Colts Quick Scouting Report: Bye Week Self Evaluation

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts have an early bye this season in Week 6, but it’s never too early for a little self reflection.

This spot is normally reserved for taking a quick look at the Colts’ upcoming opponent every week. However, with no opponent this week, we will take a look in the mirror and do a quick self scouting report.

Five games in, sitting a game over .500 with a record of 3-2, the Colts are in pretty good shape. They are currently tied for first in the AFC South Division standings and seventh in early AFC playoff seeding.

LAST WEEK

The Colts are coming off of their biggest victory of the season after containing the Kansas City Chiefs’ high-powered offense to the tune of a 19-13 victory on the road on Sunday Night Football.

Entering the contest, reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' offense were tied for first in scoring (33.8 PPG) and second in overall offense (474.8 YPG). The Colts held them below both of those averages — 324 yards (their lowest since Week 15 of 2018) and 13 points (lowest since Week 12 of 2017) — and the Colts also snapped the Chiefs' NFL-record 25 consecutive games having scored at least 25 points.

Chiefs’ Passing Game

Mahomes completed 22-of-39 pass attempts (56.4 percent) for 321 yards and one touchdown. He had only been sacked three times leading up to the game, which was tied for the second-fewest in the league, but the Colts brought him down four times (Justin Houston, Kenny Moore II, Grover Stewart and Jabaal Sheard/Kemoko Turay).

Wide receiver Byron Pringle led Kansas City's pass catchers, hauling in six passes for 103 yards and Mahomes' touchdown throw. Tight end Travis Kelce and receiver Mecole Hardman each caught four passes, combining for 149 yards.

Chiefs’ Running Game

The Colts' defense stepped up and completely shut down Kansas City's run game to just 36 yards on 14 carries. Damien Williams led the way, as no other running back had any carries, toting it nine times for 23 yards. Coming into the game, the Colts ranked 25th against the run, averaging 132.5 yards surrendered per game.

Colts’ Passing Game

The Colts relied heavily on the run, so quarterback Jacoby Brissett's statistics reflected that. He went 18-of-29 passing (62.1 percent) for 151 yards and an interception. Oddly enough, both Brissett and Mahomes were tied with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson for the league lead in touchdown passes (10), but they only combined to throw one in this matchup.

Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and running back Nyheim Hines both caught four passes, combining for 83 yards, while tight end Jack Doyle and running back Marlon Mack both caught three passes and combined for 35 yards.

Colts’ Running Game

The Colts focused on the strength of their offense in this matchup: the run game. They ran the ball 45 times compared to 29 passes, with Mack leading the charge with 29 carries for 132 yards. Jordan Wilkins also had a nice evening, putting up 28 yards on seven carries. Brissett punched in the game's only rushing touchdown, a one-yarder which was his first of the season. For their effort, the Colts' offensive line was highly recognized, left guard Quenton Nelson landing on Pro Football Focus' "Week 5 NFL Team of the Week," while he, left tackle Anthony Castonzo and center Ryan Kelly also ranked near the top of PFF's weekly grades at their positions.

Colts’ Special Teams

Not to be outdone, kicker Adam Vinatieri was perfect on the evening, booting four field goals (29, 31, 32, 32) and an extra point.

LOOKING BACK BEFORE LOOKING AHEAD

Colts’ Passing Game

Many questioned what the Colts' offense would look like after Andrew Luck retired in August. While the explosive component has yet to develop, the passing game has still been efficient. As mentioned, Brissett was tied for the league lead in touchdown passes going into Week 5 and entered Week 6 tied for the third-most with Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles. Through four games, Brissett was the only player in the league with multiple passing touchdowns in each game before the streak broke last week. He is also among the least-sacked passers, ranks in the top half of the league in completion percentage and has completed a pass to 12 different receivers.

The Colts have been reliant on their entire receiving corps, as T.Y. Hilton missed a game-and-a-half with a quad injury, and Devin Funchess has been out with a collarbone injury since Week 1. Without their top two receivers, guys like Deon Cain, Parris Campbell, Zach Pascal and Chester Rogers have had to step up and have done nice job as a group. Unfortunately, Campbell suffered an abdominal injury in Week 4 and could miss a little time after undergoing a procedure for the injury. The tight ends and running backs — particularly Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron and Nyheim Hines — have stepped up in a big way as pass-catchers, as they account for 50 percent of Brissett's completions and 72.2 percent of his targets.

