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Film Room: 7 Observations From Colts-Titans

Diving into my seven key film observations of the Colts' loss to the Titans. (Video via Indianapolis Colts YouTube)

The Indianapolis Colts have lost yet another game to a team above .500 on the year, losing 34-31 in overtime to the Tennessee Titans. The Colts' season now appears to be on life support with only nine games to go.

With the All-22 film out from this past game, I decided to dive into my key observations/takeaways from the game.

1.) Carson Wentz Misses

It's no secret that this game was Wentz's worst outing in a Colts' uniform. While he did throw for three touchdowns, he had two back-breaking interceptions late in a close game.

On top of the interceptions, he had several key misses on third/fourth down plays that stalled out drives in this game. It was just an ugly outing from him in a game where the team needed him at his best.

Does this change the overall outlook on the season for Wentz? Not entirely. He still has the last nine games to right the ship, and he will have plenty of games against top teams to rebound from this bad performance.

The only fear is it might be too little too late with the Colts' playoff chances dwindling. I think Wentz has been mostly good this year, but this dud of a performance is certainly a black eye for him.

2.) Grover Stewart Dominates

To preface this, I know that Derrick Henry was ailing early in this game and likely puts together a better performance without his major injury. However, the run defense for the Colts was strong all afternoon, and Stewart was a big time leader in this regard.

Stewart finished the game with two tackles for a loss and a couple hurries as well as a pass rusher. He was a constant force on almost every play and basically lived in the Titans' backfield.

Every week I get a lot of questions from Colts' fans about Stewart and if he is really making an impact in games. From watching film from any game this season, it is easy to see how good he is on the interior. Just an outstanding player and one of the best one-tech defensive linemen in the league.

3.) The Return of Braden Smith

While Matt Pryor filled in admirably the last few weeks, it was great to see Smith back out on the field. Smith was injured in the week one match-up against the Seattle Seahawks and had missed every game since, up until this past weekend.

Smith quickly reestablished himself as one of the better right tackles in the league on Sunday. Facing off against Harold Landry (8.5 sacks already this year), Smith allowed just one hurry on 60 pass blocking snaps. He also was a bulldozer in the run game, paving the way for a few good runs on the right side.

Colts fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief with Smith in this game. He had a putrid week one performance, but it looks like that game was mostly due to injury rather than regression. He stepped back up in his first game since his injury, and he proved why he got the massive contract extension this past offseason.

 4.) Tyquan Lewis' Career Game (and Devastating Injury)

This point comes as bittersweet, as we found out from Frank Reich that Tyquan Lewis will miss the remainder of the season due to a knee injury. The injury comes on the heels of Lewis' best career game, as he had a sack, two quarterback hits, and an interception (all before halftime).

Lewis was the only Colts' pass rusher that could get anything going early in the game. He showcased his impressive blend of power and speed off the edge, and he was able to get a few hits in on Ryan Tannehill.

Overall, this was just an unfortunate end of a great day for Lewis. Hopefully he is able to make a full recovery from this injury and come back even stronger in the future. With him being a free agent after the season, this couldn't have come at a worse time for the young pass rusher.

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5.) Kenny Moore II Shines

It doesn't really need to be said anymore, but Kenny Moore II is an elite secondary player in the NFL. Is he a true lockdown corner? No. He is, however, a play-maker in the slot that does so many little things for this team.

This past weekend was the perfect example of what he brings to the team. He had a huge interception early, a few pass breakups, and a couple monster run stops against the best running back in the NFL.

He consistently shows up and makes big plays for this defense. As someone who loves studying defensive back play, he truly is one of a kind.

6.) Play of the Game: Kenny's Big Time Interception

Speaking about Moore II, let's look at his interception from the first quarter. This is an absolutely absurd play that only a star player in the league can make.

The Colts appear to be in some sort of zone-match coverage on the strong-side of the field. Typically in match coverage, Moore II would carry his slot receiver if he goes up the seam and transition into man-coverage. As the play starts, he does exactly that.

However, Moore II changes course just before the ball is thrown. He notices the outside receiver breaking inside on Rock Ya-Sin. Moore II has to have seen this exact play on film, as he abandons his coverage and quickly jumps the route.

This is simply elite anticipation and a play-maker changing the game. Such a special special player.

7.) Play-Call of the Game: Reich's Goal Line RPO

I had a couple options for this section this week. I decided to go with this gorgeous design late in the game by Frank Reich on the goal line.

Reich loves to use his "sniffer" tight end (some would call this a H-Back) to crack back on backside defensive ends when he runs inside out of shotgun. The Colts have done this for years and have found a ton of success on wham/trap blocks.

What Reich does here to change up tendency is great, though. He calls what appears to be a normal inside run, with Jack Doyle moving to block the backside end. As the end crashes down, Wentz pulls the ball and hits Doyle in the flat off of the RPO for the score.

Great design and execution for the score.


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