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CurBeat's takeaways - Colts vs. Titans (round 2)


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Today's loss was rough.  I don't think it was quite as bad as it looked, given we were without a key piece to our D (Buckner) and two key pieces to our OL (Kelly and for a chunk of the game AC) and JT.  I know they had their own injuries, etc., but I think that's a way different game with a healthy Buckner and AC in the line-up for a full game.  Again, our D played well in the 2nd half (for the most part), limiting them to 3 points (not counting the TD on the on-side return) in the 2nd half after allowing 35 points in the first half... we've gotta do something about getting the D to start fast and continuing to adjust throughout the game, but it was encouraging to see them turn it around in the 2nd half.  Also encouraging that they didn't seem to give up (S. Holder tweeted something like "Leonard is playing like there is no scoreboard" meaning he was still going full bore  late in the game when we were down).  Our O moved the ball well early and definitely seemed to change when AC went down.  

 

More concerning for me with this loss are injury concerns (mainly to AC and about Kelly's neck even though Kelly didn't play this game, TY also looked a bit gimpy late in the game and I couldn't tell if Rivers wasn't getting everything on some his throws b/c of his toe or b/c he was getting pressured more than normal).  Also concerning is the playoff implications.  Our loss to Jax early likely means TN will be able to win a tie-breaker based on div' schedule if it comes down to it, plus our losses to BALT and CLE mean they get head-to-head tiebreakers.  We're likely going to have to win 4 of the last 5 games to get in now, as we're no longer in the driver seat of the AFC S and will need some help even to get a wildcard.

 

Positives:

1) I thought Pinter looked pretty darn solid most of the game with big shoes to fill for Ryan Kelly.

2) Our O looked very proficient before AC went down.

3) Our D made adjustments and stopped TN for the most part in the 2nd half.

4) Burton made some really nice catches on some very well thrown balls from Rivers.  He missed 1 or two, but for the most part I thought he had a good game.

5) TY had probably his best game with 4 receptions on 5 targets for 81 yards and a TD.  He also drew a key pass INT on a ball which he may have scored on or at least been very close to goal line.  

6) I am liking the use of Jacoby the past two weeks.  He's a tough runner on short yardage situations and our O is better with him in in short yardage situations, IMO.

 

Negatives:

1) Our D got sliced apart in the first half, the lack of Buckner was very obvious.

2) Penalties hurt us again, mainly on D but both sides of the ball really.  Ya-Sin had a rough go today, but we had multiple defensive holding plays (Grover and Stallworth each had at least 1).  

3) We seemed to lose poise a little bit, at least certain players.  Ya-Sin seemed to let momentum get to him and had a few penalty calls in a row.  Adams had an awful penalty (punching) which led to his ejection and was critical in allowing TN to score late in the first half.  I am surprised Rhodes didn't get an unsportsmanlike call against him, he was being held back by refs, then Leonard had to run him off the field and when he got back on the field he had his helmet off still yelling at TN player.  We've gotta be better than that.  The 3rd TD they scored we got a huge sack which was for naught as Ya-Sin had a penalty which allowed them to score a TD when at most they would've had a field goal.  Right there, dumb penalties allowed 14 points on what could have been only 3.

4) Our OL was exposed a bit when AC went down, which is to be expected - we were already without a pro-bowl C and AC going down certainly didn't help.  Nelson definitely looked a bit gimpy, which is also expected as he was listed on the IR with multiple injuries.  I think some of this may be related to JT being out as well, Hines isn't terrible at pass pro, but he did have that critical holding penalty late in the first half and certainly isn't our best pass protecting RB.

5) We lost the ST battle... not like we were forcing them to punt much (especially in first half) but they were winning the field position battle and at least some of that had to do with the punting game.

6) Not directly related to this game - but we're not longer in the driver seat of the AFC South and our early losses to BALT, CLE and JAX all hurt us tie-breaker wise (BALT and CLE will both beat us head-to-head and even though we split with TN, we'll likely need some luck with them losing division games as we have 2 division losses to their 1 as it currently stands). 

