Sunday, January 10, 2010

Colts backups vs. Buffalo: Offense

I’m not sure the season-ending loss in Buffalo is really worth reviewing for various reasons – including the snow and the lacklustre effort the Colts starters gave* – but it did give us a look at some backups. Here’s ColtPlay’s quick look at some of them:

HB Mike Hart (37 of 52 snaps) and HB Donald Brown (15 of 52 snaps): Both did terribly. I’m sure their fans would like to blame the weather, their offensive line or their lack of a passing attack, but that would hardly explain how Freddie Jackson ran for 212 yards and fullback Corey McIntyre added another 32 on just eight carries. The weather was the same on both sides of the ball, the Bill’s o-line is less talented than the Colts’ (even with backups in there) and Ryan Fitzpatrick is fairly marginal. If you take out Hart’s fluke 15-yard scamper in what was basically a four-wide situation in the 3rd quarter, they ran 13 times for nine yards. Not great considering the Bills had the 31st-ranked rushing defense coming into the game. Hart caught two of four passes thrown his way for 16 yards, and Brown was not thrown to. Both did their jobs as pass-blockers, but little else.

LT Tony Ugoh (52 of 52 snaps): He has some trouble in pass-pro, allowing penetration by both Aaron Schobel and Chris Ellis, but a lot of that was Painter’s fault for holding onto the ball too long. He was so-so in the running game.

RT Michael Toudouze (52 of 52 snaps): This was my first prolonged look at Toudouze, and he was about as good as I thought he’d be, maybe a touch better. He, too, allowed some non-blitz penetration – although he basically neutralized Ryan Denney – but was better than the other Colts when it came to run blocking. That’s not saying he was good, just better than the others.

LG Mike Pollak (31 of 52 snaps): Pollak hadn’t really played much since he was benched in week eight after allowing two sacks. And on his 10th play against Buffalo, he allowed a sack to Kyle Williams. He was pretty solid in pass-pro for the most part other than that one Hail Mary-style play, but was just plain awful in the running game, having his hands full with Williams all day.

C Jamie Richard (31 of 52 snaps): As expected, Richard was pretty adept in pass-pro, but less able to handle Williams and Marcus Stroud in the run game. I’d grade him the best of the non-regular linemen who played against the Bills.

TE Jacob Tamme (34 of 52 snaps): Didn't do anything noteworthy as a blocker; caught one pass for 21 yards (but it was just one of four thrown to him.)

TE Colin Cloherty (21 of 52 snaps): Was he out there? Yes, he was. He caught one pass, a desperation dump off in the right flat for two yards on 3rd-and-15, and was promptly tackled by Drayton Florence. He was barely noticeable as a blocker either way.

WR Hank Baskett (49 of 52 snaps): He had a very, very tough day. Despite facing coverage from also-rans like Reggie Corner and Jon Corto, Baskett got open rarely and when he did, did not show great hands or concentration. Catching just one of five passes thrown to him for seven yards (and that was from Manning when Corner gave a big cushion), he later got injured. A lot of the blame goes to Painter, whose accuracy was terrible, but Baskett simply did not look good.

WR Sam Giguere (32 of 52 snaps): It’s hard to judge a rookie wideout in such a situation, but Giguere failed to catch either pass thrown his way and totally whiffed on a run block. He did however, look good as a kick returner (5-122-0), considering the footing.

QB Curtis Painter (31 of 52 snaps): The Colts have no mercy for this guy. Maybe they shouldn’t. He was outstandingly bad, passing for 39 yards on four completions of 17 passes thrown, with one interception. I realize the weather was bad and all that, but Fitzpatrick’s 120.8 NFL passer rating in the same game makes Painter’s 15.1 (7.5 in non-pressure situations) look especially bad. He also dropped the ball on a draw handoff, which the Bills’ Chris Kelsay picked up. Two plays later, Fitzpatrick hit Terrell Owens for a long touchdown.

*Did you see how Kelvin Hayden backed off trying to tackle Terrell Owens at the Colts' five on his long touchdown reception? Shameful.

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