  • QB Jacoby Brissett — 64.7 percent completions, 1,062 yards, 6.4 YPA, 10 TD, 3 INT, 6 sacks
  • WR T.Y. Hilton — 24 catches (29 targets), 232 yards (9.7 avg), 4 TD
  • RB Nyheim Hines — 18 catches (21 targets), 120 yards (6.7 avg)
  • TE Eric Ebron — 9 catches (20 targets), 136 yards (15.1 avg), 2 TD
  • TE Jack Doyle — 14 catches (20 targets), 128 yards (9.1 avg), 1 TD

Colts’ Running Game

The offensive line and running backs have powered the Colts' offense to this point, as they currently rank fifth in the NFL in rushing (142.0 YPG), and Marlon Mack is also fifth in the league in rushing, individually. According to Pro Football Focus, all five of the Colts' starting offensive linemen — Quenton Nelson (No. 2), Anthony Castonzo (No. 11), Braden Smith (No. 20), Ryan Kelly (No. 41) and Mark Glowinski (tied-No. 50) — rank among the top-50 overall offensive linemen in run blocking, which has paved the way for three games with at least 100 rushing yards including 203 yards in Week 1.

  • RB Marlon Mack — 101 carries, 470 yards (4.7 avg), 2 TD
  • QB Jacoby Brissett — 24 carries, 66 yards (2.8 avg), 1 TD
  • RB Jordan Wilkins — 19 carries, 125 yards (6.6 avg)
  • RB Nyheim Hines — 13 carries, 30 yards (2.3 avg)

Colts’ Pass Defense

The Colts have some room for improvement in pass defense, but their performance against Kansas City shows the best is yet to come. You also have to account for the fact that rookies Rock Ya-Sin (238 snaps), Khari Willis (197 snaps) and Bobby Okereke (180 snaps) have all played significant snaps while Ben Banogu (67 snaps), E.J. Speed (31 snaps), Shakial Taylor (12 snaps) and Marvell Tell III (three snaps) have all seen action as well. The Colts have dealt with injuries to both starting safeties Clayton Geathers and Malik Hooker as well as All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard whose absences have absolutely affected things against the pass. However, with the bye week here and guys getting some rest, things are looking up.

  • Tied-2nd in pass plays of 40-plus yards allowed (1)
  • 15th in total (242.0 YPG)
  • 9th in attempts (33.2 avg)
  • Tied-13th in sacks (13)
  • Tied-15th in pass plays of 20-plus yards allowed (17)
  • Tied-21st in YPA (7.8 avg)
  • Tied-22nd in interceptions (2)
  • Tied-25th in TDs (10)
  • 26th in opponent passer rating (108.0)

Colts’ Run Defense

Week 5 was a big step in the right direction for the Colts' run defense. Prior to that game, the Colts had given up an average of 132.5 yards per game on the ground, including three of four games with more than 100 yards surrendered. The return of defensive end Jabaal Sheard from a knee injury in Week 4 as well as Leonard's eventual return will both be a spark for the Colts against the run. Despite their early struggles against the run this season, the Colts have now gone 23 consecutive regular season games without allowing an individual 100-yard runner, dating back to late in the 2017 season.

  • Tied-6th in TDs (3)
  • 8th in attempts (22.2 avg)
  • 17th in total (113.2 YPG)
  • Tied-25th in run plays of 20-plus yards allowed (5)
  • 28th in yards per carry (5.1 avg)

Colts’ Special Teams

After missing five combined kicks in the first two games, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri has gotten back on track, and has now made 14 of his last 15 kicks in the three games since. Punter/kickoff specialist/holder Rigoberto Sanchez has been as effective and reliable as ever. The Colts' return specialists have also shown some spark, as Campbell and Rogers are both a threat to take it to the house if given the edge.

  • K Adam Vinatieri — 8-of-11 FGA (72.7%), 9-of-12 XPA (75.0%), long-49, 0-of-1 from 50-plus yards
  • P Rigoberto Sanchez — 16 punts, 44.9 avg, 41.1 net avg, 4 punts inside-20, 1 touchback, 3 fair catches, 5.1 avg return
  • KR Parris Campbell — 5 returns, 113 yards (22.6 avg), long-31
  • PR Chester Rogers — 8 returns, 82 yards (10.3 avg), long-19

COLTS’ 2019 KEY STATS

Offense:

  • Tied-1st in fourth-down conversions (100%) and tied-1st in most fourth-downs made (7)
  • 2nd in penalties (27)
  • 3rd in rushing attempts (31.8 avg)
  • Tied-3rd in sacks allowed (6)
  • Tied-4th in run plays of 20-plus yards (5)
  • 5th in rushing (142.0 YPG)
  • Tied-7th in third-down conversions (46%)
  • 8th in time of possession (31:48)

Defense:

  • Tied-2nd in pass plays of 40-plus yards allowed (1)
  • 8th in rushing attempts against (22.2 avg)
  • 26th in third-down conversions (46%)
  • 27th in red zone defense (66.7%)
  • 28th in yards per carry allowed (5.1)
  • 31st in penalties (46)

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