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PostPosted: Dec 05, 2018 - 05:29 PM 
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Joined: Oct 21, 2018 - 05:37 AM
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eseason Week One The Colts’ running back room is up in the air with a hamstring injury sidelining Marlon Mack and Robert Turbin suffering an ankle injury in the first preseason game http://www.thecoltsfootballauthentic.com/quincy-wilson-jersey-authentic , they have a lot to sort out before the regular season begins. Running backs coach Tom Rathman talked as though any new signing would need to get up to speed and plan to play against the Ravens, then the Colts signed Branden Oliver. That means we should probably expect that he will play in week two of the preseason. Christine Michael and Nyheim Hines will likely see increased carries as well. However, Those aren’t the guys I’m looking forward to seeing. After breaking down Jordan Wilkins’ first game, I was even more impressed than I was with him in real time. I think he has shown some real potential, and that he will be provided the perfect opportunity to showcase it in the next couple weeks. Let’s go snap by snap and take a look at how Wilkins played in his Colts debut to see if we can spot any traits or trends that might give us a clue as to what to expect from this young back going forward.Wilkins made a heads up play right away when Phillip Walker fumbled the snap and what could have been a turnover resulted in a short gain. I’d personally rather see Wilkins fall on that ball because the risk of bobbling it and having a turnover are high, but he saved a turnover, so he definitely gets credit for being quick to get after the ball.On his next play Wilkins has very little to work with. Without the benefit of the coaches’ film for the preseason, you can see very little in the way of holes opening up, and you can be nearly certain that Marlon Mack last season was taking this ball to the outside. However, Wilkins sticks patiently, waiting for something to open up, and then slithers in between the left guard and tackle for a 6-yard gain. This isn’t a sexy play, but it is one that should be exciting to Colts fans who are used to seeing blocking like that yield a loss.Another run where the blocking is subpar, #94 Rasheem Green is in the backfield and in position to make a stop for a loss. Wilkins just plants his right foot and gets upfield quickly, keeping his legs churning and resulting in a 5-yard gain. I cannot stress enough that while these kinds of runs aren’t exactly what makes a highlight reel, they are demoralizing to defenses and create great opportunities for the play action. When you have a guy in the backfield to make a stop and still give up 5 yards, that takes a toll on the defensive morale.Here we see Wilkins making a play in the passing game. He releases into the flat as a checkdown option and Kaaya hits him with the pass. He makes a nice catch that looks like it will be stopped short of the first down line, but with a nifty spin he sheds his would-be tackler and buys himself about 5 more yards and most importantly a first down. If you’re noticing a trend here, you should be. Wilkins is put in a position to get little or no gain http://www.thecoltsfootballauthentic.com/braden-smith-jersey-authentic , and manages to turn it into something. If this trend continues against the first team, it will tell us more, but his ability to win one-on-one matchups and to make plays when there really aren’t any there could be a huge addition to this running game. In yet another example of making something out of nothing, we see another example of a defender getting virtually untouched into the backfield. He is basically arriving right as Wilkins gets the handoff. He plants his foot and gets around the edge before getting pushed out on the sideline. The play only results in 4 yards, but it could have and probably should have been a 4-yard loss. Hard not to like that turnaround.In his worst play of the game so far, Wilkins goes around the left end and meets an unblocked linebacker. That linebacker is unblocked because guard Nick Callender is supposed to pull from the right side and instead of blocking either the defensive lineman or the linebacker he opts to stand there confused, blocking neither. Hitting either of those guys provides Wilkins with a chance at some sort of gain, but he went with none and the result was just a 1-yard gain. What is notable here, is that Wilkins is contacted 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage. He keeps his legs churning and falls forward for a gain instead of a 2-yard loss.We won’t talk about the next drive, the one where the center/quarterback exchange resulted in three straight fumbles, the last of which resulted in a Seahawks touchdown. Let’s just say that Mark Glowinski should never be allowed to snap the ball again.Here is the first time we see Wilkins used in pass protection. It isn’t great. Kaaya fakes the toss to him, and Wilkins seems to get caught up in selling the play and then is a bit out of position to effectively cut the defender. This is a pretty minor mistake, and one you expect rookies to make. Hopefully running backs coach Tom Rathman will have that kind of stuff cleaned up by the time the regular season rolls around.Again, Wilkins finds himself met in the backfield on a running play. The poor blocking, and play in general of the 3rd team offensive line was hard to watch. There never is really a hole here for Wilkins to hit, but again he turns what might have been a 2-yard loss into a 2-yard gain. At some point, that kind of theme becomes pretty hard to ignore.This was arguably the most impressive run of the day for Wilkins. It starts out just about like every other run he had. A linebacker embarrasses Erik Swoope and ends up in the backfield, meeting Wilkins about 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage on 3rd and 1. In a game that matters, this play is the difference between kneeling the game away and giving the ball back to the other team with two minutes to drive for a field goal to win. Wilkins proves too slippery to hold