Another slow start, another edgy win. The Colts moved to 8-4 with a scrappy win over the Tennessee Titans, but there are still so many issues on this team - including an underwhelming draft class...
Having failed to take his opportunity against the Arizona Cardinals with Erik Walden's suspension, Werner's snap count unsurprisingly dropped from 60/77 to 24/76. Werner's Pro Football Focus grade was poor once again, as he scored a -0.7 against the Titans. Werner recorded three tackles and a stop, but no hits, hurries or sacks. It was always going to be a slow transition for Werner, who played 4-3 defensive end in college for Florida State, and is now being asked to stand up in the Colts' 3-4 defense, but the Colts must be concerned with the lack of pressure Werner is getting.
Whilst I regularly wrote that Thornton was inconsistent at the start of the season, that period has gone and he is now consistent. It's just a shame that he's consistently atrocious. His -16.3 grade on Pro Football Focus ranks him as the 67th best guard out of a possible 75. The entire offensive line had a poor game on Sunday as they struggled to handle Titans DT Jurrell Casey, but Thornton was the second worst for the Colts according to PFF, beaten only by Jeff Linkenbach.
Why is he still consistently inactive? Samson Satele continues to be terrible at centre, but the Colts still won't use their fourth round pick. I'm done trying to even figure it out, whether it's injury or just making him stronger, but the team won't even tell us why he isn't even active on Sundays.
I used to use this part to poke fun at Montori Hughes, mainly because Chuck Pagano said he was like a cat. But in his limited snaps against the Texans and Rams, Hughes contributed well, particularly in run defense, and now with Ricky Jean Francois sidelined for up to between two to four weeks, Pagano stated that Hughes will see more action. Hallelujah.
Jack Doyle had by far his worst game for the Colts, with a -2.3 grade on PFF. This was predominantly down to poor run blocking, which is where Doyle had played well in previous weeks. Da'Rick Rogers saw the field for the first time, and whilst he was limited to just 13 snaps, he flashed some ability by burning star cornerback Alterraun Verner and drawing a pass interference call. With Darrius Heyward-Bey benched, Rogers could see more snaps in the coming weeks. Linebacker Josh McNary was also active, and managed to grab a QB hit on just four snaps. This week, the Colts promoted OL Xavier Nixon from the practice squad after an injury to Jeff Linkenbach, whilst linebacker Daniel Adongo was also brought up. Adongo, a former Rugby player in Kenya, signed with the team in the offseason and has been developing throughout the season. An athletic freak, the Colts now hope that Adongo can contribute on special teams to begin with.
Necessity is the mother of invention. This injury-ravaged squad is at a critical point if they're going to make any noise whatsoever in the playoffs. The next four games are the chance for the next wave of Colts to seize opportunity by the throat, or gag trying.
It's a bit late, but it would be nice if Chapman's "rookie" season would also be covered. I'm quite dissapointed by him, considering all the hype he got... or maybe it was just Greg who made me believe