Top Five Questions of The Week: vs Pittsburgh Steelers

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Nov 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) is sacked during the third quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) is sacked during the third quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

11-9-17

What are the biggest questions heading into the week?

Injuries – The IR list continues to grow for the Colts forcing decisions by the front office to make moves in the roster. Henry Anderson, defensive tackle who has been performing well the last few games was placed on IR on November 9th after suffering a throat injury during the Texans game and he continued to play even with that injury. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Anderson was diagnosed with a “laryngeal fracture,” and will undergo a procedure on Friday. Ironically, it was on this date in 2015 that Anderson was placed on IR with a torn ACL that ended his promising rookie season in 2015. John Simon, OLB did not practice due to a neck injury; Kamar Aiken, wide receiver and Quincy Wilson, cornerback saw limited practice this week; Running back Matt Jones practiced after having an ankle injury. Vontae Davis was limited with a “groin” issue but was released by the Colts on the 9th of November. Quan Bray was placed on IR November 7th for an unknown reported injury….. hmmmm.

Player Performance – Jacoby Brissett, quarterback, completed 20-of-30 passes for 308 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a single-game career-best 122.6 passer rating. Brissett gave the Colts a 7-0 lead with his 45-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton.  Again, Brissett throws an 80-yard touchdown to TY Hilton in the third quarter of the game with the Texans. Frank Gore, running back, led the team in rushing with 51-yards on 17 carries. He also had three receptions for 26-yards.  This week T.Y. Hilton was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week and rightfully so, Hilton, wide receiver, caught five passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. His seventh career multiple touchdown game. Hilton’s receiving yardage total is the third highest for a regular season game in his career. During the opening drive, Hilton caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Jacoby Brissett giving the Colts at 7-0 lead. In the third quarter, Hilton caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from Brissett to give the Colts a 17-7 lead. He also topped the 100-yard mark for the 27th time in his career. Tight end Jack Doyle, tight end, had another good game leading the team with eight receptions totaling 63-yards. Adam Vinatieri, kicker, converted 2-of-2 field goals and two PATs for eight points against the Houston Texans.

Jabaal Sheard, outside linebacker, compiled four tackles, three of which were solo, two sacks, two forced fumbles and four quarterback hits. Sheard sacked Savage on the last play of the game and forced a fumble which was recovered by Barkevious Mingo as the clock expired. Matthias Farley, safety, led the team with eight tackles, six of which were solo, and added one pass defensed. Barkevious Mingo finished with seven stops, five of which were solo, and one fumble recovery. Butler and Desir both had a good game both covering their opponents well and creating plays that contributed to the overall win.

Team Chemistry – Here is the good news!! The Colts improved to 3-6 on the season after defeating the Houston Texans, 20-14; improving their all-time record against the Texans to 24-7 and 11-5 in Houston. The Colts defense held the Texans offense scoreless through the first three quarters and held Houston to 96 net yards in the first half. The defense forced the Texans to punt eight times on their first nine possessions. The Texans finished the contest with 194 net passing yards, which is the lowest total for a Colts opponent so far this season. Clearly the defense showed up for this game. Let’s hope that continues.

Overall it was a much better performance by the Colts as a team. Brissett had plenty of time on most occasions to get the ball to his target and that is reflected in his overall performance and the game win. There were more positives than negatives for the first time this season, of course, except for losing Luck for the season. Many of the players stepped up and played with the passion that has been sorely missed all season.

Expectations –  With a growing IR list and several key players out for the season, the Colts have some tough decisions to make to put themselves in a better position to attract the right talent. One of those decisions was made this week by the release of seasoned veteran Vontae Davis. Coach Pagano was clear the topic of Davis’ release was closed and there was to be no more discussion about it – leaving some to speculate why. The ole adage that when your time is up it’s up. Time to move on for both.

Miscues – Truly not much here to talk about because there just isn’t much. Yes, there were a few miscues because it wasn’t a clean game; but it was more consistent over the earlier weeks. Yes, there were penalties – sloppy ones too, but still it’s football. Yes, there is work still to do to seal the deal; to finish strong consistently. Consistent football is the key – all day every day. There is much work to do but I’m hopeful the Colts will continue to move forward even if it’s baby steps.

