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Colts @ Texans Game Day Thread


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    • A major factor in pressure numbers was MN didn't emplooy the short passing game Jax did last week so you would expect more hits, etc.   It looked like to me that the D line was playing on the opposition side of the ball more than before.  That is what you want from Buckner.  If he makes tackles and sacks, that's gravy.  He was a wrecking ball, and would have still been a wrecking ball if he didn't record a sack.
    • Rivers should’ve had 2 TD’s yesterday. He starting to finally feel comfortable. Glad to see he also didn’t make those forced throws.
    • People have said it over and over: Cover 2 needs a D-Line that forces a QB to make quick reads and poor decisions.  We got that yesterday from our D-Line.  CB's didn't have to spend all day covering guys and, to their (and Flus') credit, they played up instead of back.
    • In our D, what Ballard has been looking for is a 3T who can hit the opposing QB.  Buckner's that guy, and he can also eat up blockers and play the run.   If we're blitzing LBs or DBs and Buckner is eating up blockers and allowing them to get to the QB (or opening space for them to attack a running back), he's doing a good job.  If he's drawing double teams and allowing our edge guys to get easier match-ups, he's also doing a good job.     Last week we had 4 sacks, this week  we had 3.  Last week we also only had 4 QB hits (all of them were sacks).  This week, even though we had one less sack, we also had 7 QB hits (4 of them were Buckner, who recorded 1.5 sacks).  By having our DL have sacks and QB hits, it allows for more LBs or DBs to stay in coverage.  It also startles the QB.  There is not a single QB in the league who would enjoy being hit by Buckner.... let alone getting hit 4 times.  That type of pressure forces QBs to release the ball quicker and in some instances make worse decisions which improve the backend of our defense's chance of intercepting the ball and creating turnovers.     None of Cousins' 3 INTs yesterday came when we had more than the DL rushing the QB - Willis' pick had 4 DL rushing the QB and Cousins (though he didn't get hit on the play) was forced to move around in the pocket and make somewhat of a rushed throw/underthrow which Blackmon made a nice play on breaking it up and Willis happened to be in a nice position to intercept.  The Carrie INT we had 3 DL rushing (Leonard was kinda playing a rover and they got pressure on Cousins, he had to step up in the pocket to make that throw and he underthrew it -- granted it wajs a Hail Mary at the end of the first half, we were still able to keep everyone in our secondary in coverage and the DL was able to get some pressure on Cousins.  Then Moore's interception we kept everyone but the DL in coverage, and though Cousins wasn't necessarily under much pressure on that given play, he did throw that ball very quickly and behind his intended WR.   So, ultimately, the defense's job is to not give up points and to get our offense on the field.  Our offense's job is to score points and keep our defense off the field.  While there are ways for our D to avoid giving up points that may not include the DL pressuring the QB, it certainly helps if they can for a variety of reasons including (1) it forces the QB to throw faster, typically resulting in worse decisions, (2) it makes the opposing QB to play more timidly than he probably would if he wasn't getting hit, (3) it allows our LBs and DBs to stay in coverage which therefore is likely to reduce easy checkdown passes, (4) a sack is a loss of yards, meaning our D is keeping the other team from moving down the field and likely helping provide better field position for the O and potentially setting up more favorable opportunities for our STs, (5) when a sack results in a safety, not only does it prevent the other team from scoring, but it gives us points and more likely than not fairly good field position to our offense when they get the ball back, (6) aside from helping lead to worse throws/more interception opportunity, a sack which results in a fumble also gives the D a better chance at a turnover (most QB fumbles are the result of being hit behind their own OL), and (7) if the DL shows they can hit the QB or make tackles for loss, it likely leads to the opposing OL to use more double teams or require a TE/RB to help block (not only does that take away one or several offensive weapons, but if the DL is requiring double teams, it allows for more gaps for our LBs and DBs to get through regardless of it is a drawn blitz play to get to the QB or if it frees up a lane to get to the RB).  
    • Gordon is OK.  he wasn't worth what he thought he was worth.  He only averaged more than  3.9 ypc once in his career though.  He was valuable because of his contributions in the passing game.   James White has been a decent player but almost exclusively in the passing game.   Ball is an unknown.  No doubt. Showed some potential, but it's impossible to say either way.   I don't think it's a secret that Wisco backs tend to bust though.
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