One of the most discussed aspects of Pep Hamilton's offense has been the inclusion of a fullback. Hamilton and Pagano have lauded Stanley Havili and Dominique Jones for their versatility and ability to aid in the power-run game, while fans and analysts have referenced the position as a dying, unnecessary breed.
Through two weeks, the results are mixed. The Colts as a whole have been pretty efficient, currently sitting at 4th in the league in both Expected Points Added and Success Rate (I'd use DVOA, but it's not out yet for Week 4. It should be sometime today, and I expect the Colts will be near the top five).
However, the Colts' offense has gotten stalled at odd times and playcalling has seemed inconsistent, a lot of times due to a fullback on the field. Much of Trent Richardson's troubles have been excused due to the Colts telegraphing their plays with a fullback.
So, I decided to take a look at how the Colts were performing with a fullback, and charted each play that the Colts had Stanley Havili on the field or Dominique Jones back in the fullback positions (while Andrew Luck was in the game).
Coby Fleener on the Offense and His Improvement
With so many standout performances in Sunday’s waxing of the woeful Jaguars, one that, while not wholly unnoticed, may have slipped through the cracks a bit was that of Coby Fleener. The second year tight end finished with 5 catches for 77 yards, including a wide-open 31-yard touchdown reception. Fleener acknowledged that it can actually be a challenge to reel in a pass in that situation – where either a routine snag or a drop can be greatly magnified.
“I think it’s kind of the idea in basketball, layups are some of the hardest buckets to make,” he said. “It’s one of those things where you really have to focus and make sure you do all the things, look it all the way in and focus all the way until the end. You can’t relax on those plays. Thankfully Andrew (Luck) made an awesome throw, the line gave him enough time to make it out there and it looked good for us.”
Since Dwayne Allen went down for the season with a hip injury, Fleener has been thrust into a greater role in the offense – not that his role was ever intended to be small.
On his wider ranging responsibilities, Fleener said, “Anytime a guy like Dwayne (Allen) goes down who makes such a big impact for the offense, other guys are going to have to fill in here and there. So yeah, I would say my role has expanded a little bit.”
The 6’ 6” TE has responded well with big games against Miami and Jacksonville pushing his four game stat line to 12 receptions on 18 targets for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns. Not to place too much value on paces, but that would translate to 48 catches for 664 yards and 8 touchdowns over 16 games.
On tonight's episode, IndyStar's Phil B. Wilson joins us to break down the Colts 37-3 shellacking of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
We'll also talk about Phil's new book, "100 Things Colts Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die"
Tonight (Monday, September 30th, 2013) Live at 8pm ET!
At 4:00 PM EDT, the Colts announced they had cut wide receiver Griff Whalen to sign fullback Robert Hughes. Hughes no doubt joins the team in the wake of FB Stanley Havili’s ankle injury. Whalen may be the odd man out when fellow receiver LaVon Brazill returns from his suspension.
From Colts.com’s press release:
Sep 29, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown (31) finds a hole for a 50-yard run after getting a handoff from quarterback Andrew Luck (12), back right, in the second quarter of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
The AFC South suddenly looks like the AFC South Colts fans knew and loved until Peyton Manning's neck injury. This week the Texans took the Seahawks the distance but couldn't finish. The Colts destroyed an incredibly undermanned Jaguars squad. The Titans dominated the Jets behind another strong performance by Jake Locker. The Colts and Titans are duking it out for first place, the Texans look suddenly vulnerable and the Jaguars suck. It feels somewhat normal again.
While we've reached the quarter mark in the season I suspect the Texans will rebound, the Colts struggle a bit in the middle of their schedule and the Titans to need time adjusting to life without Locker. The Jaguars are helpless.no comments
Most people expected the Colts to destroy a pretty bad Jags team (those helmets don’t help at all), especially after dominating the 49ers on the road.
They were right.
After the jump, we'll grade the Colts' offense, defense and special teams, and give you our Players of the Game for both sides of the ball.no comments
That's the Average First Round Draft Position for the Jacksonville Jaguars between 2003 and 2012, including trades.
31st out of 36, 34th out of 39, 27th out of 38
These are Blaine Gabbert's rankings in QBR, DVOA and PFF's Signature Stats in 2012
This is the Jaguars point differential in 2013. That's right, folks, the Jaguars have lost by an average of 24.5ppg. The worst point differential in NFL history came in 1976 when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a -287 point differential over 14 games. That was good for an average loss of 20.5ppg. The Jaguars are, through 4 weeks, 4ppg worse than the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The number of wins for this year's Jaguars. Number of fans left in the seats at the end of Sunday's game. Number of NFL quarterbacks on their roster. The number of games they'll play at home in Jacksonville in 2017. The numerical representation of the hope this franchise has.
37-3. The Colts hadn’t topped 30 points since last December’s memorable comeback over the Detroit Lions, but today, they did it in style. Against what may be a historically bad team in the Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis did exactly what they needed to do: dominate.
The Colts rolled up 437 yards of offense, getting big plays from Coby Fleener, Reggie Wayne, and, yes, Donald Brown, while the defense steamrolled Jacksonville (as well they should have). The Jags finished with just 205 yards. QB Blaine Gabbert went 17-32 for 165 yards and three interceptions with a QB rating of 30.6, while the Colts held Jaguar running backs to 2.2 yards per carry (18 for 40 yards).
Andrew Luck shook off a rough start for a brilliant outing, 260 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a pick with a much healthier average of 7.3 yards per pass (4.6 last week) and a 90 QB rating. A couple big plays from Andrew Luck and Donald Brown rescued an otherwise anemic rushing attack, taking the team from 24 carries for 63 yards and 2.6 ypc to 29/154/5.3.
It was utter domination. Anything less than a good game against such a troubled team would have been cause for concern – perhaps serious concern – and the Colts answered the bell today, taking it to Jacksonville, and keeping their foot on the gas for the blowout everyone expected.