Follow Mal Moss on Twitter @Indygirl57


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Bonus Game Script

11/4/17 – Colts vs Texans Game Notes

1st QTR

Colts deferred Texans start out the first drive

Savage gets the start for the Texans

Colts D shuts down the 1st run of the game.

Savage with a long pass – Desir covered pass incomplete – 3rd and 10

Savage to Hopkins for a 1st down. Colts bring secondary pressure and Savage under pressure but gets the ball off

Colts D shuts down the run again for the Texas 2nd and 9

Savage just gets rid of it before he gets hit by Bostic who chased him outside of the pocket

Savage on 3rd and 9 under pressure comes up empty – Texans forced to punt.

Colts D looking good on this drive of the Texans

Punt Bray returns to across the 40-yard line with a flag 37-yard return – illegal block 85 against the Colts – ½ the distance from the goal pushes the Colts back deep into their own territory.

Brissett out as QB for the Colts on their first trip down field.

Gore with the ball across the 10 to about 12 – pick up of 4 yards

Castanzo in the game today

Texans D shows some strong tackling causing a loss of 1 yard on the play Colts already see a 3rd and 7

Brissett pass to Chester Rogers for a 1st and 10 – O line did a great job protecting Brissett giving him time to get the ball out to Rogers.

Gore with a quick pass gets the 1st down

Gore again with the ball but gets no yards

Marlon Mack in Brissett pass to 85 Williams gets the 1st down.

Brissett downtown to TY Hilton for a Colts TD

7 plays 92 yards – TD on the Colts first drive

8:33 Texans Ball

Already a little pushing and shoving going on

Colts trying to bring everything out there and it’s showing

Savage back to pass – incomplete – 3rd and 8

Savage back to pass – Melvin breaks up the pass forcing Texans to punt

Colts ball – 25-yard line

Gore gets 1 yard 2nd and 9

Brissett back unable to get pass completed

3rd and 9 – Brissett back and gets hammered and pass was incomplete – Colts quick 4 and out

Texans with a fair catch and a flag Holding against the Texans

Texans Ball

Texans picks up about 8 yards, 2nd and 1

Savage back Miller gets the 1st down. Bostic on the tackle

Savage pass incomplete – good Colts coverage on Texans receivers 2nd and 10

Savage back pass complete for short yardage 3rd and 6

Savage back shotgun pass incomplete forcing a punt

Punt with Bray back to receive – down at the 17-18-yard line

3:59 Colts Ball

Marlon Mack with the football get some running room behind Costanzo picks up 6 2nd and 4

Brissett overthrows the ball forcing a 3rd and 4

Brissett back throws to TY who is well covered by the Texans forces 4th down and a punt

Punt by Sanchez 44-yard punt with little return by the Texans

Texans Ball

Savage now at 2/9 completed passes

Savage back completes a pass for a 2-yard gain, 2nd and 8

Colts D stuffing the Texans run (Mingo in on the play) 3rd and 5

Savage back to a wide open for a 1st down stopped by # 59 J. George – flag on D 59 horse collar 15-yard penalty and 19-yard gain creates an opportunity for the Texans at the Colts 30-yard line

Savage back pass incomplete 2nd and 10; Savage back to pass wide open Hopkins pulls it in – flag contact between him and Melvin – PI – offense – replay 2nd down and 20

Savage back 3 receives on the line, ball to 27 and Woods makes the stop – 3rd and 17; Savage can’t get the ball off before expiration of the 1st half

1st half over Colts by 7

Savage back long pass incomplete with flag PFRP by H. Anderson 1st down and 10

2nd and 7 –

False start by Texans 3rd and 9

Savage back incomplete in the end zone intended for Hawkins. 4th and 9

FG attempt from 39 yards Fairbarin (11/11)– no good wide left – misses first FG of the season

Colts up by 7

Colts ball

Frank Gore gets a 16 yard pick up 1st and 10

Brissett completes to Doyle for 8 yard pick up, 2nd and 2

Brissett to Gore for 1 yard, 3rd and 1

Frank drops the pass – needed to catch that – even with the heat it had by Brissett

