Jake's Takes | Colts vs. Rams: More Self-Inflicted Wounds Doom Colts in Loss

The Colts lost at home to the Rams, 27-24, on Sunday, dropping their record to 0-2. A common theme in both losses has been self-inflicted wounds. (Video via Indianapolis Colts YouTube)
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The Indianapolis Colts were involved in a much-spirited, back-and-forth affair against the Los Angeles Rams at home on Sunday, but they ultimately fell, 27-24.

The hosts made enough plays on offense, defense, and special teams to win in a normal game, but for the second consecutive week, they shot themselves in the foot too many times.

Here are some of the main things I noticed during this matchup.

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) attempts to dive into the end zone Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, during a game against the Los Angeles Rams at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Toughest Opponent is in the Mirror

It feels like you rarely see the Colts get fully outplayed by their opponent. That doesn't mean they don't lose, of course, but they do a lot on their own to contribute to those losses whether it's miscommunications, turnovers, or lack of execution.

On Sunday, it started with an odd shutout on the goal line on their first drive. They started with a great kickoff return from Isaiah Rodgers, and then they moved the ball well with the run game and some simple pass completions. Once they got inside the Rams' 5-yard line, they ran the ball three times, and then tried to fool LA with a hurry-up approach on fourth down but were sacked for a big loss.

The red zone was a problem all day (and all last year), as the Colts got into the end zone just once in four trips. There was another occasion where quarterback Carson Wentz was intercepted on a shovel pass near the goal line, meaning the Colts came away with zero points on two separate drives where they got inside the Rams' 5-yard line. Those are fatal errors in a game that was separated by three points.

Turnovers near the goal line aside, the Colts had another missed opportunity for extra points when Wentz overthrew Nyheim Hines on a slant route on 3rd-and-3 on LA's 30-yard line. Hines could've caught it and kept the drive alive, but it could've also been a better throw by Wentz.

Sep 19, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) catches his second touchdown of the game in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Secondary Has Gotten Smashed

It was the Seahawks' Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett in Week 1, and now Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp for the Rams in Week 2. Through two weeks, Wilson and Stafford averaged a yards per pass attempt mark of 10.2 against the Indianapolis defense.

The Colts failed to have an answer for Kupp on Sunday throughout the game as he amassed 163 yards and two touchdowns on nine receptions. Whether it was short, deep, or he was breaking tackles and picking up extra yardage, Kupp did whatever he wanted against the Colts' secondary.

It's one thing if a player or pass-catching group has a good day, but Rams pass-catchers were routinely wide open on what appeared to be busted coverages or missed assignments.

One Colts defender who is having a particularly rough go of it in coverage is strong safety Khari Willis, who is normally one of their most dependable players. In the last two games, he appears to have been involved in at least three of the six passing touchdowns given up by the Colts defense. He did come up with an interception early in the game against the Rams, but his coverage has been lacking.

Colts backup cornerback T.J. Carrie, who is playing a bigger role in the absence of starter Xavier Rhodes, got picked on quite a bit as well, particularly early in the game.

Things don't necessarily get easier for the Colts' secondary moving forward, so they need to regroup fast. A trip to Nashville to visit Julio Jones and A.J. Brown is up next Sunday.

Sep 19, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman (11) catches the ball while Los Angeles Rams safety Jordan Fuller (4) defends in the first quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium.

It's Michael Pittman Jr. Time

The Seahawks affected how much the Colts could get the ball into Michael Pittman Jr.'s hands in Week 1, but Week 2 showed exactly why it's necessary to try and get him involved every week.

Against an incredibly tough Rams secondary, Pittman had a career-high 123 yards on eight receptions, including a 42-yarder that he tracked downfield.

With T.Y. Hilton still on the mend following a neck procedure, the door is open for Pittman to officially take the reins as the Colts' top receiver for the foreseeable future. He has shown that he has the ability to win short, intermediate, and downfield, and he can pick up extra yards with his legs as well.

The Colts hoped he'd be their top-dog, X-receiver when they drafted Pittman, and games like this show it's coming to fruition.

What were your biggest takeaways from Sunday? Drop them below in the comment section!


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