Top Five Questions of The Week: vs Tennessee Titans

Nov 12, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) runs past Pittsburgh Steelers corner back Artie Burns (25) in the second quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) runs past Pittsburgh Steelers corner back Artie Burns (25) in the second quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports


What are the biggest questions heading into the week?

Injuries – Jacoby Brissett entered the league’s concussion protocol after suffering a concussion during the Pittsburgh Steeler game last Sunday. According to ESPN’s Mike Wells, Brissett will see an independent neurologist at some point later Friday in the final step of the concussion protocol. Coach Chuck Pagano said Brissett has taken most of the snaps in practice this week. Kyle Kalis (G) and Margus Hunt (DE) both listed as questionable after seeing limited practice this week. Matthias Farley (S) missed practice on Wednesday and limited on Thursday and Friday; Coach Pagano expects him to play on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. John Simon (OLB) who has missed the last three games is also expected to return Sunday. Clayton Geathers (S) is expected to make his first appearance this season. Hassan Ridgeway (DT) with a shoulder injury and Darrell Daniels (TE) with a hamstring injury; both ruled out for this Sunday.

Player Performance – Jacoby Brissett, quarterback, completed 14-of-24 passes for 222 yards, two touchdowns and one interception changing his overall rating from 122.6 last week to 99.7 this week. Brissett looked confident and threw consistently through three quarters; then the fourth quarter fell apart after he lost his pass protection leaving him vulnerable to increased pressure and several hard hits. One of those hits sent him to the medical tent for concussion evaluation. He returned on the next offensive set after Scott Tolzien took the field, hurrying out to take his place leaving many to think whether that was a good decision. Just after his return he made several bad passes and under extreme pressure turned the ball over that would eventually lead to a Steelers field goal and losing the game 20-17 in the last few minutes of the game.

Chester Rogers had a great game with six receptions for 104 yards, his longest being 61 yards and one touchdown. Donte Moncrief had one reception for 60 yards and one touchdown. Frank Gore finished the day with 17 carries and 54 yards rushing.

Defensively most of the players had a great day against the Steelers. Antonio Morrison, Jon Bostic, Pierre Desir, Jabaal Sheard, Rashaan Melvin, Matthias Farley and Al Woods all had four or more tackles with a collective team stat of 64 tackles, 40 solos but only one sack. Pierre Desir played well against his opponent and came down with a clutch interception.

Special teams played well again this week with Rodrigo Sanchez having a great day finishing with seven punts for 328 yards two of which were inside the 20-yard line and his longest was 59 yards.

Team Chemistry – Colts offense was on point to win this game until the dreaded second half. This time they made it until the fourth quarter where the offensive line just caved. Literally the pocket collapsed for Brissett and he took hit after hit and under pressure and what appeared to be a concussion made some errors in judgement in the last few minutes of the game. The o-line is responsible for that. The defense also had some great moments of consistent ball; but there was also some accountability on them as well. Everyone shares in the outcome. Barkevious Mingo (OLB) had a shot at bringing Roethlisberger down on the last drive of the game – that would have left the game tied and into OT. Football is a four-quarter game – it takes discipline to play all four quarters and the Colts, more often than not, come up short.

Expectations – The offensive line needs to protect Brissett – period. That is their number one job. Offensive Coordinator Chudzinski has some serious work to do for the remainder of the season or we could see some serious injury to Brissett or whoever else the Colts puts in to play at quarterback. The planning needs to begin now on whether these coaches have what it takes to take this team from where they are today, inconsistent to consistent. Leadership starts at the top and trickles its way down and in return you get what you give. Football is no different than any other business. It takes a great leader to invest where there are gaps and reinforce what is working. I’m not confident we are seeing that from this Colts organization. I hope they prove me wrong. We’ll see if this Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans results in any improvement or much of the same.

