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Enemy Intelligence: Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts are coming off their thirteenth loss of the season, this one a 24-10 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens in Balitmore. The Ravens scored on their first three possessions to take a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter, and the Colts’ touchdown came on the final play of the game. If this isn’t as detailed as most of these pieces, I hope you’ll forgive me.

For more on what I’ve seen from the Colts this year, please check out my Enemy Intelligence from the prior Colts matchup. After the jump, what I saw from the Colts against the Ravens.

  • I was very cautiously and mildly optimistic Curtis Painter might make a few decent throws heading into the game at LP Field. I have no such feelings toward Dan Orlovsky. He’s simply not an NFL-caliber quarterback, and every week he plays is just more proof of that. Worry about, say, Pierre Garcon getting wide open, not about Painter hitting him when he’s covered. One plus for him: he will throw the ball into the end zone when in the red zone.
  • The Titans picked up a couple sacks of Curtis Painter because the Colts were playing linemen who were comparatively probably even worse than Orlovsky. Mike Pollak at LG gave up a similar sack last week.
  • In a way, the Colts’ defense kind of scares me. They’re bad, but they’re not exceptionally bad at anything, and if CJ is running with his head up his ass I could see the Titans’ offense being disappointingly ineffective.
  • Antoine Bethea stood out as a guy who was all over the place, but somehwere in between last year’s Chris Hope and TB-Tanard Jackson, a mix of good and bad and even more non-disastrous but non-impactful covering for other guys. The other safety, Caldwell, I didn’t see have much of an impact except in a negative way. On Rice’s TD to make it 17-0 he was overaggressive and got out of position.
  • The Colts got LT Anthony Castonzo back between the first matchup and this week, and he’s way better than Jeff Linkenbach. That said, Terrell Suggs had a couple big impact plays against him. Of course, the Titans’ don’t have a pass rusher half as good as Suggs. Linkenbach is now playing right tackle and still stinks.
  • The Colts now run a lot of I-formation plays and have things like 7 blockers in on pass routes. After the past decade, that sort of thing is just weird.
  • Donald Brown got the most carries of any of the backs and looked surprisingly non-terrible, though I didn’t see anything of brilliance. If he could do the other stuff that’s important for Colts’ backs, he might turn into a good player.
  • Jim Caldwell showed a minor sign of something like boldness, electing to go for it on fourth-and-three from the Ravens 40 after going down 17-0.
  • Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are still alive and capable of doing something. Same story you’ve heard for years, though I think Mathis gets moved more easily than he used to.
  • I mention this primarily because it’s something I might do a post about, but the Colts run a little bit of bunch stuff. I think the Titans have done a better job of defending against bunch this year, which I felt was something they struggled with at times last year.

I don’t really know what to say about this game. I can squint and see the Colts getting their first win of the year if the Titans play poorly enough. At the same time, the Titans beat the Ravens, and the Ravens through three quarters had outgained the Colts something like 303-53. I mentally set the line at something in the high single digits, like 8.5, which is a couple points higher than the actual line of TEN -6.5. This probably ends up as one of those games that ends up as a double-digit win and it feels like the Titans are on the verge of losing the entire time thanks to one fluke play that goes the wrong way.