7)  Rivers seemed a bit off today.  He looked good early on and not so good most of the rest of the game.  There was a 5 or 6 drive stretch where our O did nothing.  Part of that, I think, is due to AC going down.  Part of that, I don't know if Rivers was behind on some of his throws because he was getting pressured or because he couldn't get everything into his throws due to his turf toe.  Several passes to Pittman were just a few feet behind him making Pittman reach back and halting his momentum. He only threw 1 INT, but he should have had a pick 6 on a very poorly thrown ball earlier in the game and got lucky a couple other times.

8) We gave up big plays, both against the run and the pass.  Prior to today, we did a pretty good job of avoiding them.

9) We didn't walk into this game fully healthy and we certainly didn't walk out of it healthy, either. 

 

All in all, this was not a good loss.  By no means does it mean our season is over, it just means we have to regroup quickly and will likely need to go 4-1 to secure a playoff spot.  We really need to stay healthy and avoid any more COVID losses, IMO the losses of JT and Burton were felt very early (and often) in today's game.  

 

 

 

 

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This offense misses the quick strike ability. Someone who can score a quick 65 yard TD whether it be thru the air or on the ground. We may put up points but it normally takes 8+ plays.

 

I don’t think this defense is as good or as bad as it says. If we aren’t getting turnovers we are going to have some issues with stopping teams consistently.

 

The penalty situation for this team is troubling.  It will continue to haunt this team. Reich doesn’t fight enough for calls or let the refs have it with the bad calls. 
 

I think everyone here knew the second that game was over in Jax that, that game would have huge implications for us down the road 

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11 minutes ago, Mr.Debonair said:

This offense misses the quick strike ability. Someone who can score a quick 65 yard TD whether it be thru the air or on the ground. We may put up points but it normally takes 8+ plays.

 

I don’t think this defense is as good or as bad as it says. If we aren’t getting turnovers we are going to have some issues with stopping teams consistently.

 

The penalty situation for this team is troubling.  It will continue to haunt this team. Reich doesn’t fight enough for calls or let the refs have it with the bad calls. 
 

I think everyone here knew the second that game was over in Jax that, that game would have huge implications for us down the road 

 

I agree with you except the bolded portion.  Reich was talking to the refs after several calls today, one of them which I think the officials wound up getting right was the almost interception by TN later in the game when Pascal came down with the ball at the same time as their DB.  Frank is not the type to 'let someone have it' and I don't know that yelling at refs does much more than make them angry.  And, TBH, I haven't seen many 'bad calls'.  There are calls which may have been 'tacky' or times where it seems like we're being called for more minor penalties than the other team (in the past 2 weeks anyway), but ultimately the penalties come down to the players who have committed them and the coaching staff needs to work with them during practice to ensure they don't continue occurring.  

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1 minute ago, CurBeatElite said:

 

I agree with you except the bolded portion.  Reich was talking to the refs after several calls today, one of them which I think the officials wound up getting right was the almost interception by TN later in the game when Pascal came down with the ball at the same time as their DB.  Frank is not the type to 'let someone have it' and I don't know that yelling at refs does much more than make them angry.  And, TBH, I haven't seen many 'bad calls'.  There are calls which may have been 'tacky' or times where it seems like we're being called for more minor penalties than the other team (in the past 2 weeks anyway), but ultimately the penalties come down to the players who have committed them and the coaching staff needs to work with them during practice to ensure they don't continue occurring.  

I agree it’s not his personality and expecting him to flip his lid is unlikely. I just think sometimes letting a ref have it early especially from someone who usually isn’t like that wakes the refs up. To your point tho, it’s up to the players and coaches to correct the penalties and to This point it’s only getting worst

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I think we just simply played a bad game. It happens to every team at least 2 or 3 times a year. Missing Buckner hurt us more than I thought it would as well. Buck is a huge part of our defense which I knew but it was real obvious today. If we win next week this loss will be easy to get over. We lost to a good team today. You have KC and Pitt as the 2 best teams in the AFC, after that on any given Sunday between the Titans, Bills, Browns, Ravens, and Colts it is a coin toss. It just depends on what team shows up and gets the lucky breaks.