Sanchez punt takes a Colt bounce – Special Teams gets it down at the x-yard line for the Texans

Texans Ball

Miller 21 yard pick up by the Texans comes back ½ dist. to goal Davenport with holding penalty

Bostic got a hand on Savage’s pass – incomplete, 3rd and 12

Savage pass almost picked off by Desir, Texans back to punt Bray calls for fair catch at 45-yard line

9:13 Colts Ball

Gore 1st and 10

Mack in the game with a loss of 2, 2nd and 12

Brissett to TY for his 2nd catch of the day for 30 yards

Texans with a penalty encroachment – 5-yard penalty 1st down

Mack picks up 6 yards 2nd and 4

Mack picks up 3 yards 3rd and 1

Mack picks up 1st and goal

Brissett to Mack drives up the middle for 4 yards, 2nd and goal

Brissett forced out of the pocket runs OOB with a Texan on his back

3rd and Goal

TY hits the turf before he can get to the ball – 4th and Goal

#4 in for a FG attempt – It’s good Colts up at 4:34 left in the game 10-0

Not the best drive but resulted in a score – which is better than walking away empty handed

4:34 Texans Ball’’

1st and 10 out to 27-yard line 2nd and 8

Savage #15 wide open for a 29 yard pick up

Savage fumbles after being sacked – Sheard recovered by Texans

2 and 19

Savage gets nailed as he throws incomplete pass 3rd and 19

Savage back to 89 but short of 1st down – 4th and 7

2-minute warning

Bray back on the punt by Lechler – 1st and 10 at the 20 with 1:52 left in the 1st half – Colts Ball

Brissett to Doyle for a 9 yard pick up – 2nd and 1; Mack with the 1st down and 10

Brissett back to Doyle with a 4 yard pick up 2nd and 6

Brissett screen to Moncrief for a 1st down.

Brissett back complete to Williams 2nd and 5

Brissett back in and out of the hands of Rogers, 3rd and 5

Brissett back gets hit hard fumbles the ball and Texans pick up the ball and run for a TD

Colts up 10-7

Colts Ball with 56 seconds left on the clock

Offense back on the field with little rest

Texans brings on blitz and Brissett is sacked again

Brissett to Gore – 3rd and 17

Brissett takes a knee – Halftime

Halftime

3rd Qtr.

Colts with the ball

Brissett to Gore with screen pass – 3rd and 2

Brissett back to Jack Doyle for 1st down but a flag – offense hands to the face 3rd and 12

Brissett back – TY diving for 1st down; however, he was short – 4th and 1 Coach P asked for measurement to confirm down >> measurement results confirm 4th down

Colts punt inside the 30-yard line OOB

Texans Ball

Miller breaking free for a 1st down

Savage back to pass incomplete to #10 Hopkins covered by Desir

Savage back gives the ball to 26 Miller who gets a few yards, 3rd and 6

Savage back to #10 Hopkins but could not bring the ball in after being hit by Hariston– Texans forced to punt. 50-yard ball at the Colts own 5-yard line

10:30 Colts Ball

Brissett back forced out of the pocket runs ball for 14 yards 1st down Colts

Brissett to Gore back to the LOS 2nd and 9

Brissett back no one open – he holds on to the ball too long and gets sacked for a loss of 8 yards 3rd and 17

Brissett will have to pass here drops back gives to Doyle for 11 yard pick up but can’t get the 1st down.

Colts punt – Sanchez received at around the Texans 30-yard line

Texans Ball

Savage tosses to Hopkins for 4 yards, 2nd and 6

Forman #27 gets a 1st down

Savage to Forman #27 again only gets 2 yards, 2nd and 8

Savage pass incomplete – Bostic on the tackle, 3rd and 8

Savage pass incomplete to Anderson #10 – forces Texans to punt

Great coverage by the Colts on Texans receivers

Bray fair catch at 9-yard line – Colts ball 1st and 10 at their own 20-yard line

Colts Ball

This game is starting to look like a ping pong game.

Let’s hope the Colts can get the ball down field for a TD – start acting like they did in the early minutes of the 1st quarter.

