PASSING OFFENSE: A
QB Peyton Manning had a pretty good day, completing 28-of-38 passes for 301 yards, one touchdown and had one interception. He was sacked once. WR Reggie Wayne hauled in 10 passes for 162 yards and a TD. Manning completed passes to eight different Indianapolis receivers. The only negative was an end zone interception on the Colts' opening drive of the game and a couple of dropped passes.
RUSHING OFFENSE: C-PLUS
Indianapolis continues to struggle moving the ball on the ground. There were flashes, though, that indicate bigger and better things to come. RBs Joseph Addai and Donald Brown combined for 75 yards on 28 carries. What continues to hurt the Colts is the inability to come up big in short yardage situations. Indianapolis failed to convert one third-and-one and two fourth-and-one situations.
The Colts recorded just one sack against Jacksonville QB David Garrard. But Indianapolis defenders were in his face for most of the afternoon. DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, as well as MLB Gary Brackett, continued to put pressure on him throughout the game. CBs Kelvin Hayden and Jerraud Powers both came up with big pass deflections, as did Mathis.
RUSH DEFENSE: B-PLUS
Indianapolis' defenders did a pretty good job of keeping the Jaguars' vaunted running game bottled up. Yes, RB Maurice Jones-Drew finished with 97 yards in 21 carries. And, yes, he had one 26-yard run. But for the most part, the Colts were able to keep Jones-Drew for breaking out and causing even more damage. The big play came after Jacksonville's only touchdown of the game, a seven-yard run by Jones-Drew. On an attempted two-point conversion run that would have tied up the game, Jones-Drew was stopped dead in his tracks by the Indianapolis defense.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B-PLUS
PKs Adam Vinatieri and Shane Andrus shared the duty, with Vinatieri handling one field goal attempt and two conversion attempts. Andrus, meanwhile, took care of kickoffs. Rookie P Pat McAfee had both of his punts downed inside the Jaguars' 20-yard line, which allowed the Colts to play field position. T.J. Rushing and Chad Simpson were Indianapolis' punt and kickoff returners and did a nice job for the most part. And the Colts' kickoff and punt coverage units did a really nice job of hemming in any potential runbacks.
For his first game as an NFL head coach, the transition from Tony Dungy to Jim Caldwell was seamless. Caldwell had to face several big decisions — when to go for first downs in short-yardage situations, when to attempt a long field goal and when to punt the ball away. Those who have been around Caldwell knew that he would be equal to the challenge, but his decisions in the pressure cooker of a season and home NFL opener should prove to those outside the organization that the man can coach.
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