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2 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

I think we just simply played a bad game. It happens to every team at least 2 or 3 times a year. Missing Buckner hurt us more than I thought it would as well. Buck is a huge part of our defense which I knew but it was real obvious today. If we win next week this loss will be easy to get over. We lost to a good team today. You have KC and Pitt as the 2 best teams in the AFC, after that on any given Sunday between the Titans, Bills, Browns, Ravens, and Colts it is a coin toss. It just depends on what team shows up and gets the lucky breaks.

They also played a highly motivated team that was embarrassed by the way they played two weeks ago.  Sometimes it just happens and a game gets away from you.  Let’s just hope the Colts get their studs back and AC’s injury isn’t too bad and they come out as motivated as the Titans did today against the Texans next week.  If you look at this team they have responded very well coming off loses.  I expect next week to be no different.

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2 minutes ago, GoColts8818 said:

They also played a highly motivated team that was embarrassed by the way they played two weeks ago.  Sometimes it just happens and a game gets away from you.  Let’s just hope the Colts get their studs back and AC’s injury isn’t too bad and they come out as motivated as the Titans did today against the Texans next week.  If you look at this team they have responded very well coming off loses.  I expect next week to be no different.

Watson is a good QB and dangerous but he isn't great. We definitely have the better team, their team is average. AC will be out more than likely, not sure about Buck and the others? We should find a way to win and get to 8-4. I looked it up and teams that are 8-4 make the playoffs 77% of the time and this year 7 teams get in so that is more like 85% IMO.

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I have to agree with the comment that Reich is far too passive about the penalties. Somebody has to hold the Refs to account for the over abundance of calls against the Colts. The calls in the past two games have been deeply troubling. And Reich, for the most part, seems to just roll over without barking back at the refs. You have to stand up for your team. 

 

With regard to Rock, the refs are clearly focusing on him, and he either figures this out and stops grabbing past the first 5 yards, or he needs to sit. He's a big time liability right now. But Rock is the exception among the players in the secondary, who for the most part are doing ok. Replace him and things may get better quickly.

 

With regard to the offensive holding calls, these are beyond ridiculous. The Colts are being targeted by the Refs the way the Raiders used to be targeted with unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. They are clearly watching for the Colts to hold vs. the other team getting away with the same fouls. Where this has come from, who knows? But the team will have to fight it on the field and off the field in the NFL offices. If you're going to call it that close on the Colts, call it the same way for the other side. And that doesn't appear to be happening right now. 

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8 minutes ago, Hoose said:

I have to agree with the comment that Reich is far too passive about the penalties. Somebody has to hold the Refs to account for the over abundance of calls against the Colts. The calls in the past two games have been deeply troubling. And Reich, for the most part, seems to just roll over without barking back at the refs. You have to stand up for your team. 

 

With regard to Rock, the refs are clearly focusing on him, and he either figures this out and stops grabbing past the first 5 yards, or he needs to sit. He's a big time liability right now. But Rock is the exception among the players in the secondary, who for the most part are doing ok. Replace him and things may get better quickly.

 

With regard to the offensive holding calls, these are beyond ridiculous. The Colts are being targeted by the Refs the way the Raiders used to be targeted with unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. They are clearly watching for the Colts to hold vs. the other team getting away with the same fouls. Where this has come from, who knows? But the team will have to fight it on the field and off the field in the NFL offices. If you're going to call it that close on the Colts, call it the same way for the other side. And that doesn't appear to be happening right now. 

If I was the head Coach of the Colts I would take the 25,000 dollar fine and tell the media the REFS suck butt and need to be fair because it is getting old.

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3 minutes ago, Hoose said:

I have to agree with the comment that Reich is far too passive about the penalties. Somebody has to hold the Refs to account for the over abundance of calls against the Colts. The calls in the past two games have been deeply troubling. And Reich, for the most part, seems to just roll over without barking back at the refs. You have to stand up for your team. 

