KO-9 allowed the Colts to take the ball to the 40.
Kruger with a nice play v the run
Kruger gets the sack on a 5 step drop by Luck
Wayne beats McFadden. The blitz didn’t get there.
Haden missed a tackle on the end around
RB Ballard blows through for 13 yards.
Jackson beats Ballard to the edge for a 5 yard loss
Winn stops Luck for a 2 yard gain
Luck breaks contain against the blitz for 6 yards. Kruger did not hold his contain.
That was not a good job on D.
32 y FG GOOD IN 3 CL coming to bat
Richardson with a great move to get the 1st
Greco makes a great block to turn the DE Richardson gets 13
Weeden hangs a ball for Cameron high but JC comes down with it. Great blitz pickup by TRich
Holding call on Thomas was weak
Obi1 gets a nice catch on a circle pass for 5
The Colt blitz forces Weeden to throw short. Cameron double catches but the Browns punt.
Short punt gets the ball down to the Colt 12.
Rubin just missed a sack but Luck was able to compete for a 1st at the 34
Jackson stops the run wide for no gain
Blitz with 6 fails again but the pass goes incomplete Skrine covering Wayne
Richardson gets only a yard on a sweep left
Little with a nice catch vs tight cover and gets the 1st
Good throw by Weeden.
The first deep throw is incomplete
On 3rd and 8 Cameron missed the pass.
29 yard punt. THAT is not good enough.
Bey gets away from Jackson and gets a 1st
Luck with all day to throw gets 14 more to Wayne
Winn and Taylor take down Brown for 2 yard gain
Luck runs up the middle as the pocket breaks down. No pressure up the gut. The Browns did not stay in their lanes on the pass rush.
Wayne uncovered by Skrine and gets 15.
Luck runs for 6. Pass coverage was good in a zone
Pass to Bey good to the CL 3.
Browns call TO 8:13 left. Not looking good on O or D
TD pass to FB Havilli.
IN 10 CL 0.
Bad choice by Bademosi to bring the kick out ends up at the 15.
Weeden gets Gordon for 15.
Pressure from a 7 man blitz forces Weeden to throw it away
TRich through a small hole for 3.
Good throw to Little but he lost the ball. Colts ball after a 15 yard foul on Schwarts.
Haden with nice coverage on Wayne Incomplete
McFadden knocks the ball down
Wayne gets the 1st vs Skrine
Taylor and Rubin stuff the run.
Skrine got the hand on the ball to Wayne Incomplete
Wayne takes a head shot and gets the catch at the 7
Ball on the 4 after a penalty
Kruger forces a bad pass and Gipson comes up with a pick at the 2. Great play on both ends
TRich gets 2 on his own.
Weeden throw into triple coverage is incomplete. He is staring down his receiver causing the triple coverage.
Weeden throw Inc Browns punt from their 4.
Great punt 65 yards.
Great throw by Luck gets the 1st . Ward missed the tackle that would have held them short of the 1st
Skrine knocks the ball away from Wayne
Browns get to Luck pass Incomplete
Browns force an incompetion and the Colts punt
1:39 Browns ball on the 20 with 2 TOs
Weeden gets OK protection but throws the ball away
Weeden runs for 5
With the clock running he throws into triple coverage again because he stared down his guy.
Good punt coverage No return 50 yard punt 55 sec left
Ballard runs for 7 TO 39 sec left
Fake the Blitz and Luck passes for the 1st He read it while Weeden does not.
Home town timer 38 seconds left 2 nd down. No way that play took just a second.
Long pass Inc with pressure by Kruger 33 seconds left
Run fails to get the 1st
Punt downed at the Browns 4
Half time Ind 10 CL 0
Long pass inc Little has to knock the ball down or it would have been picked.
Gordon drops a 3rd down pass. Browns go 3 and out.
Bad coverage gives the Colts the ball on the Browns 48
Brown breaks tackles for 22 yard run
Nobody covers the FB and he gets the ball into the 15
Brown eating the Browns lunch for another 8 yard run
Carter with a nice tackle for loss of 1
Hilton is WIDE open and catches an 8 yard TD pass
IND 17 CL 0
The Colts put in their 2nd d
Catch by Gordon gets the Browns to 3rd and 2. First short yard to gain in this game.
