The Indianapolis Colts are finally in the win column, beating the Miami Dolphins 27-17 in week four. It may not have been the prettiest win, but it is one that the Colts certainly needed early in the season.
With the All-22 film out from this past game, I decided to dive into my key observations/takeaways from this past win.
1.) Eric Fisher's Struggles (AGAIN)
Coming in at number one for the second week in a row is the poor play of veteran left tackle Eric Fisher. I talked in last week's observation article about his struggles and they certainly carried into this match-up.
What may be the most concerning aspect about his struggles the past two weeks is that they have come against average defensive lines. Harold Landry and Jaelan Phillips are good/explosive players, but they aren't even near the top pass rushers in the league.
What is going to happen to Fisher when he has to face players like Shaq Barrett, Chandler Jones, or Nick Bosa later in the year?
Fisher has been open about his recovery and admitted that he is around 90% back to his normal self. The problem is, him being 10% better than what we've seen still isn't good enough.
There is still a lot of football to be played, but the play of Fisher at left tackle is starting to become a big concern for me.
2.) Ashton Dulin Produces Big
While it may not have been a stat-sheet filling day for Ashton Dulin, he had a big impact in this game despite seeing very few snaps. He logged a tackle on special teams, a huge fumble recovery in the second half, and beat All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard for a 17-yard completion on offense.
For a bottom-of-the-roster type of player, that is a ton of production. Dulin has been flying under-the-radar this year, but he has quietly been doing all the right things for the team. He has arguably been the team's best special teamer, and he is giving the offense quality snaps when needed.
His ceiling is likely capped at the current role he is in, but Dulin is a player that every team in the league needs on their team. The Colts are fortunate to have a guy who can fill so many roles.
3.) Mo Targets... Please
With Jack Doyle seeing limited snaps due to injury, it became Mo Alie-Cox's time to shine on Sunday. The veteran tight end didn't disappoint in the expanded role, hauling in three catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns.
We have seen this occasionally over the past two seasons with Alie-Cox. He will have a big game early in the year, and we all get excited about him becoming the future at the tight end position. Unfortunately, at least in the past, the production (and targets) faded after the one big showing.
Will this time be different? I am hopelessly optimistic. The big-bodied tight end is a special athlete who can be a legit receiving threat in the NFL. He just needs the playing time and targets. Hopefully, this big game leads to more chances.
4.) Chris Reed Doesn't Disappoint
The Colts' backup offensive linemen have looked atrocious this season. There is no sidestepping just how bad Julie'n Davenport has been filling in for Braden Smith at right tackle. Chris Reed, however, had a pretty solid game filling in for Quenton Nelson at left guard in this game.
Reed is a savvy veteran that was more than ready to fill-in when called upon. He was a big positive in the run game, and he more than held his own in pass protection. He did get beat on a few stunts and twists, but that is bound to happen with a lack of chemistry and familiarity with his teammates.
Reed played just as well as I expected him to on Sunday. He was reliable in all facets, and his presence alone makes the absence of Nelson much more manageable for the Colts.
5.) Up and Down Day for Isaiah Rodgers
Special teams star Isaiah Rodgers was thrust into the starting lineup for the first time in his career, due to injuries to Rock Ya-Sin and T.J Carrie on Sunday. In his first start, I thought he played fairly well overall.
I loved his willingness to come up and tackle on underneath throws. He had that one gaff early in the game, but besides that he was more than solid in the open field. This was particularly impressive for a 170 pound cornerback.
Where he needs to improve going forward is how he attacks the ball in the air. He gave up a deep reception late in the game and nearly allowed a back-shoulder touchdown (that was dropped by the receiver).
The next step for him is becoming a wide receiver when the ball is in the air. Don't react to the receiver, take the ball and make a play. I believe he will learn this as he gains experience. Overall, I am still optimistic about his future.
6.) Turay Beating Liam Eichenberg
Kemoko Turay had his way with rookie right tackle Liam Eichenberg in this one. While Turay still doesn't quiet look like his old self, he has enough development and skill to beat a tackle that is way over-matched.
Eichenberg was a Notre Dame offensive tackle, so naturally Colts fans wanted him in Indy (Pro Football Network's Tony Pauline also linked him to Indy in the pre-draft process). Seeing Turay continually beating on a player that the Colts considered drafting is a fun bit of irony.
Turay has had a solid season thus far. I've enjoyed seeing how he has transformed his game from being a speed rusher dependent on a good jump, to being more of a technician off of the edge.
7.) Play of the Week: Tyquan Toss
The play of the week for week four easily goes to Tyquan Lewis for his erasure of a reverse play in the second-half. The Dolphins tried to give the ball to Jakeem Grant on an end-around but Lewis had other plans on the play.
He quickly gets into the backfield (unblocked) and grabs hold of the much smaller Grant. Lewis then proceeds to toss him, literally toss him, nearly five yards in the air for a loss. Just a crazy play to watch in real time that set a tone for the rest of the game.
8.) The Return of Wide Waffle
Prior to last season, I was digging around in an old Eagles' Training Camp playbook that I have access to. In it, I found a play that the Colts' liked to call out of 12 personnel (two tight ends-one running back). On Sunday, the Colts actually called that play out of 11 personnel (one tight end-one running back).
As you can see in the video, the Colts have the same two-man route combination down the field. What the Colts changed a little bit for this game was that they motioned wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr for a fake reverse rather than just having a tight end drift to the flats.
Pittman replaced the second tight end in the flat, and the Colts generate the open downfield crosser. Beautiful play-design for a big gain late in the game.
Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachHicks2.