Brissett to TY for 9 yards, 2nd and 1

Brissett to Frank Gore gets slipped and stopped short of the 1st down, 3rd and 1 BIG – 2 flags timeout Houston as players were coming on and off the field

Brissett gives Gore the ball who charges through for a 1st down

Mack with the ball gets a few yards, 2nd and 7

Brissett back – starts to run – flag against the Colts for holding #68 – 2nd down and 17

Brissett back pass to Jack Doyle – Texans bringing pressure – Doyle gets 8 yards, 3rd and 9

Brissett pass to TY Hilton for an 80-yard TD under review – he went down but appears to have not been touched by a Texan – so he got up and kept running for the TD. Call confirmed TD Colts

TY is back!!! Colts lead 17 to 7

1:56 in the 3rd Texans Ball

More of a scuffle as Texans get a few yards 2nd down and 2

Savage to #27 Foreman gets a Texan 1st down

Savage back to thrown and gets buried by Sheard and there were flags out – off-setting penalties – so sack is negated – 1st and 10

Savage back – long pass and is incomplete great coverage by Butler and Desir

Savage Foreman picks up a few yards – 3rd quarter over.

4th Quarter

Savage 3rd and 9 to start quarter

Savage to Hopkins for a 1st down

Savage to Foreman for a yard, 2nd and 9

Savage back but target well covered by Colts (mass protection); 3rd and 9

Savage back pressure by the Colts – pass incomplete – Texans punt

8th punt of the day

Colts Ball

Brissett – gives ball to Gore – who goes nowhere, 2nd and 10

Gore across to the 11-yard line 3rd and 4

Brissett back to Moncrief – incomplete but a flag – PI on Defense #40 – Colts 1st down

Brissett to Gore for another Colts 1s down – pick up of 12 yards

Brissett goes to throw, TY and Moncrief blocking – PI on offense #13, 1st and 20

Brissett pass to Moncrief – in and out of his hands incomplete, 2nd and 20

Brissett dumps to Gore but short of 1st down, 3rd and 11

Brissett to Doyle 4th and 3

#4 out for a FG 53-yards – good!!!

Colts lead 20 -7

Texans Ball

Texans 2nd and 7 with a small 3 yard pick up

Savage – Miller gets the 1st down

Savage – Miller gets 2 yards, 2nd and 8

Savage back #26 across mid field 15 yard pick up, Texas 1st down

Savage to Hopkins caught just inside 35-yard line for another 1st down

Savage to Hopkins for a Texan TD (Desir was all over him)

Colts up 20 to 14

6:11 Colts Ball

Brissett throws to Doyle for a 1st down

Brissett to Gore – surges forward 3 yards, 2nd and 7

Brissett to Gore – 4 yards, 3rd and 2

Brissett sacked a flag defense #24 Joseph holding – automatic 1st down

Brissett to Doyle cross midfield for 4 yards, 2nd and 6

Brissett to Gore who gets 1 yard, 3rd and 5

Brissett’s pass is incomplete to Doyle – who wanted a flag, punt by Sanchez puts them at the 20-yard line

I’m dreading the last 3 minutes….

3:10 Texans Ball

Savage to Ellington for 13 yards and a 1st down

Savage dumps it off in the grasp – manage to get it back to the LOS

Savage to Miller with running room – 1st down for Texans at the 2-minute warning

Savage with all kinds of time to throw but pass is caught OOB– fans think it should be complete

Savage throw to Anderson complete for 1st down

Savage pass complete to Anderson – Colts flagged for holding #57 Bostic 1st down Texans

Savage pass to Ellington complete – 1:00 left on the clock

Savage pass to Hopkins in the end zone incomplete only 1 foot down – reviewed – confirmed incomplete pass; 3rd and 4

Savage complete to Hopkins down to the 7-yard line – 1st and goal

Savage gets hit throws ball incomplete with 12 secs left – 2nd and goal

Colts call TO

Savage overthrows under pressure with 7 seconds left – 3rd and goal

Colts call TO

Savage throw is knocked away by Nate Hairston, 4th and goal

Texan call TO

Savage gets hit by Sheard and Savage fumbles the ball and Mingo picks it up!

COLTS WIN!!!!!!!!

3 game losing streak is OVER!!!

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