The Sports Daily > Colts Authority
Charting A Drive: Defense Lets Up.

Kasey Klipsch checks in with his weekly piece.

After the Titans game I think all of us let out a sigh of relief.  Peyton had a good game and we got a win.  After a few days though, I began to worry.  Our defense let the Titans score 4 TD in 1 half.  The Titans are not a good offense.  I decided to chart one of those scores, not to throw cold water on our happiness, but to try to figure out how one of the worst offenses in football got the better of us.  This is the first drive of the second half.  The Colts are up 21-7 and a stop here puts them in good position to turn this into a romp.  Of course the Titans get a great kickoff return, but what happens next proves this game is going to the last minute.

1-10-TEN 38

Play: Pass short left to N. Washington for 13 yards, runs out of bounds.

Ten Formation: 2 WR/2 TE (lined up a half yard back from LOS on each side)

Ind Formation: Cover 2

– Freeney doubled by LT/LTE out of the play.

– Moala doubled by LG/C and has no penetration.

– Muir gets good push on the RG.

– Mathis gets doubled by the RT/RTE and gets a little pressure (RTE releases into a route eventually).

– Wheeler bites on the play action badly, then drops into zone coverage too late.

– Brackett drops into middle zone coverage.

– Connor drops into right zone coverage.

– Tryon starts the play with a 9 yard cushion for Washington and then backpedals out of the screen.  By the time the pass comes to Washington he is 6 yards away.  With Wheeler out of position as well, it is an easy catch.

1-10-IND 49

Play: C. Johnson run left end for 20 yards, pushed out of bounds by Lacey.

Ten Formation: 2 WR/ 2 TE (lined up a half yard back from LOS on each side)
Ind Formation: Cover 2

– It is a zone blocking run right that Johnson cuts back left.  Freeney over pursues and is cut off by the RTE.

– LT and LG block Muir well out of the play (so much so that I am suspicious that this might have been a designed cut back run).

– Moala blows the RG up.  It is possible that he causes the cut back.

– Mathis gets good penetration at the RT.

– C releases to the second level and blocks Brackett.

– Connor gives up his gap and way over-pursues.  He is eventually blocked by the LG, but I am nearly 100% certain this play is his fault.

– Wheeler covers his gap on the side the play is originally ran at, taking out the RTE.

– Francisco takes a terrible angle to the cut back lane and is juked by Johnson.  If the big gain isn’t Connor’s fault it is Francisco’s.

– Bethea also has a chance on a tackle, but is just flat run away from.

– Tryon is blocked (held) down field by a WR, but once he sheds he misses on Johnson.  Johnson uses his speed after that to get 6 or 7 yards.

1-10-IND 29

Play: Pass short right to C. Stevens for 6 yards.  Tackled by Wheeler.

Ten Formation:  2 WR / 2 TE (lined up a half yard back from LOS on each side).

Ind Formation: Cover 2

– Freeney is doubled by the LT/LG.

– Muir is stood up by the C.

– Moala gets no penetration vs the RG.

– Hughes bull rushes the RT into Kerry Collins.  Collins is able to get the pass off though.

– Connor takes zone coverage right (leaving the RTE open).

– Brackett takes zone coverage middle.

– Wheeler takes the zone coverage left.  He actually is covering his TE better than Connor but Collins goes that way anyway and makes the completion.

2-4-IND 23

Play: C. Johnson run left tackle for -3 yards.  Tackled by Muir & Brackett

Ten Formation: 2 WR/ 2 TE (both left)

Ind Formation: Cover 2 (but all LB cheating up to the LOS).

– Dawson is blocked by LTE1, but gets penetration to make Johnson bounce further out.

– Moala pushes the LG 3 yards back behind the LOS, also causing Johnson to go out side.

– Muir pushes the RG 3 yards back behind the LOS and chases down Johnson from behind.

– Huges goes around the RT (who is moving to the second level) and chases Johnson down.

– LT pulls outside and blocks Wheeler.

– Brackett reads this play beautifully and splits his blocker (LTE2) to make the tackle.

– Connor is blocked by the C.

3-7-IND 26

Play: Shotgun pass short right to K. Britt. for 18 yards.  Tackled by Francisco & Brackett.

Ten Formation: 3 WR (2 close right, 1 close left) /1 TE (half yard back from LOS on L)

Ind Formation: Nickle (Dawson standing on LOS between Mathis and Foster).  Hagler and Brackett showing blitz between Foster and Freeney.

– Freeney is chipped by the TE and doubled by LT/LG.

– Foster gets no penetration vs the C.

– Mathis doubled by RG/RT out of the play.

– Hagler, Brackett, and Dawson all drop into coverage.

– Collins has all day to throw.  Britt finds a hole in the zone between the CB and Safety.  He is helped by the CB (Cornelious Brown) falling down.

1-8-IND 8

Play: Ringer run up the middle for 1 yard.  Tackled by Mathis.

Ten Formation:  2 WR/ 1 TE (right) / 1 FB Offset I (Right)

Ind Formation: Cover 2 (LB cheating close to LOS)

– Freeney plays contain and is blocked by LT

– Mookie holds point of attack v C

– Muir is pushed back a yard by RT (with help from chipping RG).

– Mathis gets penetration against TE and trips up the runner.

– Wheeler holds his outside gap and takes the FB block.

– Brackett and Connor hold their gaps and are blocked by LG and RG.

2-7-IND 7

Play: Pass short left to C. Stevens for 7 yard touchdown.

Ten Formation: 2 WR (1 close right) / 2 TE

Ind Formation: Cover 2 (LB cheating up)

– Freeney inside move picked up well by the LT.

– Mookie handled by LG.

– Muir gets a yard of penetration vs C.

– Mathis doubled by RG/RT.

– Connor follows RTE into coverage.

– Brackett is in middle zone coverage.

– Wheeler follows LTE into coverage, he and Bethea make contact at the 2, but are overpowered into the end zone.


Well I can’t really complain about the scheme this drive.  With the exception of my least favorite look (dropping a D line man into coverage) on one play this was just vanilla cover 2.  Both Freeney and Mathis were non-existent on this drive.  Partially this was due to them being double and triple teamed, but it was also partly due to bad decisions on their part.  Connor had a couple of pretty indefensible plays and Wheeler continues to be a liability in coverage (I’m curious why they went back to him).  Mookie and Dawson continue to be not much more than warm bodies, and Francisco is a liability, but we knew that.  If there were any positives to this drive, they were the nice play of our 2 newest d-linemen.  Moala and Hughes each had plays that stood out from the crowd.  Jake Scott also had a terrible drive.  Normally, I wouldn’t take pleasure in someone else’s bad play, but I’ll take what I can get on this drive.

About The Author:

Kasey Klipsch (kasey_junk@myrealbox.com) has no football experience above the grade school level.  He grew up in Indianapolis rooting for the Colts and is a season ticket holder.  He comments around the Colts blogosphere as kasey_junk.  He also writes a weekly picks column for The Fantasy Ninjas (www.thefantasyninjas.com) under the nickname “The Real KC”.