According to Kevin Bowen on twitter, today was only the second game in the 16 that Chudzinski has worked as OC that TY Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and Phillip Dorsett have all been available. It should have been a good thing with them going against the defense that leads the league in interceptions, but only had eight sacks on the season. If the season so far had shown anything, it’s that Luck with time in the pocket is a dominant force. With his top three wideouts back, Luck should have been able to find some success. If only his OLine could give him the time.
The other side of the ball…well, the hope was that Spencer Ware wouldn’t hurt them too much (arguably, he didn’t). Alex Smith is a dink and dunker and running backs out of the backfield and other short catch and runs haven’t exactly been the Colts’ strength on defense. It was a case of strength on weakness when the Chiefs O took the field against the Colts D.
Colts deferred to the second half, as they are want to do. Chiefs opened the game with two straight passes directed at Patrick Robinson (both incomplete). They clearly sensed a weakness there and went after him today. Same can be said of Travis Kelce who had no one able to match up with him.
Colts did not have the speed to catch up with anyone on the Chiefs running across the field. 3rd down completion after 3rd down completion. Edwin Jackson (getting the start today) blasted Alex Smith coming out of the pocket. Clearly a shot that was a concussion concern for the Chiefs. Nick Foles came in and the Colts sent the house at him on 3rd down to force the field goal after a long drive. 3-0 Chiefs
The Colts offense came out trying to force the action to Donte Moncrief while shooting themselves in the foot with penalties. The drive goes nowhere as the Colts again started slow.
Foles still on the field to start the second drive for the Chiefs as Smith was in the locker room getting checked for a concussion. Foles was unable to complete the 3rd down pass (again going after Robinson) and the defense forced a punt. Key play on that drive was the Colts defense blowing up a screen and dropping the runner for a loss.
TY Hilton was back to return that punt. Presumably just so they have a sure set of hands while Chester Rogers is out. There’s no need to have him actually returning anything.
Luck bobbled the second down shotgun snap and the Chiefs recovered. That’s….not ideal. Two drives, the Colts beating themselves. Again.
Colts defense somehow, through some unknown magic, shut down Foles (A MATHIS SACK) and forced another kick…which was missed. Colts dodged a massive bullet.
Quick slants with Moncrief and Dorsett should be a bigger part of this Colts offense. Easy 8-10 yards. But two straight 3rd downs where the pocket completely collapses stall the drive. First one, Luck was able to escape and pick up the first. Second…not so lucky (sorry). And for the seven millionth time this season McAfee’s coverage team can’t down the ball inside the 5 and instead knock the ball into the endzone. They practice this stuff, right?
TY Hilton went to the locker room after the drive. Had grabbed his hamstring after a pass thrown behind him. Obviously not a good thing. Has been listed with a hip injury for a while, but has been playing through it.
Foles completed a huge pass play as Green looked completely lost. No ball awareness at all. Green also got flagged for a shot to the head of Kelce on Kelce’s TD catch. Couldn’t expect this defense to hold forever. 10-0 Chiefs
Colts, oddly enough, benefit from the penalty on Green as the Chiefs tried a chip-shot onside-ish kick from the 50 and don’t recover. Great starting position for Luck and the O. Luck turns to his TE’s with Hilton out and starts moving the ball. Frank Gore finishes the drive breaking tackles on a catch out of the backfield and dives in for the touchdown. Luck looked away from a good Chiefs secondary and targeted their LBs and it works. 10-7 Chiefs
Vontae Davis left to be evaluated for a concussion. Hilton returned to the sideline.
Smith back in the game on this drive, but let the RBs do the work early. Colts came up with a massive stop on 3rd-and-1. The Kerricane ruined the Chiefs OLine on that play. Ruined them. Ferguson almost almost gives the ball right back to the Chiefs on a muffed punt. Just put your hand in the air, Fergie. Don’t try to be special. That’s Luck’s job.
Hilton returned to the game. *sigh of relief*
Even when the Colts don’t run out of extra linemen sets, they still run out of formations where the WRs are in tight. It’s maddening. Spread out. But Turbin short yardage continues to be a good thing on this team. The Colts’ tackles continued to get whipped by a team that barely gets sacks. No chance for Luck.
It’s mind boggling how a guy like Kelce continued to be wide open. His talent isn’t a secret. He’s someone that needs to be game planned for on this team. Two drops, a false start, and a brilliant play by TY McGill to knock down the 3rd down pass gives Luck and the O just over 2 minutes to score and try the two-for-none that they continue to fail at.
After a first down by Moncrief to start the drive, the O Line collapsed (again) and Luck missed TY a little high and the drive dies. Chiefs with plenty of time to put more points on the board. The defense held (aided in part by a hold forced by a great Mathis inside rush) and the Colts were left with 42 seconds to try yet again.
