Jeff Saturday embarrasses Josh McDaniels as Colts beat Raiders 25-20 (Colts-Raiders short postgame thoughts)

The Colts came to play Sunday, showing up in Vegas with an attitude and excitement that had yet to be seen from the Indianapolis side this season. In his debut performance Jeff Saturday spoiled the hopes of the fraternity of coaches and beat Josh McDaniels, showing that maybe the head coach’s job should be letting the over articulated system that is a coaching staff do their jobs and just look to set the tone of a locker room. Jeff Saturday got this Colts team up and ready to go in a manner that Frank Reich had only hoped to this season.

The offensive line looked great in this one! The Colts offensive line has quite possibly the single most disappointing position room in the nation this season. Jonathon Taylor was able to break a massive run on the backs of the mammoth holes the big uglies were providing.

We have not seen a single play with the offensive line execution at that caliber this season.

The offense was operating very well balanced. The air game and run game truly worked in tandem today. It is amazing what can happen when an offense has the protection and time to develop a play. The Colts didn’t look to do anything spectacular in this one, they just played a very balanced game with the best execution they have all season. With Jonathon Taylor able get 4 or 5 yards on 1st and 2nd down, the Colts had far less 3rd and forever scenarios than they have this season.

The Colts were able to rely on their offensive line and in turn, rely on the running game. Jonathon Taylor had his best game as the Colts the offensive line looks to have gotten the communication tightened up just within the first week of the Saturday era. Even Matt Ryan got in on the run game with an incredible run down the right sideline for far more yards than he has any business picking up on the ground.

Jeff Saturday handled the 58 second drill perfectly. Getting 3 on the board before hitting the locker rooms. A feat that Frank has been not delivering on all season.

Looks like Parks Frazier has read many of the comment sections out there and looked to get Parris Campbell involved. His speed makes him a very versatile tool for any offense, it was great to see him get going in this game.

The receiver play (save Parris) was less than ideal for the Colts today. Alec Pierce was unable to find a reception in this one. And while credit to Pittman’s effort to get his fumble, Michael has got to start holding on to the ball. His fumbles are becoming a habit, a habit that a championship squad can not have. He has developed into a premier wide receiver in this league, the unreliable carries just need tightened up. That being said, Granson had some key receptions that aided in this full team effort and this win.

Parks Frazier is undefeated as a play caller. 1-0. Well done. It really was a great called game by the Colts. Never overextending themselves and methodically moving the ball down the field for a change. He didn’t look to rewrite the playbook here, he just managed a great game. Congrats on the first win Parks!

As for the Defense, they continued to play well. Gilmore once again bailed out the Colts breaking up the Raiders 4th down play and ultimately putting the nail in the Raiders coffin here. He has been such a major pickup, and as disappointed as I was with how Terry McLaurin was able to big brother him to win the Commanders game for them, has has already done so much more to help this defense. He’s a playmaker and consistently finds himself involved in huge game defining plays. That guys a true pro.

Yes the Raiders are a mess. But I was impressed with Jeff being able to bring out the most execution-oriented Colts team I’ve seen all week. Many coaches (and quite rightfully so) have felt slighted by Irsay’s move to hire Jeff Saturday. I’m sure many of those waiting for 1 of the 32 jobs out there were hoping for Josh McDaniels to make an example out of someone looking to blow up the system of putting your time in they’ve all ascribed to. Winning is the top characteristic I want my coach to have. So far Jeff has showed us these Colts can win under him, by allowing his staff to contribute the team had the most cohesive performance in some time.

Jeff Saturday came into a locker room in shambles and he seems to have gotten these guys to buy in and put an effort on tape that they haven’t all season. While it wasn’t perfect, it finally seemed motivated. Our lifeless offense delivered today. Jeff Saturday delivered today. Here’s to the first of many, what started as a tank project in my mind, has quickly turned into optimism of what this season still has in store. I know the Raiders are a weaker side this year, but I choose the route of blissful ignorance and have high hopes for the Colts as they host the blisteringly hot Eagles. Let’s ruin their fun.

Thank you for taking the time to read these thoughts of an Indianapolis Colts fanboy. Enjoy this win Colts fans, they’ve been few and far between. What started as a questionable move quickly paid off with a reinvigorated performance against the Raiders. While it by no means means the Colts are fixed, but there was a lot of good to build off of in the first week of Saturday’s reign.

For the Shoe!

-Burke

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