There was a plethora of things that went wrong on Sunday afternoon.
You don't lose 35-9 against a team with serious issues becuause of a few lucky breaks. The Colts lost because they have multiple issues on both sides of the ball, in coaching, and they had a few unlucky bounces.
One of the most noticable issues the Colts had against the Jets was their complete inability to get anything going in the ground game. The Colts should have had a chance to get something going on Sunday, but they never did.
First, the Colts should have been able to run at least a little bit this week.
Before this game, the Jets were allowing 4.9 yards per game and over 170 yards per game in the rushing column. Football Outsiders gave the Jets a 0.1% run defense DVOA, 22nd in the league.
Last week, against a Green Bay defense that has been statistically better than the Jets against the run all year, the Colts had their best running game all year, as Donald Brown was able to run 17 times for 84 yards, and Luck added another 24 yards on six carries.
Everything pointed to the Colts' ground game starting to get on track.
This week though, the Colts never established a rhythm running the ball, and thus got stuck with no support for Andrew Luck in the pass game.
Vick Ballard, Delone Carter, and Mewelde Moore shared the load on Sunday, getting 8, 4, and 3 carries for a total of 43 yards for a less than 3 yard per carry average.
Against a team that has struggled so mightily against the runs, it was astonishing how little the Colts tested the New York defense in the run game. In the entire first half, the Colts never attempted more than two traditional runs on the same drive. Vick Ballard gained five and four yards on his first two carries, and then ran the ball just two more times in the half (3 and 1 yard gains). In the second half it was a little different, as the Colts were down so much they needed some quick scores, but the first half remains a mystery.
Yes, the Colts missed Donald Brown. None of the other three backs have his speed or ability to bounce a run outside for ten yards, something he did with ease against the Packers. With the other three running backs on Sunday, the Colts did not run for a single first down on Sunday, after running for eight against the Packers.
Even with the drop in talent from Brown to the other backs, the Colts coaches complete lack of commitment to the run was embarrassing, handing off to the running backs just seven times in the first half, compared to dropping back to pass on 19 plays. There is no semblance of balance there, and there is no threat for the other team to bite on play action.
For a team that struggles to get its wide receivers open, play action is a must. For play action to work, you have to at least pretend to try and run the ball.
The Colts didn't do that on Sunday, and it didn't help their chances at winning. Not one bit.
Can we also talk about how bad Samson Satele was? I don't know if Shipley is an actual long term solution, but he handled a better defense way better than Satele did against the Jets
Yea donald Brown would have saved us ---Right---He is too fragile-can not run up middle-drops passes-and his blocking, he could not block a wind!----------but he is fast--and leads the league east west yards----best back? Hmmmmm
It really did look like they were off to a good start running, then mysteriously abandoned it. Then, against a heavy pass rush (who had no need to respect the run), they kept trying to go deep down field. I haven't re-watched it, but I don't recall many short drops/quick passes either.
Look, I know one play did not lose that game yesterday. But still, how can the Colts not be ready for that fake punt ?
If an idiot like me, standing in the middle of an Orlando Sports Bar yelling at the screen to watch for Tebow and the fake punt know it is coming, how can the Colts Coaches that do nothing but gameplan and study tape 24/7 be completely oblivious? I swear, I would have left my base defense out there.
Also, we have the same record as the Broncos! And the Texans lost one! And we're in second place in the Division. :-) (eternal optimist, that's me)
@Blue@Heart Who is saying Donald Brown could have saved anything? Nice straw man. He has not proven to be any more fragile than any other back in the league. He can't run up the middle with an O-Line that spends all of its time backpedaling. He had one game with two bad drops (I'll give you that), but that is uncharacteristic when you look at his receiving value over his career. His blocking is at least league-average. If he does indeed lead the league in east-west yards, do you not think that has anything to do with one of the worst O-lines in the league? Do you even watch Colts games or do you just read box scores?
I suppose you are one of those guys who has been clamoring for Vick Ballard and Delone Carter to lead the rushing attack. How did that work out against one of the worst rushing defenses in the league? No one is saying that Donald Brown is Arian Foster or MJD. Although, I wouldn't want to pay for a running back of their caliber for them to produce 2-3 good years and still not be the real answer in a pass first league. How many running backs have led their teams to Super Bowl victories?
@MarcusDugan After watching Ballard run into the back of Satele or McGlynn/Link when all he needed to do was veer left for a huge gain, I can't say I'm surprised. Ballard has shit for vision, and with an offensive line like this you need to know who's going to lose their block before it happens.
@DougEngland That was ridiculous. Just dumb.
@DougEngland Yep, it seemed like everyone but the coaches knew about that play. Gave up on the run way too soon also.
@DougEngland Seems like everyone but the Colts saw that coming. They use their backup qb on punts. "It's a trap!" That was the Jets' 3rd fake punt conversion of the season. It shouldn't have caught them off guard.
@buymymonkey I think Brown is out anoter week or two. Hopefully, Ballard's vision and ability to find the hole (that is not supposed to sound disgusting) improves in practice this week. Brown averages 4 YPC. Pretty respectable. Not wire what Ballard's is now. But it sure isn't 4.
It says what I have been maintaining for some time now... Donald Brown is actually pretty damn good. And it is high time that the beat writers for the Star and certain Colts fans still late to the Donalb Brown party start recognizing that. (But wait, that wouldn't fit the meme of blasting BP whenever possible.)
@bradicus18 Well said.
Listen, I have said before no one is confusing Donald Brown with Jim Brown. But I have continued to watch every play of every Colts game, and I have come to the conclusion that Donald Brown is a damn good back and if he had even average blocking he would be putting up some really solid numbers.
If you are a Colts fan that is still harping on the ol' "God Damn" Donald, you are just not watching every game or are just being stubborn. He was our best offensive player last year... by far.
And I think it is very effident that anytime someone else is in the backfield, you get a glimpse of how awazing it is that Brown puts up the numbers he does.
@MarcusDugan Bonus "like" for the Admiral Ackbar reference.
@DougEngland That's my highlight of the game - fans actually realizing (hopefully) that Donald Brown is good.
@DougEngland Doug, it's nice of you to give him the benefit of the doubt. I would say he has a reading comprehension problem but he is deliberately twisting your words to fit his narrative. Maybe he will prove me wrong and become a civilized, thoughtful contributor here. I doubt it, though.
@DougEngland Well put.
Blue@Heart, I did not say that Donald Brown was amazing, I said it was amazing that he has put up the numbers he has with what is around him. Semantics... perhaps. (But if you look at how all the other Colts backs have preformed for the last year and half, it is too true.)
I can only assume if you are here it is because you are a Colts fan, and were not just scouring sites to bash Donald Brown. If, indeed you are a Colts fan and have watched them play at all, I don't understand how you can not appreciate Brown's play. Hall of Famer? Of course not. Nice player to grow with Luck and the offense, absolutely.
And if you just want to bash Brown, may I suggest Stampedeblue.com. They'll love you over there.
Amazing Donald Brown? Have never seen those words before--on;y see that with your great football eye! And if the line would knock everyone down-he would still be dancing side to side-only your judgement counts! Best offensive player last year? Are you bragging? listen to yourself=