And Luck throws an awful INT. He tried to force the ball to Moncrief and the Chiefs defender runs right through him for the pick. Chiefs capitalized with a barely resisted short TD drive. 17-7 Chiefs
The Colts defense spent 29 minutes of the first half holding the Chiefs to 10 points and the Colts offense had no interest in taking advantage. It’s difficult to ask the defense to do much more than it has already done. In fact, it’s reasonable to expect them to start giving up big plays in the second half because that’s just what they do. The offense needs to step up and do their part. Luck is forcing throws and for some reason the Colts turn away from their TEs and RBs in the passing game when those are the two groups having success. Luck is hovering around 50% completion. Rough outing for him today.
You have to start wondering if deferring every game is worth it for the Colts. They fail to score to end the first half. They fail to score to start the second. Though, the reason not to do it is to score first and they’ve shown they can’t do that either. So…
Chiefs continued to get whatever they want on offense but for some reason run their already ailing QB out in a read action situation. The guy already had a potential head injury and you run that play? Irresponsible. Geathers put a hit on him and Smith was knocked out of the game and did not return. The Chiefs have to hate playing in Indy. Injuries have not been nice to them in their visits. No matter, wide open receiver. Colts D was getting gashed as expected, especially with Vontae out for the rest of the game. 24-7 Chiefs
An end around to Donte Moncrief is a poor use of everyone’s skill sets on offense. If you want to use your WR’s speed, things like the swing pass to Dorsett are more along the lines of acceptable non-downfield plays. It wasn’t a great drive, but it ended in a Moncrief Is Back moment. Great play by Luck with an unblocked defender right up the middle and great catch by Moncrief. 24-14 Chiefs.
Little to no resistance from the Colts defense on the next Chiefs drive. They only have a few solid drives per game and it looks like those were in the first half. Without Vontae, Robinson was getting torched. After a “what even is a catch” overturned call in the favor of the Colts, Walden got yet another sack this season. You need a sack? Count on Walden. (*A terrifying thought for your Halloween*)
Chiefs had 8 sacks coming into the game. They have 3 against the Colts. What is the O Line doing? Colts have to punt again after no one got open in the secondary. So much for having the top three WRs available making a difference. You wouldn’t know this is the fourth highest scoring offense in the NFL watching the Colts go today.
Colts defense just couldn’t stop the Chiefs. Even a seemingly good play on a pass breakup by Robinson gets flagged for holding. Almost unbelievably, Foles threw away a chance at a TD and the Chiefs have to settle for a FG. Colts have no business still being in the game, but somehow they are. 27-14 Chiefs
Batted ball. Collapsed pocket. Incomplete. Punt. Just an awful possession by the offense. Expecting the Defense to get you two more possessions without allowing points is just poor coaching.
Time ticking away and the defense couldn’t get off the field. They held the Chiefs to a field goal, but penalties and big plays continued to be too much to overcome. 30-14 Chiefs.
Colts can’t afford dump offs, so of course that’s what they threw over and over. Castonzo continued to get whipped. Penalty on Good negated a long TD by Moncrief because that’s how this game has gone. Even the Colts “hurry up” looked slow today. Colts just look completely uninterested at times.
FINAL: Chiefs 30, Colts 14
The defense gave up 30 points and somehow this loss doesn’t feel like it’s anywhere near their fault. The offense has to play better. Luck has to play better. Unfortunately, Luck needs to be superhuman for this team to have a chance and today he was nowhere near that level. It doesn’t help when the Offensive Line gives up 6 (SIX!) sacks to a team that had only gotten 8 total on the year.
Hilton played through an injury and struggled to get going and Moncrief and Dorsett both are working their way back from injuries, but you have to find a way to be productive in this league. Luck lead the team in rushing. That’s not where you want to be.
Then there is the completely unacceptable decision to keep attacking when there was around 15 seconds and you’re down 16. It led directly to Dorsett getting hurt. Pagano refuses to attack with 30+ seconds and three time outs in other games, but intentionally puts Luck and the WRs in danger at the end of this blowout with no time left? Why? Other than pride and trying to avoid the truth of the situation that his teams have been completely outmatched by any reasonable NFL team in this league. His team lost to a second string QB and a third string RB sitting behind an O Line that lost a starter during the game.
As soon as Luck took two straight sacks, the game was over. Kneel and go home. You were outmatched. Accept the loss. Don’t put your players in danger for your pride.
In a game marred with poor play and bad penalties on both sides of the ball, it’s only appropriate that it end with indefensible coaching.
Foles had a 135.2 passer rating, Luck’s was 79.5. TY Hilton has 1 catch for 20 yards, Travis Kelce had 7 for 101 and a touchdown.
With a trip to Lambeau to face the Packers looming, it’s tough to say what the Colts need to do to right the ship. They keep taking good long looks at themselves and keep seeing things heading “in the right direction.” It’s a terrifying thought on Halloween weekend. This hapless team looks in the mirror and sees success while on the field is something much more frightening.