Anatomy Of The Drives: Saints Edition

Intro: The “Anatomy Of The Drives” series is back. Here’s a look at the three touchdown drives the Colts had in their 27-21 loss to the Saints on Sunday afternoon.

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T.Y. Hilton's 87-yard touchdown catch from Andrew LuckThe scene: Down 27-0 with 4:02 left in the third quarter, the Colts took over at their own 13-yard line.The anatomy of the drive: 2 plays for 87 yards, in 0:20.Key play: This drive was obviously only two plays long, so let's give some credit to the Colts defense. The unit kept the Colts in Sunday's game thanks to its second-half performance. The Indianapolis defense forced six straight punts in the third and fourth quarter. On Sunday, the defense was put into some less than advantageous situations. When the unit was asked to defend a normal-length field, the defense did its job.The score: The career-long reception by Hilton came with him lined up in the slot, opposite Saints top cornerback Delvin Breaux. This play is allowed to develop thanks to the Colts offensive line controlling their five one-on-one blocking assignments. When Hilton reached a half step of separation on Breaux, the two got their feet tangled up with the Saints cornerback falling down. Luck then let one rip towards Hilton for the deep reception. After making the basket catch, Hilton bobbed his way around Saints safety Jairus Byrd for the team's longest touchdown since 2011.**

T.Y. Hilton's 46-yard touchdown catch from Andrew LuckThe scene:Down 27-7 with 1:25 to go in the third quarter, the Colts took over at their own 34-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:3 plays for 66 yards in 1:24.Key play:The defense should once again be commended for setting up this score. However, we will go to Frank Gore's effort in pointing out a positive. Gore had a four-yard catch on this drive and finished Sunday with five total grabs for 32 yards. The Colts got behind schedule very early on Sunday, which limited Gore to nine carries for 43 yards (4.8 yards per carry). After seven weeks, Gore is averaging 4.6 yards per carry, a number rarely seen from a Colts starting running back.The score: The second touchdown catch from Hilton also saw Breaux fall down in the secondary. This connection wasn't as easy as the first though. Luck is able to go through his progressions here, scanning the field before finding stepping up in the pocket and hitting Hilton in stride. Hilton made a great extension to haul in his second touchdown of the afternoon.

Donte Moncrief's 8-yard touchdown catch from Andrew LuckThe scene:Down 27-14 with 3:59 left in the fourth quarter, the Colts took over at their own 20-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:7 plays for 80 yards in 0:54.Key play:The chunk play on this drive came from Andre Johnson catching a 35-yard crossing route. Johnson and the other Colts wide receivers will continue to be relied on going forward, particularly with the injury to Phillip Dorsett. With Dorsett reportedly out for four-to-six weeks, the Colts are going to need their top three wide receivers to play at a high, high level with likely a few more reps coming their way.The score:** The final score on Sunday came with Donte Moncrief scoring his fifth touchdown of the season. On this play, the Colts had Moncrief and Andre Johnson lined up to the left and T.Y. Hilton/Coby Fleener split out to the right. With Hilton and Fleener both running routes to the right side of the field, that opens up some area in the middle of the field. Moncrief's drag route is open thanks to Frank Gore slipping into the left flat, bringing the middle linebacker away from the center of the defense. With an open area in the middle of the field, Moncrief is able to turn up field for a relatively easy-looking red-zone score.

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