http://www.thecoltsfootballauthentic.com/quenton-nelson-jersey-authentic , pushing forward and getting three yards, which effectively ends the game. Frank Reich noticed the play too, and had this to say:ConclusionsIt would be foolish to look at just one game and draw too many conclusions. Wilkins was playing against defenders who might not make the Seahawks 53-man roster. The sample size was small. However, there are definitely some very good signs that indicate that Jordan Wilkins could be a major impact player for this team in the coming season. When a player repeatedly gets positive yards despite being met in the backfield, it is tough to shrug off their success completely as going against inferior talent. It is also hard to ignore that Wilkins won’t be running behind that line during the regular season. He’ll have Quenton Nelson, not Jeremy Vujnovich blocking for him. Ryan Kelly not Mark Glowinski. The most interesting thing is that because Marlon Mack is hurt, we are likely to see Wilkins get snaps with the first team in the next preseason game. If he can repeat his solid performance then, we’ll have a much better idea if this kid is going to be as special as I think he might be.Indianapolis Colts Week 2 game balls vs Redskins The Indianapolis Colts put together a great game Sunday afternoon against the Washington Redskins. The coaching was excellent, the defense virtually dominated the Skins’ all day and Andrew Luck looked like himself for long stretches of the game.The Colts defense didn’t allow a single drive of more than 6 plays in the entire first half, allowed only 9 points for the game and was excellent on third downs. Offensively, we saw more of the methodical approach to the design of Frank Reich’s system. They had four possessions with at least 7 plays Sunday, and did a pretty good job of protecting Luck while maintaining a balanced gameplan.If last week didn’t at least force you to acknowledge that the Colts had the offense to win games, and a pesky defense with a lot of potential, then this week had to have raised your eyebrows. With that, here are the Colts’ game balls for their Week 2 road victory.OFFENSEJordan WilkinsIn some sense the Colts’ offensive line deserves a ton of credit for how they played against a difficult front seven of the Skins. However, in a backfield that has yet to really create any real threat on the ground, or consistency for that matter, Wilkins made a big difference in how the Skins had to look at the Colts offense. They weren’t given the luxury of knowing what was coming. Luck’s 31 attempts was complemented nicely by the running back’s 24 carries in their first win of the 2018 season. Wilkins found holes that weren’t there initially, created yards when there wasn’t one at all http://www.thecoltsfootballauthentic.com/malik-hooker-jersey-authentic , and showed some explosion when the hole opened on time.The rest of the Colts backfield had 14 carries for 41 rushing yards (2.92 YPC) and that’s not nearly enough to create a balanced gameplan. With Wilkins getting good chunks early and often, it allowed Frank Reich to keep the offense unpredictable and Luck to continue to spread the ball around.Wilkins averaged 6.1 yards per carry and helped stabilize the offense throughout the game. Though I think T.Y. Hilton could easily be a candidate for this with his 7 catches, 83 yards and a touchdown, I just felt Wilkins’ success was more impressive for how the game was played offensively.DEFENSEDarius LeonardWhat could I even say that would convince you to give the defensive ball to anyone else? The Colts did get some very good play from a handful of players, but none of them were as impressive as Darius Leonard. Leonard had 18 total tackles (15 solo), he forced a fumble, and notched a sack as well. The Skins ran 71 plays Sunday which means that Leonard was involved in the tackle on more than 25% of the defensive plays. That’s really impressive.Leonard has shown that he’s as consistent as anyone, plays hard every single snap and is an absolute building block for this defense. His 18 tackles was the most for a Colts linebacker in a very long time, and he’s having such an effect on those who are on the field with him.Right now, he’s the best player on the Colts defense, and he’s a rookie. Soon, he could be considered one of the best at his position in the league. It’s not as far-fetched as you might think. He’s really good in coverage, he’s a tackling machine, and he’s always trying to make a play for this defense. I’d say that’s a pretty successful draft pick for Ballard.OTHERFrank ReichInstead of handing out a game ball to the special teams this week, I decided to give it to the coach who made the right decision before the game even started. Frank Reich and Chris Ballard do a lot as a pair, but I don’t know if Ballard has much to do with active/inactive players each week.At any rate, keeping Tarell Basham inactive on Sunday was the right move, and it payed off. I know we’re all saying “It’s so early, don’t dump him yet.” or “He’ll develop Youth Ryan Kelly Jersey , Mathis took until his second year to develop.” Look, maybe he will develop, maybe he won’t. However, right now, if Basham is on the field, he’s taking away snaps from people who are better at doing what he was drafted to do — rush the quarterback.Ryan Delaire was initially on the roster, and was better than Basham. A few cuts later Delaire was gone, Tyquan Lewis was placed on IR and thus, they kept Basham around and began to put him in the role Lewis was expected to hold. Now, the Colts like what Jihad Ward can do from the interior, Al Quadin-Muhammad is more productive off the edge and Basham looks like the odd man in this bunch. Look, I’m not necessarily saying that I think Basham will be let go, but he definitely hasn’t earned his way onto the field on game day. Kudos to Reich for recognizing it and giving those snaps to someone who can get the job done. The Colts tallied 6 quarterback hits, 11.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks — I think this group has shown that they can get some pressure into the backfield.


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