Good catch by Cooper for the 1st
Marecic CAUGHT THE BALL! After he realized he had not been touched he got up and ran
TO Browns. Not organized blow a TO.
Under pressure Weeden misses Little Holding on Indy
Jackson drops a pass in the flat
Ogbonnaya gets 3
Cooper gets open and gets the 1st on a 9 yard gain
Pressure again Weeden misses a wide open TE Davis
Blitz again and Weeden missed Cooper. Weeden does not handle pressure well.
Blitz on 3rd and it almost gets picked on a throw to Cooper
50 Yard FG GOOD Ind 17 CL 3
Auguste stops the run. If he missed it would have been a BIG gain.
Another great play by Auguste on a TFL
Slaughter hits the receiver just as the ball gets there. Pass INC
Bad punt by Colts gives the ball to the Browns at the 50.
Campbell complete to Davis for 6.
Smelley with a nice block on Jackson’s run for 3.
Davis was wide open but Campbell missed him badly. He got hit after the play.
On 4th and 1 Jackson is tackled for a loss
CB Kena almost picks the pass from Hasselbeck
Auguste loses the WR and it goes for a 28 yard gain.
Sanford gets the back for a 3 yard loss
RB Williams is tackled for no gain
Auguste is caught for interference at the Browns 12
Fort catches FB Hughes for no gain.
Adams gets a tackle on Williams for 3
WR Whalen is open in the endzone but cannot catch the ball.
IN 20 CL 3 1:15 left 3rd quarter
Nice 6 yard run by Cook
15 yard run by Cook is called back Holding on Hauptman
Smelley with a nice catch runs for 6 more yards and gets the 1st.
END OF THE 3RD Q
Campbell gets sacked by Rayford
Pass for 2 yards on 3rd and 6.
The Browns punt almost gets blocked but Lanning gets it out.
The Browns get confused by a rollout pass in the flat that goes for 12
JM Johnson gets a TFL
Whalen gets open against Auguste again and gets the 1st
Meggett gets a 1st on a 15 yard run
Browns TO 10:13 left
Hasselbeck is hit and fumbled but the Colts got it back.
Auguste gets Whalen on a short pass. Colt WR Palmer hurt on the play.
Browns ball on their own 9
Campbell misses TE Gronk
Edwards bobbles the 3 yard pass from Campbell and drops it.
RB Cook catches the pass and jukes for a 1st
LB Harvey breaks through again and grounding is called on Campbell
Nice throw to WR Edwards for 18. 3rd and 2
WR Roberson gets the 1st catching between 2 defenders
Rayford sacks Campbell but offsetting penalties negates it.
Croom makes a great catch for the 1st
Campbell throws behind the receiver on a crossing route. Lucky is was not picked
Roberson makes a nice catch to the Colt 13. Campbell got hit by the blitz but threw a nice pass.
OT Butler who got called on the hold jumps off side
Campbell gets buried and hurt by a blitz. The entire line blew the assignment.
44 YARD FG GOOD IN 20 CL 6
Roberson gets the onside kick. Great play
Hoyer’s first pass is picked by former Brown Asante for a TD.
IN 27 CL 6
Roberson was open but dropped a pass right in his hands. Nice throw by Hoyer
Gilkey with a false start.
Two short competions force a Browns punt
Kerwin Williams stops selling paint and runs for 25 yards
Harnish is in at QB
Final IN 27 CL 6
1st team Offense:
The game started with the Colts providing pressure on Weeden. After that he was staring down the receivers way too often. That tends to draw a crowd of DBs. The throws into coverage become double and triple teams when DBs read the QB’s eyes. He was obviously bothered by the pressure. That was a knock on him coming out in the draft. He stopped looking down the field and if his first option was not open he went to the check down or threw it away.