Miscues – Plain and simple – multiple sloppy penalties and failure to catch balls. For example: Doyle’s failed to make a catch early in the fourth quarter at the Colts’ 10-yard line; T.J. Green (S) running full out and landing in a pile of bodies that led to an unnecessary roughness call moving the ball from the Steelers’ six yard line to the 21-yard line; or Kyle Kalis (G) committing three penalties, or Jacoby Brissett (QB) not accurately recognizing the Steelers’ constant blitzing or the fact that the offensive line just broke down – literally in front of him. Lastly, the Colts produced a measly 35 yards of offense in the game’s final 27 minutes. The offensive play calling did not result in the execution of a positive outcome. A collective meltdown by the team that resulted in losing a game they should not have lost.

Follow Mal Moss on Twitter @Indygirl57

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Colts Steelers Game Notes

Indy defers kicks to Steelers

Steeler Ball

Desir intercepts Roethlisberger’s long pass on 2nd down intended for #10 Bryant

Colts Ball

Gore gets the ball 5 yards 2nd and 5

Gore with no place to go 3rd and 6

Brissett runs but short of 1st – should have gotten the down

Sanchez to punt – high kick fair catch called by Steelers

Colts fail to take advantage of Desir’s INT

Steelers Ball

Colts D standing firm 3rd and 9

Roethlisberger on the move but not enough for 1st down

Sheard on pursuit

Punt to Colts Rogers OOB at the 32-yard line

Bray on IR with trip toe

Colts Ball

Gore shy of 1st – 3rd and 1; gore with 1st down

Mack in backfield – pass to 13 incomplete well covered by CB

Mack tripped up in backfield by Davis; 3rs and 15

Complete to Doyle – not enough for 1st down – colts punt by Sanchez OOB with flag

Holding on Steelers

Steelers Ball

#26 LeVeon Bell tripped up stopped short of 1st; 2nd and 2

Bell with 1st down

Roethlisberger to Schuster for 1st

Bell downed around LOS  2nd 8

Roethlisberger to Bell with 1st

Roethlisberger sacked by Ridgeway

2nd and 18

Roethlisberger intended for #84 Antonio Brown incomplete OOB 3rd and 18

Roethlisberger to Bell – holding #53 Colts decline Steelers punt

Penalty – Rogers fair catch – holding #53 again

Colts decline force the punt again due to poor field position

Another penalty Rogers runs to 25-yard line – holding #28 Steelers

Punt again – Rogers across to 32 – improved field position

Colts Ball

Gore for 3 – 2nd down and 7;

Brissett to Rogers complete – flag against holding #84 offense Doyle

Steelers have injured player down on the field – Hayden

Gore with FB 1st down Colts – end of 1st quarter

2nd quarter

Hayden off to locker room

Indy false start 1st and 20; Brissett to 60-yard pass to Moncrief for a Colts TD

Pump fake by Brissett – longest pass play allowed this season by Steelers

Colts lead 7-0

Kick to Steelers at the 5 out to 30

Steelers Ball

2nd Steeler injury – McDonald #89

Slowly walks off field

Roethlisberger to bell scoots thru line to 42-yard line 1st down

Roethlisberger to Brown incomplete at the 10-yard line

Roethlisberger to bell to the 38 – 3rd and 6

Roethlisberger shovels forward under pressure by Colts – 4th down Steelers punt

Colts Ball

Gore across the 15 2nd down and 2

Gore 18-yard line 1st down

False start 85 Williams

Brissett to Mack slips out of hands of defender and picks up 8

2nd down and 7

Mack to LOS 3rd 7; B to 80 Rogers for a 1st down

Brissett to T.Y. OOB at 46-yard line 1st and 10

Mack penalty flag – Mack no gain

Against Steelers Watt – auto 1st down

Brissett to Mack nets no gain – 2nd and 10

Brissett to Doyle to 43 – 3rd 4; B to Mack who breaks free for a 1st down

Brissett to Daniels incomplete Rookie TE 2nd and 10

Brissett to Colts FS 68 Rookie RG out of MI 2nd and 15

Brissett to Mack – drops 3rd and 15

Brissett to T.Y. OOB 4th down #4 out for field goal, a 48-yard attempt – it’s good!

