Sunday, December 26, 2010

Colts run into trouble in Oakland - and like a good team they still win out

The Colts went into the house of a feisty Oakland team and came out with a win that was as close as the 31-26 final score indicates.

The star of this one was the Colts defense which stymied the Raider running game and forced the shaky Jason Campbell into lots of short passes.  The great speed that Oakland has at WR was never on display as Campbell never felt secure enough in the pocket to let something develop downfield.

The primary cause of Campbell's discomfort was Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, who abused Oakland's inexperienced tackles.  Often there was pressure from the defensive tackles as well.

Oakland did not have a sustained drive all day until their final drive of the game.  Mostly they relied on the strong leg of Sebastian Janikowski, who made four field goals including one from 61 yards.

The Colts continued their recent success running the ball as both Joesph Addai and Dominic Rhodes had some nice runs.  Ever since Mike Pollock has been re-inserted at Right Guard, the Colts have shown improved ability to move people and execute more crisply in their run blocking.

The Colts had difficulty with the rough and tight Oakland bump and run coverage all day but still moved the ball in spurts.  Manning was intercepted twice on the day, both were on inaccurate throws - although one was tipped.  Reggie Wayne was unable to work free from Oakland's All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, only catching a few passes when Asomugha was covering someone else.

Manning's timing with Pierre Garcon was off most of the day as well.  Garcon seemed to have trouble getting off the bump.  The most important receiver in the first half was Jacob Tamme, who beat Oakland safeties for nice gains on several occasions, mostly on crossing routes.  He also beat a middle linebacker on a touchdown catch up the seam.

Next week they have the erratic Titans at home in Indianapolis.

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