Weeden was not reading the defense well. The Colts faked a lot of blitzes but came infrequently. On the first drive they faked but rushed 3 and got a hit on Weeden. It looked like he was afraid to throw deep. At the start of the 2nd quarter he was 5 for 5 but all were very short throws. I was wondering who gave Pat Shurmur the mike to Weeden’s head set and let the former coach call plays. Weeden has always had trouble against the zone D. Tonight was no different. He will really struggle playing against the Steeler’s zone blitz schemes.
Weeden’s accuracy had been outstanding in the first two preseason games. It was not tonight. It is impossible to win when you miss wide open receivers. The inability to make yardage on first and second down led the team back to third and long again way too often. One drive was stopped by the failure to make 1 yard on two attempts. That is due to the inability of the line to drive the D line back.
The receivers did not help Weeden or the other QBs at all. While there were some nice catches too often the receivers were dropping the ball. Little’s fumble stopped what looked like a nice drive mid way through the 2nd quarter when the score was just 10-0. That error was compounded by a personal foul on Schwartz.
Oniel Cousins got the first chance to play RG but he is not a starting quality OL. The pressure up the middle by the Colts was a result of C Mack trying to help Cousins in pass protection. Cousins is better blocking the run than the pass. He shows he has the feet to pull and is fairly accurate getting his block on the edge. Cousins is alert to players rushing the passer but does not anchor well enough to blunt the attack.
The coaching staff did not trust the replacement RGs and ran to the left most of the game. The rest of the O line did not play well either. There were a lot of penalties and neither starting tackle played well. The Colts got pressure with a 3 man rush. That cannot happen. Schwartz struggled all game long against the pass rushers of the Colts. A lot of pressure was coming off the right side of the line. Thomas had a holding penalty.
Both TRich and Cook ran very hard. But again they were hit too often at or behind the line. Jackson looked like he had cement cleats on running for 8 yards on 5 carries. Cook is not likely to make the team but there is no quality depth behind TRich. Hardesty is too fragile and Jackson is too old.
Coaching staff showed a few new wrinkles like the 231 formation with 2 RBs 3 TEs and 1 wide out. The run formation allowed Gordon to get open and get an 18 yard pass. But there was way too many check downs. The O looked a lot like last year’s disaster.
It looked like the team in general and Weeden in particular got nervous once the game started to go downhill. The Colts jumped out to a 17-0 lead and the game was over. The Browns never made a charge to threaten the Colts. That is unacceptable. To be a factor in the AFC North, the team must have the guts to fight back from a deficit. The Colts did a good job taking field position away from the Browns. But that too is no excuse.
1st team defense:
The D made some good plays but there were too many missed tackles. Ward missed a chance to prevent a touchdown by missing the receiver. The lack of experience at the CB and FS positions have haunted the team for years. Injuries have added to the need for those positions to get experienced depth. The team gave up a ton of long plays last year because it did not have a true center fielder to stop them.
FS Gipson had a great interception on the 3 yard line after the Little fumble. But he is more of a strong safety than a free safety and is just beginning to understand coverages and techniques.
Kruger had an outstanding game. He was getting pressure however against a bad offensive line. He did get pressure on Luck with regularity. Groves played well but was up against a replacement LT once Castonzo went down. The D line in general played well. NT Taylor and DE’s Winn and Rubin absorbed blockers but the backers did not take advantage of it. Way too many plays made serious yardage when the Browns backers lost outside contain. We also did not see the good pass coverage of the inside backers we had seen in previous games.
The DBs struggled to cover Wayne who regularly ran open through the defensive backfield. He is a shifty older player. However it is hard to understand how the pass coverage made WR Heyward-Bey look like an all pro. He is a bust from the Raiders but looked like a super star tonight.
Injuries have taken a toll on the D backfield. It looked way too inconsistent to even think this team could contend in the AFC North this year. The team needs much better corner play opposite Haden and have to find a FS that is able to play center field. Unless they do the D will give up a ton of passing yardage.
Special teams did OK for the most part. P Lanning was inconsistent. K Shayne Graham was solid. The question with him is can he make long field goals in the winds of December when they really count?
The bottom line:
The failure to move the ball on offense had more to do with bad execution than the Colts D. The Colts are not a great D. If the Browns struggle to move the ball on them, how will they fare against the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals each of whom have a much better D.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
He also edits .
To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.