INDIANAPOLIS —This week's film breakdown looks at Barkevious Mingo showing off his pass rush ability — and his pure speed — to get a huge third-down sack early in Thursday night's game against the Denver Broncos at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Here's the All-22 development of Mingo's play:
The Colts had jumped out to ideal start against the Broncos, as rookie cornerback Kenny Moore II was able to pick off Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian on their first drive of the ballgame, and seven plays later, Indy's quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, scrambled seven yards into the end zone for a touchdown to put the home team up 7-0 midway through the first quarter. But now it appeared it was the Broncos' turn to get on the scoreboard, as Siemian & Co. was able to get all the way inside the Indianapolis 10-yard line.
](http://haysandsons.com/colts/)But with 2:45 left in the first quarter, Denver found itself facing 3rd and Goal from the 7-yard line. An obvious passing situation, the Broncos could try to spread it out and get one of their many receiving weapons open, or Siemian could also try some sort of draw play to expand the coverage and then dash for the end zone.
Denver comes out in the shotgun formation, with three wide receivers — one to the left, and twins to the right — and one tight end, Jeff Heuerman, lined up in a three-point stance next to left tackle Garett Bolles. Running back C.J. Anderson stands next to Siemian.
The Colts go to their popular nickel formation, removing one defensive lineman from their base package and replacing him with another defensive back. In all, the Indy offense has two defensive linemen, two outside linebackers, two inside linebackers and five defensive backs.THE RUSH
Mingo initially lines up over the tight end, Heuerman, along the right side of the defensive line, but just before the ball is snapped, he takes a couple steps to his right to line himself up along Heuerman's outside shoulder. When an edge rusher is aligned head-up on the tight end, it doesn't typically give them as much of an angle or space to work with, so he wants to work his way towards the quarterback from the outside.
On the snap, the first thing that draws your eye is a line stunt by outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard — who is lined up on the opposite side as Mingo — and defensive end Margus Hunt. The stunt criss-crosses the two defenders and forces the blockers in front of them to adjust, something they appear to do pretty well initially. That stability doesn't hold up long at all, however, as Hunt quickly was able to get leverage on right tackle Donald Stephenson and start taking a path directly at Siemian in the pocket. Because of this rush by Hunt, combined with the solid coverage on the back end — six Colts defenders are blanketing the four Broncos targets who are spread out along the goal line — Siemian has no choice but to escape the pocket and take off to his right to try to see if he can work someone open, or just throw it away and take the three points.THE SACK
Mingo, meanwhile, initially appears as if he might be rushing a little too far upfield to be able to make a play, but the stunt from Sheard and Hunt allows for Mingo to continue running in a straight line, rather than being forced to turn and try to bend the corner to get to the quarterback.
Mingo gives the Bolles a little "foot freeze" move, causing the rookie tackle to stutter his feet. This is exactly what Mingo could've hoped for, as now he can simply use his athleticism and speed to burst around Bolles and start tracking down Siemian.
Siemian scrambles to his right and keeps his eyes around the middle of the field at the five-yard line, where he sees his running back, Anderson, is covered up by inside linebacker Jon Bostic. But unbeknownst to the Siemian, this play is about to quickly end, as Mingo uses his long arms to get a hold of the quarterback and force him to the turf for the sack and a loss of 10 yards.
Trying for the field goal from the Indianapolis 17-yard line, the Broncos are flagged for delay of game, pushing the attempt back to 40 yards. Kicker Brandon McManus, then, would be off the mark, missing wide right and securing a huge early stop for the Colts' defense in their eventual 25-13 loss.
The play for Mingo was his first sack of the season — and his first since 2014. The former first-round pick has done a solid job as a spot starter in his first season with the Colts, and enters the team's Week 16 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens with 32 total tackles (three for a loss), one sack, six quarterback hits, two passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.