Defenders for the Indianapolis Colts explain what led to the fourth-quarter collapse against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
On Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts were having another good defensive performance. They were doing as good of a job to limit the explosive Philadelphia Eagles as any team had done all season. Entering the fourth quarter, Philly had just three points and the Colts were leading by 10. However, the game ended with the Eagles on top 17-16. So what happened to Indy’s defense in the fourth quarter?
Well, simply put, the defense got driven down the field twice and gave up 14 points. But how did Philadelphia have this offensive explosion after being dormant all game? Indy’s top defenders tried to explain what went wrong during their postgame talks with the media. The majority of the conversations were about Philly’s game-winning score, a seven-yard designed run up the middle for quarterback Jalen Hurts. There wasn’t a defender near Hurts as he skipped into the end zone.
Linebacker Zaire Franklin essentially admitted that the draw caught the Colts off guard because of the formation that Philadelphia ran it out of. Franklin told the media that on film, Philly typically ran the draw out of empty, but they ran it with the running back as a lead blocker against the Colts. Franklin also talked about how he wanted to respect the receivers because he remembers Hurts throwing a jump pass against the Houston Texans. Basically, it was a play where the Eagles were one step ahead of Indy.
Eagles out-schemed Colts with the game on the line
Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue echoed Franklin’s statement by saying, “alerting for the quarterback draw was really an empty set…it was just a good play call by the offensive coordinator, but we still have to make those plays.” Ngakoue is right, the defense is still expected to make plays, and while the seven-yard touchdown run was the game-deciding play, it wasn’t the only play that the defense didn’t show up on in the fourth quarter.
Additionally, when the Eagles did run quarterback draw out of their empty set, they were typically still successful. That was the go-to call whenever Philly faced a must-have down. Hurts ran one on a 3rd-and-5 in the second quarter and picked up the first down, and he also ran a draw and converted on a 4th-and-2 a few plays before the game-winning touchdown. That’s why it seemed obvious that Philly would go to Hurts with the game on the line. They leaned on him all game in gotta-have-it moments.
Unfortunately for the Colts, they were a step behind on Sunday and it cost them the game. Of course, it will be used as a learning experience but this late into the season, it’s time for wins, not learning moments.