 

With regard to Rock, the refs are clearly focusing on him, and he either figures this out and stops grabbing past the first 5 yards, or he needs to sit. He's a big time liability right now. But Rock is the exception among the players in the secondary, who for the most part are doing ok. Replace him and things may get better quickly.

 

With regard to the offensive holding calls, these are beyond ridiculous. The Colts are being targeted by the Refs the way the Raiders used to be targeted with unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. They are clearly watching for the Colts to hold vs. the other team getting away with the same fouls. Where this has come from, who knows? But the team will have to fight it on the field and off the field in the NFL offices. If you're going to call it that close on the Colts, call it the same way for the other side. And that doesn't appear to be happening right now. 

What do you want him to do?  If he barks too much that’s another flag for unsportsmanlike conduct and will draw a fine and will put you in the eyes of NFL officials for sure.  It’s better to let Ballard handle it behind the scenes like teams are supposed to do.  I am sure they are sending plays to be reviewed each week.  
 

Also Frank does work the officials even if it’s not by yelling and screaming.  The play that got over turned today you could hear him talking to the official until he official finally said I hear you Frank which is code for its time to stop.  
 

I don’t like the flags either and I would boo if I was at the stadium and I get why people want to see someone yell at the officials but that’s not going to work.  It’s just going to be little the officials and these guys will remember that and guess what since they are the ones who throw the flags they are going to win that argument.

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25 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

I think we just simply played a bad game. It happens to every team at least 2 or 3 times a year. Missing Buckner hurt us more than I thought it would as well. Buck is a huge part of our defense which I knew but it was real obvious today. If we win next week this loss will be easy to get over. We lost to a good team today. You have KC and Pitt as the 2 best teams in the AFC, after that on any given Sunday between the Titans, Bills, Browns, Ravens, and Colts it is a coin toss. It just depends on what team shows up and gets the lucky breaks.

 

Yeah I know Titans fans will harp on the players they are missing as well, but there is no question Indy had bigger impact players missing in this game. Buckner and Autry are huge for this DL and Okereke is our best coverage LBer. And with how beat up our OL is right now, they simply couldn't keep drives going once AC went out. Ballard really needs to find depth at OT next offseason. 

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I hope one day we can turn into a consistent team like the chiefs and Steelers this year. While I don’t think today is Reichs fault I don’t see us being that kind of consistent team in the future with Reich as head coach. Something isn’t clicking with him. His laid back approach just isn’t working. All the silly slogans like one percent better don’t work either.

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1 minute ago, Chloe6124 said:

I hope one day we can turn into a consistent team like the chiefs and Steelers this year. While I don’t think today is Reichs fault I don’t see us being that kind of consistent team in the future with Reich as head coach. Something isn’t clicking with him. His laid back approach just isn’t working. All the silly slogans like one percent better don’t work either.

In a perfect world a consistent team would be ideal. Other than KC and Pitt who is really consistent. When we had Manning from 2003-2009 we were but that is rare. Look at teams like GB with Rodgers, they aren't even consistent, either is Seattle with Russ. Tom and the Bucs lost again today, they are 7-5 now.

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8 minutes ago, Chloe6124 said:

I hope one day we can turn into a consistent team like the chiefs and Steelers this year. While I don’t think today is Reichs fault I don’t see us being that kind of consistent team in the future with Reich as head coach. Something isn’t clicking with him. His laid back approach just isn’t working. All the silly slogans like one percent better don’t work either.

Let’s not forget the past couple of years the Steelers haven’t been that good.

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11 minutes ago, Chloe6124 said:

I hope one day we can turn into a consistent team like the chiefs and Steelers this year. While I don’t think today is Reichs fault I don’t see us being that kind of consistent team in the future with Reich as head coach. Something isn’t clicking with him. His laid back approach just isn’t working. All the silly slogans like one percent better don’t work either.

 

Reich's been here a bit more than 2.5 seasons.  After a rough start in his first year, we were consistently winning with Luck.  Knowing we had major holes in a team that was being rebuilt, mind you.

