ReFo: Eagles @ Colts, Week 2
Just as the 49ers did 24 hours earlier on Sunday Night Football, the Indianapolis Colts squandered a comfortable lead in the second half in the final primetime game of the week. In the first half the Eagles’ fast paced offense sputtered and flattered to deceive, trailing by double digits at the half before a rapid turnaround late in the third quarter.
And, as was the case in the Bears’ comeback win on Sunday the swift reverse was aided by turnovers from the leading team with Trent Richardson’s second fumble helping the Eagles to wipe out a two-score deficit in less than five minutes before the start of the final stanza.
The Eagles took full and ruthless advantage of the Colts’ mistakes but Indianapolis will feel that they had more than a hand in their own downfall last night.
Philadelphia Eagles – Performances of Note
Darren Sproles, RB: +2.4
Breakdown: The Saints’ loss is the Eagles’ gain and Sproles, at his devastatingly versatile best last night, was simply too hot to handle for the Colts’ defense. A positive grade as a runner, receiver and punt returner mark out a night when he made telling contributions in the Eagles’ comeback
Signature Play: His touchdown run to tie the game at 2:52 in the third highlighted his amazing power and balance shrugging off tacklers outside the 5-yard line, somehow recovering his feet to drive to the end zone for the score.
Trent Cole, OLB: -0.1
Breakdown: A strong night in run defense for Cole but he and the rest of the Eagles’ pass rushers were kept quiet by the Colts last night. Cole registered a solitary hurry on a night when the Eagles as a team notched only eight pressures as a team (4 Ht, 4 Hu) with only Connor Barwin (1 Ht, 2 Hu) and Vinny Curry (1 Ht, 1 Hu) pressured Andrew Luck more than once.
Signature Stat: This was only the sixth time in the last three seasons that Cole has failed to register at least two pressures in a game, only held without a pressure twice in that spell.
DeMeco Ryans: LB, +4.2
Breakdown: A thumping downhill performance for Ryans who tied for the team lead with four defensive stops on the night. Not always at his best when shedding a lot of blocks Ryans had success last night against both tight ends and linemen to be a persistent nuisance for the Colts’ running backs.
Signature Play: At 5:56 in the fourth it was Ryans who finally put a stop to the Colts’ productive counter play from their unbalanced line. Reading the play and getting into the backfield ahead of Jack Doyle, Ryans didn’t finish but did blow the play up for Trent Cole to end it.
Indianapolis Colts – Performances of Note
Trent Richardson, RB: -2.6
Breakdown: This game was Trent Richardson in a nutshell, raw talent and running ability paired with infuriating flaws that are tough to see past. There was good running in this game with five tackles evaded and some productive runs on counter plays to make use of good blocking. However, these were completely overshadowed by a pair of fumbles that will only increase the pressure on him.
Signature Stat: Last night marked the seventh time in his career to date (35 games) that he has forced five or more missed tackles as a runner.
Cory Redding, DE: +3.5
Breakdown: Not many defenders stood out for the right reasons last night but Redding certainly did. This game’s top-graded pass rusher (+3.0) he recorded four pressures (1 Ht, 3 Hu) with another hit after he beat Jason Kelce nullified by a penalty.
Signature Play: All four of his pressures came in the second half, the first of them driving between Todd Herremans and Jason Kelce at 11:11 in the third trying to set up the loop by Ricky Jean-Francois but driving at Nick Foles for a pressure of his own.
Andrew Luck, QB: -2.2
Breakdown: A trio of well packaged plays led to a three touchdown display but this was not Luck at his best. His accuracy throughout the game was scattergun at best and he was spared a dreadful red-zone interception by a drop from Bradley Fletcher.
Signature Stat: Faced a base pass rush on 19 of 37 drop-backs and when the Eagles held off the blitz Luck was only 8-of-17 for 71yds earning a -2.2 passing grade on these throws.
PFF Game Ball
From the first play of the Eagles’ second drive it was clear that the Colts didn’t have an answer for Darren Sproles in any phase of the game and so it proved with telling contribution after telling contribution in the second half.
Follow Ben on Twitter: @PFF_Ben