5 turnovers, 7 points; it's really hard to believe how inept the passing game was, and how stubborn we were to not rely more on the ground game QB: Never got in any kind of rhythm, again missed big opportunities (missed Allen on a deep cross that would probably have gone for 6, missed AJ for a first down, etc., etc., etc.), seemed flustered with and without pressure, throws were high, throws were behind, throws were late, some were inexplicably floated, etc. Faced more pressure this week than last, easily, but again, the blitz beaters rely on him making the plays that are there to be made, and he just didn't. Got on a little bit of a roll on two possessions, and one ended with a missed FG after a weird set of downs (more in coaching), and the other ended in the only score of the night. The rest of the game, he was dreadful. Probably the worst game I've seen from him, ever. There have been games with big mistakes, but there was still a lot of playmaking and production. There have been games with minimal production, but not a lot of mind blowing mistakes. It was the worst of both worlds on Monday. Somebody call a doctor. D-, we'll probably never see a game like this from him again, at least I hope Backs / receivers / tight ends, C+: Running game: The backs were good on the ground. Again, not enough opportunities, and we didn't use them situationally when we should have. Varga didn't even get a carry. Big carries got called back for holding penalties (ticky tack, IMO). Gore got whacked a couple times, and the goal line series wasn't great, but he bent the corner on third down... and then the fumble happened. Unreal how everything that could go wrong did go wrong in this game. Just give them more opportunities, especially when it's rolling. Some missed protections and the fumble (and Robinson's near fumble) are the only negatives here, IMO. B, the numbers don't show it due to a handful of stops, but the rushing attack was good Passing game: The receivers played reasonably well. There was some tough coverage out there, and the QB didn't have a lot of time to work through progressions, but several times guys got open and had chances at big plays. Moncrief was almost unstoppable. AJ didn't look great, but he did shake free a few times, and wasn't found, or the ball was behind him. Some missed connections to Hilton and Dorsett, but they both found some room to operate. I felt like there were a few poorly run routes, which resulted in too many receivers in one area and maybe some mixed signals between them and Luck on some checks and reads. Revis alternated between all the receivers all game long, and had a lot of success, but also got beat some. AJ and Moncrief both blocked well in the few screen situations they had. Nothing to the TEs, which is a traves-sham-ockery. C+, one day, this diverse and explosive group is going to go off, I can see it on the way OL / blocking: Too many penalties, again. Some of them were cheap, I thought, but that has to be cleaned up. So do the protections. I don't know what Lance Louis and Todd Herremans are doing half the time. Some of this is bad blocking schemes, like the overly complicated protection on the very first offensive play of the game, where Louis couldn't get all the way over to the right edge from LG. But lots of it was just getting beat and missing assignments, and they're leaving their QB (and their center) out to dry far too often. The tackles didn't have a good game either, and we opted to keep TEs more often than we should have to (not as often as you might think when you see that neither had a target all game long). But in the run game, it's a different story. Herremans was off and on, but I think everyone else did a good job consistently of sealing lanes and even moving their man off the line. Doyle wasn't good run blocking, and that's an issue because that's the reason he's on the roster. D+, the protection was really bad, despite the adequate run blocking Special teams: AV better get it together. Last missed kick from that close was the 6 INT game in the rain in San Diego in 2007. Can't miss easy kicks, sir. Pat's punting was good. Nothing in the return games, and coverage was good. Only blemish was the missed kick. B Coaching / playcalling / game management, D: Last week I reserved some of my offensive gameplan ire, since the narrative was that Luck was making a lot of calls at the line. Well forget that, because it's obvious this week that the calls being made were coming from the sideline. For instance, the 3rd and 2 that I keep bringing up, we ran that play after a timeout, and came out in the same personnel and formation as before the timeout. The only adjustments were protection. This isn't all on Luck. The route combinations make no sense at times. The timing is off. We have multiple receivers in the same spot on the field. The stubborn refusal to stick to the run is maddening. The lack of screen plays (where's the middle screen to Gore?) is nonsensical. Pep has used all goodwill. What we're doing on offense makes no sense, and it's his job to direct the offense. That includes taking pressure off of the OL, giving the QB high percentage throws (especially when he's struggling), relying on the productive ground game, sticking to what's working and scrapping what's not working, etc. F- Manusky held this thing together with masking tape and kite string, and it was good enough. No help from the offense or special teams. Some think the defense kind of maxed out, since this wasn't a great offensive opponent, but we had no corners. The guys up front are being dispatched very well, IMO. Some of his best work, if you ask me. B+ I don't put the offensive stuff on Pagano this week. That's why you have an offensive coordinator, a QB coach, and an offensive minded Associate Head Coach. But if this lingers, it undermines his standing as the CEO of this team. Some complained about letting the clock run out at the end of the first half, but I get it; I didn't want to see our offense go out there and trip all over themselves again either. Couldn't get to the locker room fast enough in that situation. I don't usually grade post game pressers, but I liked his testiness, and I agree 100% with what he said. Most of the errors in this game were by our best players on game changing plays (picks, fumbles, penalties negating big gains, missed kicks, defensive fouls in the end zone). Coaching has to clean those things up, but that's more execution than coaching. End result is on him, though, even if not strictly related to game management. D+ No game ball again, but Honorable Mention to Donte Moncrief for 1) making the only scoring play of the night, and 2) shaking Revis along the way. Someone got better after the AFCCG lockup. Next up, let's hope a divisional matchup helps us get out of this rut. Haven't lost a division game since Week 15, 2012. No reason that can't continue. GO COLTS!!!