Colts up 10-0

Steelers Ball

5:51 left in half

Roethlisberger to Bell nowhere to go chases OOB by Bostic

Bell down by Mingo – maybe 4 yards

3rd and 17

Roethlisberger took a big hit – pass incomplete 4th down

Colts Ball

2nd and 5 – B to Gore gets 1 – 3rd and 4

Brissett to Mack out to 35 1st down (Brissett under pressure)

Brissett to Gore and he gets nowhere – 2nd down at the 2-minute warning

Brissett sacked

Punt – 139 left – fight

Confused about who the ball bounced off of –

Lost coverage

Steelers scores FG

Colts lead 10-3 at the half


Colts received the ball to begin the 2nd half

Fair catch by the Colts and Brissett out for the Colts

Brissett to Gore who plowed up the middle for 9 yards, 2nd and 1 yard

Brissett to Gore for a loss of 5 yards

Brissett to Chester Rogers complete for a 1st down

Brissett to a wide-open Rogers for a Colts TD

Extra point converted – Colts lead Steelers 17-3

Colts looking good here 12:46 to play in the 3rd.

Steelers Ball

Watson from the 2-yard line out to the 22-yard line

Roethlisberger to Bell for 9 yards 2nd and 1

Roethlisberger to Bell to the 34-yard line for a Steeler 1st down

Roethlisberger to #19 Smith-Schuster – #35 Pierre Desir defending well but completed 44-yard pass for a 1st down

Roethlisberger to Bell for 8 yards 2nd and 2

Roethlisberger to Bell and gets about 1 yard, 3rd and 1 – Colts #95 Aiken injured on the play but walks off the field –  Ridgeway in for Aiken

Roethlisberger to Bell gets 1st down and more – 1st and goal Steelers

Roethlisberger to Bell wrapped up at the LOS – 2nd and goal

Roethlisberger to Smith-Schuster – flag PI on the offense #17 Rogers – 2nd and goal (LOS at 18)

Roethlisberger incomplete to Brown – flag Pi on the defense #20 Rashaan Melvin – 1st and goal (LOS at 7)

Roethlisberger to Smith-Schuster on a play fake for Steeler TD

Extra point kick blocked and picked up by Matthias Farley #41 all the way down to inside the 5-yard line

Colts still lead 17-9

Colts Ball

7:47 left in the 3rd

Colts start at the 25-yard line

Brissett runs slides for 1, 2nd and 9

Brissett to Gore maybe 1 yard on the carry up the middle, 3rd and 8

Brissett sacked flag on the play, holding defense #22 William Gay, 1st down Colts

Brissett to Gore for 1 yard, 2nd and 9

Brissett over the middle to Gore appears to have fumbled the ball; however, there is some confusion with refs. Now called it a 3rd down with forward progress, 3rd and 2

Brissett under pressure and hit hard, 4th down (Brissett looks a bit shaken up)

Colts bounce to the 1-yard line. Special teams bringing it!

Steelers Ball

4:35 left in the 3rd

Personal Foul on Colts #32 T.J. Green 15-yard penalty – 1st and 10

Roethlisberger to Bell for 3 yards, 2nd and 7

Roethlisberger pass out to Bell, tacked by Antonio Morrison, 3rd and 5

Roethlisberger incomplete great defense by the Colts forces a 4th down

Colts Ball

2:36 left in the 3rd

Flag on return by Chester Rogers, holding penalty on #32 TJ Green pushes the Colts back to ½ the distance to the goal, 1st and 10

Brissett to #47 Darrell Daniels couldn’t hold on, 2nd and 10

Brissett to #25 Marlon Mack, 3rd and 10

Brissett runs out and is slow to get up, 4th and 7 – appears he took a hit to his head

Brissett heads to get looked at on the side lines

Steelers Ball

1st and 10 from 40

Roethlisberger to Bell picks up about 5 yards, 2nd and 5

Roethlisberger to overthrows Antonio Brown; but a flag is thrown; PI offense on Brown