 

I can't think of many coaches in the league, if any, who could go into a game vs. Derrick Henry without an all-pro DT (Buckner) and arguably the second best DL on the team (Autry) and contain him.  Plus missing a pro-bowl (arguably all-pro caliber) C (Kelly) and have a pro-bowl LT (Castonzo) go out early in the game without the top RB (JT) and have a stellar performance.  We were also missing Oke and had a banged up Q and Walker in the game.  It wasn't our best game, but still, if we can make our adjustments and get healthy, I don't think we'd be huge underdogs vs. TN if we have to play them in the playoffs (after all, we beat them by 17 just 2 weeks ago -- we lost by 19 today, take away the onside return and we'd only have lost by 12).  

 

I'm not giving up on Reich at all.  And, if you can find me a coach in the league who doesn't have a 'silly slogan', please let me know.  Just about every coach in the league says 'it's a long season, we just have to take it 1 game at a time', or some sort of version of that.  Reich's 'silly slogans' like 'one game at a time', '1 and 0 every week', 'get 1 percent better every day' are not really silly, especially considering we have a very young team and several of the guys playing key roles today were thrown in there kind of last minute (Pinter's first time ever playing C).  

 

 

2 minutes ago, GoColts8818 said:

Let’s not forget the past couple of years the Steelers haven’t been that good.

 

Let's also not forget the Steelers have only played 3 teams with winning records this year.  They crushed CLE, but barely got by TN and BALT and haven't really had any other blowout performances aside from against the 1-10 Jags today and the 2 win Bengals last week after they knocked Burrows out of the game.  

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2 minutes ago, CurBeatElite said:

 

Reich's been here a bit more than 2.5 seasons.  After a rough start in his first year, we were consistently winning with Luck.  Knowing we had major holes in a team that was being rebuilt, mind you.

 

I can't think of many coaches in the league, if any, who could go into a game vs. Derrick Henry without an all-pro DT (Buckner) and arguably the second best DL on the team (Autry) and contain him.  Plus missing a pro-bowl (arguably all-pro caliber) C (Kelly) and have a pro-bowl LT (Castonzo) go out early in the game without the top RB (JT) and have a stellar performance.  We were also missing Oke and had a banged up Q and Walker in the game.  It wasn't our best game, but still, if we can make our adjustments and get healthy, I don't think we'd be huge underdogs vs. TN if we have to play them in the playoffs (after all, we beat them by 17 just 2 weeks ago -- we lost by 19 today, take away the onside return and we'd only have lost by 12).  

 

I'm not giving up on Reich at all.  And, if you can find me a coach in the league who doesn't have a 'silly slogan', please let me know.  Just about every coach in the league says 'it's a long season, we just have to take it 1 game at a time', or some sort of version of that.  Reich's 'silly slogans' like 'one game at a time', '1 and 0 every week', 'get 1 percent better every day' are not really silly, especially considering we have a very young team and several of the guys playing key roles today were thrown in there kind of last minute (Pinter's first time ever playing C).  

 

 

 

Let's also not forget the Steelers have only played 3 teams with winning records this year.  They crushed CLE, but barely got by TN and BALT and haven't really had any other blowout performances aside from against the 1-10 Jags today and the 2 win Bengals last week after they knocked Burrows out of the game.  

I mean boring coaches who don’t yell that much and don’t say much and say silly things like we are on to Cincinnati never win anything in this league... 

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6 minutes ago, GoColts8818 said:

I mean boring coaches who don’t yell that much and don’t say much and say silly things like we are on to Cincinnati never win anything in this league... 

 

"We've been playing with fire -- and the fire caught us," Colts
coach Tony Dungy said.  (After we lost our first game in our SB winning season: Colts vs. Cowboys - Game Recap - November 19, 2006 - ESPN -- https://www.espn.com/nfl/recap?gameId=261119006

 

___

 

Yea, sometimes Superbowl winning coaches say very 'silly slogans' after losing a game.

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