The Indianapolis Colts avoided dropping to 0-3 by defeating the Tennessee Titans after falling behind in the fourth quarter. The Colts had seen much criticism of their choice to use their 2015 NFL Draft first round pick on a wide receiver, but as Mark Schofield explains the decision to take Phillip Dorsett paid dividends in Week 3.
The Colts earned their first win of 2015 on the road against the Titans, but needed 21 points in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory. The defending AFC Finalists trailed 27-14 with just over six minutes left in the game, facing 3rd and 20 at the Tennessee 35-yard line.
Andrew Luck stands in the shotgun and an 11 offensive personnel package on the field, with trips formation to the right and Donte Moncrief (#10) split wide left. The Titans have their 4-2-5 defense on the game and use radar alignment up front, with all four linemen and linebacker Avery Williamson (#54) in two-point stances and moving before the snap:
The Titans run Cover 2 Man Under on this play, with the safeties each more than 20 deep:
Instead of a short pass to make 4th down more manageable, the Colts attack vertically. Moncrief runs a deep post on the back-side. On the playside, tight end Coby Fleener (#80) is the inside trips receiver, running a corner route. T.Y. Hilton (#13) is the outside trips receiver, and he executes a deep curl. The middle of the trips group is rookie Phillip Dorsett (#15), who runs a deep post:
The speedy rookie from Miami is matched up with Marqueston Huff (#28). In a flash, Dorsett gets behind Huff and between the two deep safeties:
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Luck places this throw exactly where it needs to be, and the rookie holds on:
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From the wide angle, you can see how Dorsett was given enough room to operate. At the bottom of the screen, the post route from Moncrief holds the back-side safety away from the middle of the field. On the play-side, the corner route from Fleener draws the safety Michael Griffin (#33) towards the sideline a few steps:
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The other routes, and defenders moving to cover them, gives Dorsett just enough room for Luck to deliver the throw.
Indianapolis would need two more scores – and a bit of Luck – to complete the comeback. They got exactly what they needed, and were able to eke out the 35-33 victory.
Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.
Mark Schofield has always loved football. He breaks down film, scouts prospects, and explains the passing game for Inside the Pylon.
All video and images courtesy NFL Game Pass.