Roethlisberger on 2nd and 15 to Bryant for 10 yards, 3rd and 5

End of the 3rd

4th Qtr – still Steelers Ball

Roethlisberger to Bell and is tripped up by Melvin, 4th and 5

Chester Rogers deep for the Colts – fair catch called

Colts Ball

#16 Scott Tolzien in for Brissett; but Brissett runs out onto the field

Brissett to Rogers for 2 yards, 2nd and 8

Brissett to Mack downed behind the LOS, 3rd and 8

Brissett intended for #84 Jack Doyle and intercepted by #50 for the Steelers

Steelers Ball

1st and goal

Roethlisberger to Bell and OOB at the 7-yard line by Desir

Roethlisberger lots of time throws incomplete into the end zone. Desir covered receiver well.

Roethlisberger 3rd and goal lots of time TD pass to #89 McDonald (first of the season)

Steelers go for 2pt attempt here – Roethlisberger flagged for delay of game – seemed like a lot of confusion on the Steelers here

Roethlisberger to #10 Bryant for 2pts.

Steelers and Colts tied up at 17

Question: should Brissett have returned so soon – did his quick return impact his decision to throw that ball which was intercepted and thus may have changed the course of this game????

Colts Ball

Rogers back for a fair catch in the end zone

1st and 10 at the 20

Brissett hit as he launches the ball incomplete, 2nd and 10

Brissett under fire again, runs up the middle but loses 4 yards on the play, 3rd and 14

Brissett goes down again – very slow to get up – hobbling off the field – 4th down

Steelers Ball with what could be great field position with 10:22 left

#84 Brown OOB at the 47

Roethlisberger to Bell – #93 Jabaal Sheard for the stop 2nd and 12

Roethlisberger incomplete, 3rd and 12, #52 Barkevious Mingo in on the play

Roethlisberger to pass to #19 Smith-Schuster for a 20 yard pick up, 1st down

Roethlisberger to #30 for 12 yards and 1st down Steelers

Roethlisberger to Bell for about 3 yards, 2nd and 7

Roethlisberger to Bell across the 20-yard line for a 3rd and 6

Roethlisberger to incomplete after Bell couldn’t hold on after a hit by Mingo – 4th and 6

# 9 Boswell out for a FG 37 yards – NO GOOD

Tied up 17 17 with 6:17 left in the game

Colts Ball

Brissett to TY incomplete 2nd and 10

Brissett to Gore for about 4 yards, 3rd and 6

Brissett under pressure for most of the 3rd – 4th quarter

Brissett to Rogers at the 1st down marker – 1st down

Brissett to Mack up the middle to 42-yard line, 2nd and 5

Brissett to Mack across to 47 with holding penalty #68 Kyle Kalis, 2nd and 15

Brissett to screen – in and out of Mack’s arms, 3rd and 15

Brissett to Rogers complete, but well short of the 1st down, 4th and 9

Steelers Ball with 3:10 left

Colts bounce to the 15-yard line

Roethlisberger to Bell to about the 19, 2nd and 6

Roethlisberger to Bell knocked OOO by #57 Jon Bostic, 3rd and 3

Roethlisberger shovel pass to Rogers at 25-yard line for what appears to be a Steeler 1st down

Coach Pagano has challenge flag out – 2 min warning – ruling stands, 1st down (whoever told Pagano to challenge – not sure it was worthwhile – in my opinion)

Roethlisberger to Bell – knocked down by Farley for a huge loss, 2nd and 17

Roethlisberger to Bell across to the 31-yard line, short of 1st down, 3rd and 4

Roethlisberger to Bell for a Steeler first down – 45 sec left

Roethlisberger to Brown down to the 15-yard line with 35 sec left (Mingo had a chance to sack Roethlisberger) – 1st and 10

Roethlisberger to Bell for 2 yards, 2nd down and 8

Roethlisberger to Bell across to the 15-yard line – 3rd and 7 and 4 sec left

#9 Boswell FG good Steelers win 20-17

Game over

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